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While I am quite fond of 1960ís WHERE THE BOYS ARE ($20), the movie itself isnít always quite sure of what it is trying to be. The film has all the earmarks of a fairly typical teen comedy from the early 1960s; but it also actually tries to make a realistic statement about premarital sex and its consequences. For the era in which it was made, WHERE THE BOYS ARE pushes the envelope somewhat, but in the end; the film is pretty much stymied by movie censorship of the time. Additionally, I have to admit that the films dramatic moments donít mesh with the lighter aspects of the plot very well, which makes WHERE THE BOYS ARE seem a bit schizophrenic in places. Of course, the filmís musical interludes donít help this situation either, but then again, how could you have Connie Francis in a movie and not have her sing. However, most of the performances are fun, especially those of Paula Prentiss and Jim Hutton, who give the movie much of its comic zing.

WHERE THE BOYS ARE tells the story of a group of Midwestern college girls that drive down to Florida to partake in the annual ritual known as Spring Break. After enduring a harsh winter, the girls are looking forward to a little fun in the sun, but the real purpose of their trip is to meet boys. Tuggle Carpenter (Paula Prentiss) manages to snag the goofy TV Thompson (Jim Hutton) on the drive down. Merritt Andrews (Dolores Hart) lands the prize catch in the form of a young, suntanned, Ivy League millionaire named Ryder Smith (George Hamilton). Melanie Coleman (Yvette Mimieux) turns her attention to some Ivy Leaguers of her own, while the seemingly boy crazy Angie (Connie Francis) has trouble attracting anyone of the male persuasion. The cast of WHERE THE BOYS ARE also features Barbara Nichols, Chill Wills and Frank Gorshin.

Warner Home Video has made WHERE THE BOYS ARE available on DVD in a 2.35:1 wide screen presentation that features the anamorphic enhancement for 16:9 displays. For a forty-year-old MetroColor flick, WHERE THE BOYS ARE makes for an attractive looking DVD. The image appears sharp and provides good definition, even in darker scenes. Colors are pretty nicely saturated and are rendered without noise or fuzziness. Flesh tones can look a bit Max Factor-ish, but otherwise hold up well. Blacks are accurate, as are the whites, plus contrast is smooth. The film element used for the transfer is relatively clean, although one will notice a grain structure in various places. Digital compression artifacts are nicely concealed.

The Dolby Digital monaural soundtrack is free from hiss and other audible anomalies. Fidelity is more than decent, with the filmís musical passages coming across pleasantly- including the well-known title song. Dialogue is always crisp and totally understandable. A French language track has been encoded onto the DVD, along with English, Spanish, and French subtitles. Music underscores the basic interactive menus, which allow one access to the standard scene selection and set up features, as well as a few extras. Actress Paula Prentiss is on hand for a running audio commentary, which allows her to share her enthusiastic remembrances of the production. Also included is a seven-minute program Where the Boys Were: A Retrospective, which features interviews with Paula Prentiss and Connie Francis. Newsreel footage of the filmís Fort Lauderdale premiere and a theatrical trailer close out the extras.

While not perfect, WHERE THE BOYS ARE is an enjoyable sixties comedy that signaled changes that were about to take place in Hollywood and in America. Warner has done a fine job with the DVD, producing a good-looking presentation that will please fans.



Where the Boys Are (1960)


DVD reviews are Copyright © 2004 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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