Movie Break: Get Yourself A College Girl Is A Heart Pumping, Toe-Tapping Good Time
Albeit the movie is set in December as a Christmas going away party type of theme, the MGM/Four Leaf Production simply titled, Get Yourself A College Girl really tackled the notion of why women in that period scoffed of themselves being treated as mere sex objects.
But it is way more to the movie than that.
There is music, and lots of it from very popular acts from 1964:
- Dave Clark Five from Great Britain
- The Animals from Hawaii
- Jimmy Smith and his Trio
- Freddie Bell, Roberta Linn, and the Bell Boys
The movie starts out with a short ballet lesson at the Wyndham College for Girls. Theresa “Terry” Taylor (played by future Match Game mainstay panelist Mary Ann Mobley) gets the class to get their groove thing on and dance the day away, so-to speak. The instructor of the class manages to flash a brief smile.
A few minutes into the film, Gary Underwood (played by Chad Everett), founder of his own publishing company attempts to call Terry–but instead ends up speaking with the Dean. The call goes nowhere.
The majority of the film takes place at the Go-Go Club, and this going away party is something to behold.
The dancing continues with the Dave Clark Five singing a slow ballad, then some guys try to woo a married woman (big time no-no then, and even bigger red flag in present times). The Animals then come on the scene with “Blue, Blue Feeling”. 17 minutes later, we hear Terry sing the song title with very catchy lyrics. Perhaps the early editors of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue might have planted those first seeds well in what would become for them a multi-million dollar enterprise by the time Kathy Ireland’s images were plastered on many men’s bedrooms and college dorm rooms in the late 1980’s.
Unfortunately, word leaks out to the Board of Trustees and they criticize Terry big time. Fortunately, some of the faculty come to her aid. As the Board members leave one by one, they give Terry a big-time cold shoulder. Later in the film, we find out that the Board rescinded Terry’s expulsion letter that would have prevented her from graduating with her friends the following spring.
Another key player in the movie is State Senator Hubert Morrison (played to a T by William Waterman). At first, he was not convinced on why women were starting to become independent thinkers, let alone budding sex symbols. But as the scene shifts to the ski lodge where the bus dropped off the students for Winter break, Marge (Joan O’Brien) and Sue Ann (Chris Noel) end up sticking together no matter what. And yes, Sue does don a period bikini for about 40 seconds for the guys looking to find this film on DVD.
Gary’s manager who has a way with French named Ray (played by Paul Todd) tries his best to woo the ladies. At first, he succeeds but later ends up getting himself slapped in the face. Not good.
His comment of, “I didn’t marry a girl, I married a censor” might have confused some people at the time. But again, there is no nudity in this film nor any major violence–PG rated for sure.
Then we finally get our Brazilian jazz connection with Astrud Gilberto holding up some sheet music to sing her all-time greatest hit, “The Girl from Ipanema.” Stan Getz performs admirably on the sax, while the ladies are sitting there and smiling their appreciation for when this was the era that bossa nova hit its’ true peak.
We also see Getz and his band perform a little sax inbetween some more weird dialogue between the guys before we go back for…you guessed it, yet more dancing!
The Standells and the Rhythm Masters were next to hit the stage (what was it with those white hats?), then Jimmy Smith did his masterful organ rendition of a song commonly heard in NBA arenas and when the Harlem Globetrotters make their signature entrance on basketball courts around the world.
The Senator then tries to get along with Terry (strange, but true). Even stranger was at the 55 minute mark was the Senator having his true Steve Lyons moment *.
* Not to sound embarrassing, but the one-time utility player that once played all nine positions in an exhibition game for the 1990 Chicago White Sox had his infamous moment occur at the old Tiger Stadium in Detroit. Nicknamed “Psycho”, Lyons legged out an infield hit in a game against the Tigers. With first base coach at the time Sammy Ellis simply nodding his head, he inexplicably tried to adjust his belt buckle but briefly the camera caught a glimpse of his shorts. Can you guess then how embarrassed he felt? ESPN’s SportsCenter ate that moment up for years to come.
Sadly, with his pants down–an eager woman snaps a quick pic with her camera so she could rush off to the area paper to get this juicy gossip heading into their election year published the next day.
Terry then gets into a brief skiing accident, but I am sure it was staged so she wouldn’t get hurt (keep in mind, the era of liability wasn’t too much of a bother back in 1964 except for a few stuntpeople). Gary then tries to trip over Terry before heading back to the ski lodge, just some playful banter between man and woman–nothing more than that.
More of the Dave Clark Five and their hit, “Thinking of You, Baby” along with Freddie Bell and Roberta Lynn with the Bell Boys doing the sappy, catchy number, “Talk About Love” were all part of a pledge drive that was carried on local television.
Nobody called during the first two songs. But suddenly, the proceeds started to roll in and as the Animals performed the closing number, they exceeded their goal!
Even though this movie that runs about 86 minutes does not have any chapter titles or even a true bonus featurette except for the actual trailer done with the familiar dust lines all around–the remastered version of Get Yourself A College Girl is indeed a fun movie, no matter what time of year.
And I usually think of Easter as both a happy and fun time of year, so why not give it some props?
From Chris Noel’s character talking about bikini sizes to and the overeagerness of the guys trying to run a business (we even get to see Sue Ann in a Bettie Page type portrait, how cute) and also seeing the women question why roles they really felt comfortable doing after graduating from college (as so we thought).
And so, with all apologies to the late great movie critic Roger Ebert, I give this movie 3 1/2 stars. Somewhere in the heavens, I saw even the late Gene Siskel flash his trademark thumbs up as well.
Next week, I will be profiling an up-and-coming MPB artist looking to make a name for herself in Gisele de Santi. Her sound is remarkable and hopefully this is just the beginning for this fresh sensation.
Please have a nice and safe holiday weekend, no matter how you celebrate (I am like one of our followers, I get to celebrate twice on the same day!) More good music to come in the weeks and days leading up to the “other” most popular sporting event outside of the United States, soccer/futbol’s FIFA World Cup. Take care.