Where the Boys Are (1960)

Where the Boys Are
Directed by Henry Levin
Written by George Wells from a novel by Glendon Swarthout
1960/USA
Euterpe
Repeat viewing/Netflix Rental

 

Narrator:  The boys come to soak up the sun, and a few carloads of beer. The girls come, very simply, because this is where the boys are.

 

I like this chauvinistic trip down memory lane more than it probably deserves.

Merritt (Dolores Hart), Melanie (Yvette Mimeaux), Angie (Connie Frances) and Tuggles (Paula Prentiss) are coeds at a Midwestern women’s university.  The snow is falling hard and all of them are looking forward to spring break in Florida.  Merritt gets herself in trouble and possibly expelled for suggesting that the text book for their (womanhood? sex ed?) class is hopelessly out of date.  She declares that she believes that “playing house” before marriage is OK.

On arrival in Florida the girls begin to pair off.  The tall Tuggles is the first to snag herself a man in the form of lanky oddball TV Thompson (Jim Hutton).  Then Merritt is wooed by Ryder Smith (George Hamilton) a handsome and wealthy ivy leaguer.  Angie appears to be a wallflower until she finds her match in weirdo jazz musician Basil (Frank Gorshin).  Poor Melanie, perhaps the prettiest of the group, sadly finds herself passed from one Yale frat boy to another.

Many comic adventures and one tragedy lead us to what we suspected all along.  These girls are holdouts for marriage and are looking to find it on the beach.

I had a teenage crush on Jim Hutton from watching these movies on TV and I always enjoyed them.  Despite being hopelessly politically incorrect in its sexual politics, I still found this one extremely entertaining.  It doesn’t take itself too seriously so it’s hard to be offended.

Paula Prentiss does the commentary for the DVD.  She is as delightful 40 years later as she was in the film.  I may have even developed my crush on Hutton because it seemed like she was always his love interest.  She’s kind of a prettier Eve Arden type.