Talent scout hears hipster terrorist gang leader singing along with jukebox and offers him a shot at stardom but the would-be star's pals aren't happy with his shot at fame and get him mixed up in murder! That's on KPR's next Virtual Cinema a Go-Go, when we'll be screening The Beatniks (1960), a totally flipsville beatnik teen tale directed by Paul Frees (the voice of Boris Badenov on TV's Rocky and Bullwinkle), on Friday, July 9.
Unfortunately, despite the title there are NO actual beatniks in the film. The movie's original title was Sideburns and Sympathy but apparently someone was under the impression that "beatnik" means something along the lines of "delinquent" or "hoodlum."
Eddie Crane (Tony Travis) and his gang of punks are perfectly happy, robbing mom-and-pop stores and boozing it up. Then one day a leathery talent agent overhears Eddie singing along with the jukebox and decides he just might be the next Fabian(!). As Eddie is whisked away to the bright lights, TV shows and romance, his delinquent pals are jealous, especially Mooney (Peter Breck) who goes absolutely nuts in one of the great examples of overacting in cinema history. Mooney's not about to let Eddie leave him behind, so he murders a bartender and frames Eddie for the crime. Good times.
Also on the show, a great short film from Lawrence's own Centron Studios - What About Juvenile Delinquency? (1955), shot right here in Lawrence, Kan.! It's all about what happens when a troubled teen drops out of a gang after they mug his father for his pencil. That must be some pencil.
This event is free of charge...but we welcome contributions to support Retro Cocktail Hour and all KPR programming by clicking here. All you need to do is provide your name and email address in this web form, and you'll receive the exclusive log-in information for the event. If you have any questions, reach out to Christy Imel at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This event requires access to a Zoom account. You can download Zoom here. When you get to the Zoom download page, you will select "Zoom client for meetings." Once you have that downloaded, open the app and create your Zoom account - that way you'll be ready to go for the movie Friday, July 9!