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

Thursday, October 29, 2009


13 FRIGHTENED GIRLS (1963). Director: William Castle.

Candace Hull (Kathy Dunn) is an American diplomat's daughter who attends Miss Pittford's Academy for Young Ladies along with many other diplomats' daughters. Her best friend is Mai-Ling (Lynne Sue Moon), whose father is Red Chinese. Candy has a big crush on Wally Sanders (Murray Hamilton of Jaws fame), who works for the state department and may soon be out of a job. When a murder occurs while Candy is visiting Mai-Ling in the Chinese embassy, Candy decides to become a spy code-named "Kitten" so that she can help Wally out of his career problems. If it all sounds pretty awful, believe me it is -- but not bad enough to be good. This is one of the few William Castle films that has virtually no entertainment value. Kathy Dunn is so shrill and whiny at times that you want to slap her. Lynne Sue Moon is cute and charming, however. Candy's obsession with Wally is inexplicable when there are handsome guys closer to her own age in the movie, with whom she flirts -- but only as part of her spy activities. Hugh Marlowe of Earth vs. the Flying Saucers plays Candy's dad. Joyce Taylor of Atlantis, the Lost Continent and who also [badly] played "Rappaccini's Daughter" in Twice-Told Tales, plays Wally's fiancee. Alexandra Bastedo and Judy Pace are two of the girls who became somewhat better known years later. Khigh Dhiegh plays Kang, Mei-Ling's uncle. 90 minutes of your life you can never get back.

Verdict: Read a Nancy Drew book instead. *.

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