Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Palm Springs Weekend (1963)
Directed by Norman Taurog. "Where the Boys Are" was a successful film in the summer of 1960 so this film cleverly capitalized on its popularity using the shrewd tagline, "It's Where the Boys AND the Girls Are!" This was considered money in the bank. These days it would have been mistaken for she-male porn.
If you read this blog I don't have to tell you that one of the great features of a film of this sort is super-old people playing teenagers. While "Beach Blanket Bingo" is the "Citizen Kane" of this genre because Harvey Lembeck played Eric Von Zipper at the age of 42, "Palm Springs Weekend" does very well in this effort. Jerry Van Dyke as (get this) Biff Roberts was 32 and probably the oldest guy on the set pretending to be a teen, it's safe to say that everyone was at least well into their 20s.
Speaking only for myself this is to the benefit of the female cast, which includes Connie Stevens, Stefanie Powers and Zeme North, who tries to steal the film with a fiery performance that instead reveals that in a cast full of over-actors, she is the over-actoriest. North is cute, though plays the Ugly Girl because she has hair that does not go below the rear neckline of her dress.
As for story, a bunch of white boys and white girls are trying to meet each other during spring break in Palm Springs, which despite the title of the film, seems to be happening over more than just a weekend. Mishaps ensue of varying degrees of wackiness involving dancing, soap suds and attempted rape. I recommend this film if it's Saturday morning and you need to fold laundry, occasionally look out the window to make sure your child is not dead, glance through a magazine, check your email, check to see if Stefanie Powers is on-screen, leave the room to get a bowl of oatmeal, and the damn phone keeps ringing.