High Time


1h 43m 1960

Brief Synopsis

Widower and hamburger restaurateur Harvey Howard decides to go to college at 51 years of age. Resisting the easy path, he insists on not receiving preferential treatment, and lives in a dorm like the other students despite the disapproval of his grown son and daughter. As the years pass, and he gets involved in study sessions, fraternity initiations, and sporting events, he begins falling in love with Professor Gautier, the French teacher, but doesn't consider re-marrying appropriate.

Film Details

Also Known As
Daddy-O
Release Date
Sep 1960
Premiere Information
New York opening: 16 Sep 1960
Production Company
Bing Crosby Productions
Distribution Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Country
United States
Location
Los Angeles--UCLA, California, United States; Stockton--College of the Pacific, California, United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 43m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (DeLuxe)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
2.35 : 1
Film Length
9,136ft (12 reels)

Synopsis

When middle-aged millionaire Harvey Howard decides to attend Pinehurst College, his grown children, Laura and Harvey Jr., are chagrined. After registering as a freshman, Harvey takes up residence in the college dormitory and there meets his roommates--country boy Gil Sparrow, the turbaned T. J. Padmanagham, the jive-talking Bob Bannerman and his fickle girl friend, Joy Elder. Soon after, Mr. Thayer, the school's inept faculty advisor and chemistry professor, visits their dorm room to dispense advice. On the day before the big game, the freshman class is dispatched to find kindling for a towering bonfire, they scour the countryside for every available piece of wood. Harvey meets widowed French professor Helene Gauthier after he pulls a wooden box from beneath her porch, causing the entire structure to collapse. After a hasty apology, Harvey pays for the damage and then scurries off with the box. When the pyre is judged one foot too short, Harvey scales the wobbly heap and proudly crowns it with a discarded chair. Later, as the term comes to a close, Harvey learns that his fraternity bid for next year has been rejected. The end of final exams is celebrated with a big dance, and afterward, Harvey, a widower, walks Helene home. When Helene invites Harvey to join her for an omelet, he confides that he fears he has failed his courses, and Helene cheers him with the news that he has passed them all. At the start of sophomore year, Harvey's children sullenly drive him back to school, where he learns that his roommates have arranged for him to join their fraternity. Harvey is then subjected to pledge hell, scrubbing floors and shining shoes. For his last challenge, Harvey is instructed to attend Judge Carter's Confederate costume ball dressed as a southern belle and convince the gout-ridden Carter to dance with him. Harvey, Jr. and Laura are also guests at the ball, and when a switch of partners is called on the dance floor, Harvey. Jr. is mortified to find that he is now dancing with his bewigged and gowned father. Later, in the powder room, Laura faints after seeing her father dressed in drag. After sweeping Carter off his feet and thus completing his assignment, Harvey pulls off his wig. Toward the end of the semester, sparks begin to fly between Harvey and Helene after he fixes her fuse box and then asks her to privately tutor him that summer at his country house. Junior year begins as Harvey drives Helene to campus in his sports car, and Joy, who has now decided that she is in love with T. J., dresses in Indian garb. Later, at a faculty auction to benefit an orphanage, Harvey bids $100 for Helene's home-cooked dinner. After Harvey, Jr. and Laura read a newspaper story about the auction, they become outraged by their father's behavior and complain to Pinehurst's president. When Harvey arrives to claim his dinner, Helene tearfully informs him that she has been forced to resign because of the scandal that has erupted over their relationship. Harvey immediately accompanies Helene to the president's office, where he indignantly denies that they have had an affair. When the students stage a demonstration to protest Helene's dismissal, the president declares that he will not accept Helene's resignation and welcomes her to stay on the faculty. After Harvey arrives for his senior year by cab he learns that Joy is now engaged to Gil. When Gil asks why Harvey has not yet proposed to Helene the stunned Harvey protests that he is too old to remarry. On the school hayride, Helene asks Harvey to marry her, and he replies that he could no more marry her than fly. On graduation day, Harvey, the class valedictorian, gives a speech about finding friendship and understanding on campus. Declaring that age is simply a matter of zest, Harvey, assisted by a boost and rigging from several stagehands, then takes wing over the audience and gazes into Helene's eyes, signaling that now he can fly, he is ready wed.

Film Details

Also Known As
Daddy-O
Release Date
Sep 1960
Premiere Information
New York opening: 16 Sep 1960
Production Company
Bing Crosby Productions
Distribution Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Country
United States
Location
Los Angeles--UCLA, California, United States; Stockton--College of the Pacific, California, United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 43m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (DeLuxe)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
2.35 : 1
Film Length
9,136ft (12 reels)

Award Nominations

Best Song

1960

Quotes

Trivia

Under the working title "Big Daddy", this film was originally planned as a vehicle for 'Gary Cooper' . When Cooper's terminal illness prevented his appearing, Bing Crosby was brought in and the script revised to suit his talents.

Notes

The working title of this film was Daddy-O. The film's credit sequence begins with a profile shot of Bing Crosby seated on a stool and reading a paper. Crosby throws the paper into the air out of the frame, then cards fall down into the frame with the title letters. After the leads are introduced, the remainder of the sequence is completed with animated figures. Although a January 1960 Hollywood Reporter news item announced that Simone Signoret, Carol Lynley and Barrie Chase had been cast, none of them appear in the released film. Hollywood Reporter production charts credit James B. Clark with the first few weeks of direction, but the extent of his contribution to the released film has not been determined. According to an April 1960 New York Times news item, production was halted from 7 March-April 18, 1960 due to a strike by the Screen Actors' Guild.
       Studio publicity contained in the film's production file at the AMPAS Library note that location filming was done at the College of the Pacific in Stockton, CA, and on the UCLA campus in Los Angeles. The song "The Second Time Around," by Sammy Cahn and James Van Heusen, was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Song. High Time marked the first collaboration between Blake Edwards and composer Henry Mancini. Mancini and Edwards collaborated on many more projects throughout the years, among them Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961), Days of Wine and Roses (1962), The Pink Panther (1964) and Darling Lili (1970, see entries in AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1961-70).

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States Fall October 1960

Yvonne Craig eventually became 'Batgirl' on the "Batman" TV series.

CinemaScope

Released in United States Fall October 1960