The Wild Scene (1970)

R   |    |  Drama

The Wild Scene (1970) Poster

Dr. Virginia Grant is a psychiatrist dealing with five case studies about the misguided, hedonistic, radical and naive youth and the generation gap between their hippie generation and that of their parents. The fifth story is her own.


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5 April 2017 | lor_
Bland not wild, at least in edited SWV version
Viewed nearly 50 years later (film displays a 1968 copyright) "The Wild Scene" is small beer, especially when compared to the often "far out" (to coin a phrase) movies made during the Psychedelic era. Its case studies are dull and shorn of impact in the soft-R 85-minute cut resurrected by Something Weird.

Feature purports to depict the 'erotic world of pills, protests and prostitution", taken from the files of Dr. Virginia Grant (played by very minor actress Alberta Nelson), who appears both as host and protagonist in the final vignette.

First case history involves a teen's suicide, in a story involving incest with daddy and mom's infidelity with her publisher. This would seem fodder for some prime exploitation film content, but plays out in dull fashion.

Next up is a doctor's daughter who gets her hands on birth control pills and becomes a prostitute. Sounds like an ideologically motivated story idea advanced by Vice Prexy Pence, but he would have come up with a more interesting treatment. Like the first episode, the dull factor is a result of the case ending up with mere narration by Doc Virginia, as she reads her spiel into a tape recorder.

The distinctive and wonderful character actor Berry Kroeger (only "name" in the cast) hams it up as an old guy being insulted and humiliated by his mistress, who is two-timing him as a lesbian. Before the segment's climax of him getting off as a voyeur (watching the Sapphic clinch), we are treated to the mandatory cliché of protesters vs. police.

Finale is Virginia's own case, concerning her daughter. Watson is unconvincing going undercover to meet the segment's villain Hal (Gary Pillar, another no-name actor), who is a militant publishing an underground newspaper. At this point the movie predictably mocks the youth revolution of the time, sort of shooting itself in the foot as it would be a youth ("Easy Rider") audience that would be the target for the film if it were a good one. Virginia attends a party, a phony Hollywood version of what is supposed to be "hip". Hal ends up blackmailing Virginia, leading to a corny ending.

Trailer for the movie includes sexual content, entirely missing from the SWV print.

Did You Know?


Final film as director for William Rowland.


The Wild Scene
Jack Stern
Sung and played by The Penny Arcade on HME Records


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