28 October 2003 | gslind
Peyton Place meets Carrie
John Saxon and Sandra Dee in all their 1958 youthful splendor explore teen sexuality and angst in Libertyville, USA.
Teresa Wright plays Dee's downtrodden, seamstress Mother living life as the town's neurotic spinster recluse, having once regrettably abandoned herself to a traveling trumpet player under the town's infamous bandstand, having later given birth to Dee as a result of her shameful tryst.
Hot Rods, hoop skirts, and gymnasium rock and roll abound, replete with alcoholic parents from both sides of the tracks fully represented. Luana Patten is wonderful as the snotty, slutty rich girl so accustomed to getting whatever she wants.
It's as cornball and cliche' as you can get, but good fun for a nostalgic look at small town Americana in the late 50's. You've seen Saxon and Dee much better than this, but it's remains a guilty pleasure to relish, particularly with Ross Hunter at the helm dishing up plenty of his particular style of small town pathos to keep you amused.
Look for Saxon's Pop (James Whitmore) near the end, driving off with the lovely Mrs. with a smile and a beer in his hand! Somehow, Toto, you know this kinda behavior tells us we're not in Kansas anymore.