Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Where the Boys Are [FIlm 1960]

Where the Boys Are [1960] takes four Midwestern college coeds [Paula Prentiss, Delores Hart, Yvette Mimieux, and Connie Francis] through their ”Spring Break” in Ft. Lauderdale with the boys [George Hamilton, Jim Hutton, Frank Gorshin]. Only poor Melanie [Mimieux] is unsuccessful. The film begins with a characteristic 1960s pushing of the sexual limits [massively tame by 2005 standards] by Delores Hart, takes the group down to Florida for the events of break, and sets them packing in love or disarray. A true classic of the 60s.

The geography begins with a short introduction of Midwestern college settings with deep snow and some with cold. It quickly shifts to the beach and motels. The beach is largely hidden by the crowds of college students lounging there. It does look warm and everyone is having such a good time. Sand plays a major role in that Delores Hart and George Hamilton spark up a relationship by putting question marks in the sand to ask about each other. The larger setting is cultural with the college students clearly letting loose and having fun. The police [admirably lead by the great Chill Wills] are loath to arrest anyone. By 1971 I think that kind of thinking had died.

While the film stands as a classic relic of an earlier time; it is a precursor of its decade. The 1960s are just beginning and change was in the air. The film posits change as a group of 1950s kids looking around for something to rally around, but that would become the mainstream in a couple of years. In the end Delores Hart found and alternative route to the same happiness and peace, of a different worldly nature, when she left Hollywood after this film and became a nun. Interviewed on television recently, she seemed happy. I wonder if she was not happier than most of her crowd?


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