- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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The widescreen print is here!
Yeah, I know, big deal. But if you're a fan of this youth-market exploitation gem, the print that TCM just showed should perk you up. Now we get to see "Whizz Bam" (the "Hullabaloo" knockoff TV show) in all its demented glory. It's a great showcase for mid-level (and below) talent circa the mid-1960's, pretty much the tail end of this genre. After all, the times they were a-changin' and, even though there's a slight nod to psychedelia, this movie is pretty firmly rooted in the formulaic beach party/college musical films earlier in the decade. The dialogue in this thing is outstanding, so relentlesly "hip" that it's surreal. (It's full of ding-a-lings and diddy-bops and ratfinks, all of them "making the scene".) Add some Whiskey-a-Go-Go-influenced dance numbers (The director was Gene Nelson...Yes, THAT Gene Nelson.) and some earnestly-warbled but excedingly trite tunes and you've got a winner, but only if you like this kind of thing, of course. If you know what I'm talking about, look for it next time TCM shows it, because it's now looking really good. And Mrs. Miller was, is, and always will be a cool one.
Sure it's dumb, but it's also good innocent fun with an attempt at some social satire. Mostly it's the usual twisting-by-the-pool teen hijinks, better than some, not as good as others of this kind. If you like this stuff, try to catch this one. TCM has shown it in the past year or so.
Woulda been cooler in a widescreen print.
Is a widescreen print seriously not available? It was a fun, dopey flick, but why does TCM even bother scheduling these butchered, pan-and-scan versions if their mission is to show films in their original formats?
More Clueless Than Inept
Mrs. Miller became a novelty for about a month in the 1960's. She was literslly somebody's elderly relative who fancied herself a singer. We've probably all got one of those in the family, but this one actually got a recording contract. I remember "Strangers In The Night" especially - Insane! She had a solo in the middle where she actually whistled! Anyway, she's the perfect embodiment of the spirit of this movie. My favorite bit of dialogue is when the producer (Phil Harris) of a Hullabaloo-like TV show called Whiz Bam tells Deborah Walley "How dare you flip your wig on my program?!" after she goes rogue and grabs a microphone. Her initiative doesn't go unrewarded, though. She becomes an overnight sensation paired with teen idol Cliff Donner and they become a Sonny-and Cher-like duo managed by a Phil Spector-like producer played be Roddy McDowell. (sp?) Nita Talbot is great as always as his sycophant-assistant. There are lots of so-so musical (and dance!) numbers throughout, all of them of the cookie cutter/Beach Party ilk. It basically amounts to Warner Brothers trying to break into the lucrative "youth" market, like they did with Palm Springs Weekend. It's actually not horrible. Compared to Muscle Beach Party from American-International, their main competitor in this market, this one looks like Eugene O'Neill. If you ever get the chance to see this epic, it's a fun time for connoisseurs of schlock.
DEFINETLY NOT COOL, INEPT.
I tried to watch this movie once as a time filler. I would have been better off watching wrestling. Looks like the results of by-products from TV'S THE MONKEES and the BEACH PARTY movies. An embarrassment for all concerned. By the way, who was Mrs.Miller?