Only Squares Know Where To Go

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Also known as Beat Girl, this is a British take on the beatnik/wild youth movie. It stars Gillian Hills (soon to be seen frolicking in the raw with Jane Birkin and David Hemmings in Blow-Up and having a high-speed menage a trois with Malcom McDowell in A Clockwork Orange) as Jenny, a rich, disaffected art school student who hangs out in a beatnik coffeehouse with other tragically hip teens, including a budding rockabilly singer played by Adam Faith. They like to dance to music by John Barry (who would soon compose the indelible James Bond theme). Youth-oriented movies of the early 60’s always seem to confuse beatniks and rockers…I guess it’s all the same to the squares ‘cuz they don’t understand anyway, man. At least this one doesn’t have bongos, berets or Maynard G. Krebs type space cadets…it does, however, have Oliver Reed as one of the most sinister looking hipsters in all of exploitation…and Christopher Lee as a skeevy (yet impeccably dressed and mannered) strip club manager. Gillian is gorgeous and full of hardcore snark, ever ready with a snappy comeback. (Was there ever a teen as articulate in real life as onscreen?) It’s a fun romp, with tunes and rebellion for the kids and melodrama and moralizing for the old folks. A word of caution: it may take you hours to get the theme song out of your head…

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