Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008


HIGH SCHOOL CONFIDENTIAL (1958). Director: Jack Arnold.

Russ Tamblyn plays a new student at the local high school who gets involved with the gang known as the Wheelers and Dealers, a girl named Joanie (Diane Jergens), a teacher named Arlene (Jan Sterling), all the while fending off the advances of his trampy Aunt Gwen (Mamie Van Doren). Is Tamblyn bad news for everyone, or does he have a secret having to do with the drug trade and the evil weed that's destroying so many young lives? At first the film is fun -- especially sexy Van Doren -- but it isn't long before tedium sets in. John Drew Barrymore, son of John and father of Drew, co-stars as "J.I.," the leader of the Wheelers and Dealers. As usual, most of the high school students look as if they've been out of college for a couple of years. A far cry from director Jack Arnold's sci fi classic The Incredible Shrinking Man and others. Jerry Lee Lewis guest stars and sings the title tune. You can miss it.

Verdict: Not as much fun as you might imagine. *1/2.

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