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Girls Town(1959)


ERROL23
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Mary Lee Morgan(Elinor Donahue)a 15 year old mixed up girl accidently kills her sisters boyfriend when he tries to attack her.Marys sister,Ginger(Mamie Van Doren)a wisecracking,oily,but well meaning party girl takes the blame for the killing.The local police chief(Peter Leeds)sends Silver to a Catholic run institution,Girls Town for troubled girls.Silver sneers at it all and refuses to let anybody help her.Even Mother Veronica(Margaret Hayes)who runs the school is little help to know it all Siver.The only one that Silver has any use for is Serafina(Gigi Perreau)another troubled girl in love with local nightclub singer,Jimmy Parlow(Paul Anka)

 

 

Local punk gang leader Fred Alger(Mel Torme)was a witness at the night of the killing and knows Silver is innocent.

 

 

After a dance at the school,Serafina tries to kill herself when Jimmy dances with another girl.Silver is shocked by the near suicide and when she and Mother Veronica save Serafinas life,Silver understands shes been wrong,but no one at the school believes her.

 

 

Meanwhile,Fred and his hoods kidnap Mary Lee.Silver wants to get out and help her sister,but being the school problem child,no one believes her.

 

 

This wasnt a bad film.Sort of a remake of Boys Town.Exciting drag racing scene when Fred and Mary Lee race against another punk with their hands off the wheels playing Chicken.

 

 

 

 

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  • 6 years later...

This is one of the best examples of stunt casting ever. You have the inimitable Mamie Van Doren acting her little heart out (as Silver, one of the best bad-girl names ever), Mel Torme (called "The Velvet Smog" by Judy Garland) as a biker hood, pudding-faced teen idol Paul Anka, smarmy bandleader Ray Anthony, "Father Knows Best" perfect daughter Elinor Donahue, The Platters singing group (who deserved so much better), and nuns, nuns, nuns! It's all in widescreen and teenage rebellion never looked so good. 

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58 minutes ago, DougieB said:

This is one of the best examples of stunt casting ever. You have the inimitable Mamie Van Doren acting her little heart out (as Silver, one of the best bad-girl names ever), Mel Torme (called "The Velvet Smog" by Judy Garland) as a biker hood, pudding-faced teen idol Paul Anka, smarmy bandleader Ray Anthony, "Father Knows Best" perfect daughter Elinor Donahue, The Platters singing group (who deserved so much better), and nuns, nuns, nuns! It's all in widescreen and teenage rebellion never looked so good. 

Sounds like a real winner.

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 2 years later...

I love the black leather jacketed hood Mel Torme attempting to send FATHER KNOWS  BEST's Elinor Donahue down to Tijuana to work as a "hostess."  What would Robert Young think?

This film has never been shown on TCM, nor has it ever been released on DVD in its original form  (it did receive the MST2K treatment, but I want the uncut version.

Mamie Van Doren sang one song while topless while taking a shower, but that scene only appeared in European release prints.

The only VHS release of GIRLS TOWN was in the poor quality SLP (6 hour mode) format.

I still hope that TCM might show the full-length version someday, with or without Mamie's shower scene.  I think the film is in the Paramount/Republic/NTA library.

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  • 5 months later...

A major factor that enhances the charm of this entertaining "J.D." melodrama is the cast, which includes second-generation "talents" Charles Chaplin, Jr., Harold Lloyd, Jr., and Jim Mitchum. Among the supporting cast: William Smith (recently deceased), Norm Grabowski, and martial artist Bruce Tegner (who gets tossed around and roughed up by Gloria Talbott as the butch judoka Vida).

 

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"The last stop on the road to nowhere!" Gotta love it. Must have been a loan-out for Mamie, but I'm glad it was MGM and not Universal because at least we don't have to look at those same damn Universal backlot sets they used in every movie (and TV show). Someone mentioned the poor quality VHS release, but my copy had a great-looking widescreen print. Too bad TCM didn't include this one in the recent month-long JD fest because it's such a crowd-pleaser. You're right; there's a lot of charm to the cast and they give it their all.

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On 7/9/2021 at 9:05 PM, Eucalpytus P. Millstone said:

A major factor that enhances the charm of this entertaining "J.D." melodrama is the cast, which includes second-generation "talents" Charles Chaplin, Jr., Harold Lloyd, Jr., and Jim Mitchum. Among the supporting cast: William Smith (recently deceased), Norm Grabowski, and martial artist Bruce Tegner (who gets tossed around and roughed up by Gloria Talbott as the butch judoka Vida).

 

Hey,   you think I'm a butch judoka Vida!

Gloria Talbott at Brian's Drive-In Theater

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