Saturday, April 19, 2014

The Young Graduates (1971)

The ’70s-era operating principles of B-movie factory Crown International Pictures remain mysterious to me, because while other companies occupying the same low rung of the film industry during the ’70s regularly cranked out fast-paced potboilers, Crown International instead made turgid melodramas padded with pointless montage sequences. The unanswerable question, of course, is whether Crown’s projects represented misguided attempts at real movies or whether the company sold its products in bulk, meaning that more minutes translated to more money. In any event, those who view multiple Crown endeavors from the ’70s suffer mightily. For instance, even though The Young Graduates is fairly restrained by Crown standards, seeing as how nudity and violence are kept to a minimum, there’s not much to command attention. Marketed as a satirical referendum on the sexual practices of ’70s teenagers, The Young Graduates is really the story of one dippy high school student, Mindy (Patricia Wymer), who seduces a young teacher named Jack (Steven Stewart). Since Jack is married, much of the film’s action concerns the couple’s efforts to keep their romance secret. This thread of the story is not interesting. Later, once Mindy discovers she might be pregnant, the impetuous lass skips town for an adventure with her best gal pal, Sandy (Marly Holiday). Alas, their would-be getaway turns into a nightmare, because the girls fall into the clutches of a biker gang/cult/drug ring/whatever. This thread of the story is not interesting, either. Other segments of The Young Graduates feature dancing, drag racing, pot smoking, skinny-dipping, and other ho-hum pastimes, so the whole movie suffers from a catastrophic lack of urgency. The acting is mostly quite stiff (future notables Bruno Kirby and Dennis Christopher do what they can with underwritten roles), the cinematography is relentlessly flat, and the music is punishingly ordinary. In sum, The Young Graduates is far too bland and forgettable to merit genuine contempt; one can merely note with a sigh the existence of the thing before moving on to more rewarding activities, like cleaning out lint traps or clipping fingernails.

The Young Graduates: LAME


Peter L. Winkler said...

"The ’70s-era operating principles of B-movie factory Crown International Pictures remain mysterious to me"

Maybe they picked up the projects AIP rejected. Heh.

John Black said...

Star Patricia Wymer was as cute as can be. I also really like the music in this film, especially the girl group Pat Russell's The Spare Change who perform at the school dance. I even like the film's theme song, "Young Love, Like Shallow Water, Never Runs Deep," a perfectly perky 70's styled tune. Some of Crown's other films had catchy theme songs as well, such as "Candy" from THE BABYSITTER and "Cindy" from CINDY AND DONNA.