Nothing defines an era quite like the teen movies it produces. Whether it's the beach parties of the '60s, the high school detentions of the '80s, or the Mean Girls of the new millennium, Hollywood Teen Movies celebrates them all. "Teen movies needed some long overdue respect," says Tony Pichaloff, who started the site in 2001. "Not all teen movies are classic masterpieces," admits Pichaloff, but he "appreciates them for what they are, despite their imperfections."
During the '30s and '40s, he says, "movies specifically about teens were rare, the exception being the long running Andy Hardy film series starring Mickey Rooney." If you thought Mayberry was a wholesome place to grow up, try Andy's hometown of Carvel. Then the '50s brought a different teen to the big screen: The juvenile delinquent. "Leather jackets, motorcycles, rock 'n' roll and rebellious youths were introduced to the world," says Pichaloff. He credits what many consider to be the original high school film, Blackboard Jungle, and Sidney Poitier's performance in it, with the change. The film was the first to use rock 'n' roll on the soundtrack.
From the looks of the movies, teens had the most fun in the '60s. "The original Beach Party (1963) starring Frankie and Annette made such a splash with its fusion of color, skimpy bikinis, sand, surf and blue-screen wave riding that numerous sequels and spin offs followed throughout the decade," says Pichaloff. In the '80s, Pichaloff says, "teen movies were not only most prevalent but possibly reached a peak in terms of quality and popularity." Two words: John Hughes; or, according to Time Magazine in 1986, Molly Ringwald.
The reason the genre continues to captivate? "Everyone in the world has been a teenager at some point in their life," says Pichaloff. "That age is something special because it is relatable to everybody and not just a small demographic of society." Pichaloff, who was a teen in the '90s, says the films you watch as a teen, "tend to stay with you pretty much forever." Now that he's older, he says he still enjoys "knowing what goes on in young person's mind and watching that play out on film. So keep in mind, Pichaloff says, "There are many teen movies out there that are really smart, believable and intuitive to what makes a young person tick." And that long before American Pie, there was Porky's and Porky's did it better.
Posted by Christine Fall at amctv.com June 26th 2008 at 8:15pm
Note: If you wish to read the UNCUT Interview on which this report is based click here.
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Love Finds Andy Hardy (1938) [DVD]
Fourth entry in MGM's perennially popular film series has Andy (Mickey Rooney) in trouble with steady gal Ann Rutherford when he's paid to escort a buddy's date (Lana Turner). Judy Garland makes her series debut as Andy's pal Betsy; with Lewis Stone, Fay Holden. 92 min. Standard; Soundtracks: English Dolby Digital mono, French Dolby Digital mono; Subtitles: English, Spanish, French; radio spot; theatrical trailers.
Blackboard Jungle (1955) [DVD]
Richard Brooks' gritty look at life inside the inner-city high school stars Glenn Ford as the earnest teacher determined to reach his hood students. Great support from Sidney Poitier, Anne Francis, Vic Morrow, Louis Calhern; soundtrack includes historic film debut of "Rock Around the Clock." 100 min. Widescreen (Enhanced); Soundtracks: English Dolby Digital mono, French Dolby Digital mono; Subtitles: English, Spanish, French; audio commentary; theatrical trailer; bonus short "Blackboard Jumble" (1957).
Beach Party (1963) / Bikini Beach (1964) [DVD]
The first entry in A.I.P.'s surfside slapstick series, "Beach Party" stars Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello as fun-loving teens who become the subject of anthropologist Bob Cummings' research into adolescent mating rituals. With Morey Amsterdam, Dorothy Malone, Dick Dale and The Del-Tones, and Harvey Lembeck as Eric Von Zipper. Next, Frankie plays himself and mop-topped British pop idol the Potato Bug (get it?)--and both are vying for Annette's attention--in "Bikini Beach," co-starring Don Rickles, Keenan Wynn, Little Stevie Wonder, and Boris Karloff. 198 min. total. Widescreen; Soundtrack: English Dolby Digital mono; Subtitles: French, Spanish; theatrical trailers.
Porky's (1982) (The One Size Fits All Edition) [DVD]
Gut-busting comedy about youthful shenanigans in 1950s Florida that follows a group of hormone-driven high school buddies to a rowdy bar named Porky's and through one wacky experience after another. Surprise box office hit stars Roger Wilson, Kim Cattrall, Scott Colomby, Dan Monahan; directed by Bob Clark. 98 min. Widescreen (Enhanced); Soundtracks: English Dolby Digital stereo, Dolby Digital mono, Spanish Dolby Digital mono; Subtitles: English, Spanish; audio commentary by Clark; featurettes.
American Pie (1999) (Ultimate Edition) [DVD]
Riotous, raunchy coming-of-age romp focuses on four high school seniors who make a pact to lose their virginity by graduation. Their attempts--ranging from awkward Jason Biggs' Internet-broadcast encounter with foreign exchange student Shannon Elizabeth to jock Chris Klein's joining a singing club to impress studious Mena Suvari--teach the boys hilarious lessons about love. With Thomas Ian Nicholas, Natasha Lyonne, Alyson Hannigan, and Tara Reid. 96 min. Standard and Widescreen (Enhanced); Soundtracks: English DTS 5.1, Dolby Digital 5.1, French Dolby Digital 5.1; Subtitles: English (SDH), Spanish; audio commentary; deleted scenes; music video; theatrical trailer. Includes a sneak peek at "American Pie 2." Two-disc set.
Mean Girls (2004) (Widescreen Version) [DVD]
Tina Fey scripted and co-stars in this sharp comedy, based on the book by Rosalind Wiseman. Teenager Lindsay Lohan, after being home-schooled in Africa by her zoologist parents, suddenly winds up in a suburban Illinois high school. But not even growing up in the jungle could have prepared Lohan for the struggles she now faces, especially when she starts dating the most popular girl in school's ex-boyfriend. With Rachel McAdams, Lacey Chabert, Tim Meadows, Amy Poehler. 96 min. Widescreen (Enhanced); Soundtracks: English Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby Digital Surround, French Dolby Digital 5.1; Subtitles: English, Spanish; audio commentary by Fey, others; featurettes; deleted scenes; theatrical trailer.
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