Friday, April 23, 2010


I had read about this movie previously and most reviews were very negative. I was surprised to find a fairly decent B movie.

Steve Allen plays Steve Macinter a college sociology professor who is doing a survey on what the young people think of different values in their current society. He first runs into trouble when one of his students, Sally Blake comes home late and pins the blame on Steve. Actually, she has been out late with her boyfriend Marvin (Conway Twitty). After this incident, things start to snowball when it is revealed that Steve's survey contains questions about S-E-X.

Local reporter Betty Duquesne (Jayne Meadows) investigates Steve and is almost convinced that his survey is innocent; until she's at a party with Steve and his students. At the party Steve shows home movies he made of the students and the last part of the home movie appears to show people in the nude (it's later revealed that it's people in body stockings). This last incident leads to Steve being put on trial by the local magistrate, Sam Grover (Mickey Shaughnessy) and brings into town a whole host of real life newspeople (Walter Winchell, Sheila Graham, Earl Wilson) to cover the trial.

I won't spoil the ending of the movie, except to say that it's pretty cliched. However, the ending does let Steve give an impassioned speech about closed-minded people. Getting to this speech seems like it was the main point of College Confidential. The speech made me like the movie a little better, since it used the word "mores" and I really wasn't expecting this in a B movie (Can you tell I was a Sociology Major!). I wonder what the people that originally saw this in theaters in 1960 thought about this high falutin' speech! For all I know, audiences may have been smarter in 1960.

Steve and Jayne are both only fair actors, but it is amusing to see that whenever they are alone in the movie, their lines appear to be ad libbed, even having Jayne call Steve "Allen" at one point (it's during the kitchen scene). I'm assuming she must have used that as a nickname for Steve in real life. The best actors in the movie are Elisha Cook Jr as Mamie Van Doren's father and Mickey Shaughnessy. Actually Shaughnessy's acting is way above everyone else's in this movie, even if his final scene strays a little bit into overacting.

The real reason I watched this movie was to see Conway Twitty. This was one of only two movies that Conway appeared in as an actor, the other being "Platinum High School". Conway's two brief appearances in the movie shows him to be adquate in the role of the "bad boy"; plus he gets to sing the title song "College Confidential" at the professor's party

The only other musician of note in the movie, besides Conway and Steve Allen, was Randy Sparks, who later founded the New Christy Minstrels. Randy Sparks along with Conway and Steve Allen wrote the songs for the movie and Randy also gets to sing a song during the movie.

College Confidential also includes its own inside joke. As Sally Blake (who is played by Mamie Van Doren) is taking the stand to testify, the radio commentator describes her as a "Mamie Van Doren type".

College Confidential is currently out of print. I happened to catch it on a late night TCM Underground showing. If they happen to show it again and you're a Conway Twitty fan or a fan of 1960s Teen Movies, I would definitely recommend checking it out.

Video below has the trailer for College Confidential and also includes the trailer for another Mamie Van Doren Movie: The Girl In Black Stockings.

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