Monday, January 29, 2007

Get Yourself A College Girl (1964)

I caught this great movie on TCM the other day. Your basic teenage "Beach Party"-style movie, but had some great musical performances. And although the plot is basically pure silliness, it's definitely better constructed than most entries in the genre (having just forced myself to sit through the entirity of Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine a few weeks ago, I can tell you that there definitely is a difference). Most importantly, it's got some great musical performances. The Dave Clark Five are the headliners, and The Animals appear as well. It's clearly pretty early in The Animals' run--they don't perfom "House of the Rising Sun," which leads me to believe that this was filmed before their first big hit. And they end with "Round and Round," the Chuck Berry song that the Stones would cover on one of their first records.

The Standells are also in there, sounding much more poppy than the band that would record "Dirty Water" a few years later. But it's not all rock music. There's a great scene of Astrud Gilberto and Stan Getz performing "The Girl From Ipanema" in a nightclub, and another nightclub scene featuring the Hammond B-3 stylings of Jimmy Smith! But the true scene-stealers are a group I've never heard of, who seem to be straddling the rock-n-roll generation and the Vaudeville generation, the perfect act for The Ed Sullivan Show--The Rhythm Masters. They're a 7-piece band who play a sort of rocked-up Dixieland that wouldn't be that much of a stretch to compare to Squirrel Nut Zippers. They play their song with a LOT of energy, doing choreographed jumps around the stage like a British Invasion-era Fishbone. And then, when they finish the song, the whole band lines up and does a TAP DANCE. I was really hoping there would be a clip of this on YouTube, but alas, I couldn't find one. And, just for extra coolness, many of these performances take place in tiki bars! There's a more detailed assesment of this movie here.

As I'm rereading The Crying of Lot 49 right now, I notice that it seems to be referencing this sort of movie, with The Paranoids following the main characters around, and some of the slapstic comedy included, which makes sense since it was published in 1965. Which makes me think of a really cool "What If?", imagining Pynchon selling his work as a screenplay instead of a novel. Lot 49 as a Beach Party movie? Well, it wouldn't be much weirder than Dr. Goldfoot.


Blogger Sonic Safari said...

Man, I always thought "The Crying Of Lot 49" would make a great movie. I'm sure it's been optioned, but I guess most would find it to be unfilmable. In the Buckaroo Banzai movie, there's a shout out to YoYodyne Industries.

And yeah, the Dr. Goldfoot stuff is just tedious. The Supremes, however, do a swell theme song for "...Bikini Machine."

1/30/2007 3:11 PM  
Blogger Chris Oliver said...

Is that The Supremes? I remember watching that as a kid, and that song stuck in my head all these years. It came on one of the movie channels recently, and I tried to watch it, but's like they weren't even trying.

The funniest Beach movie is Bikini Beach, where Frankie plays his regular character and also plays this British rock star, and his English accent is just so far off-base, it's hilarious.

1/30/2007 3:48 PM  

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