Where the Boys Are

(MGM, 1960)

Director -- Henry Levin. Starring -- Dolores Hart, George Hamilton, Yvette Mimieux, Jim Hutton, Barbara Nichols, Paula Prentiss, Connie Francis, Frank Gorshin, Chill Wills.

Dolores Hart joined a convent and became a Catholic nun only a couple of years after making this sexy picture, so what else is there to say? Seriously, this little tragicomedy made film history, becoming the biggest-grossing low-budget film in MGM's history to that time, making all its young actors movie stars, giving Connie Francis her biggest hit ever with Neil Sedaka's theme song, and finally becoming the Granddaddy of all the lesser "beach pictures" to follow.

Story's about four teenage girls on their first spring vacation from a wintery Midwest college driving down to Ft. Lauderdale hoping to meet Ivy League boys for some sun, suds, and fun. Most of the cast was "discovered" in this film and many went on to successful acting careers, especially George Hamilton, Jim Hutton and Paula Prentiss. The pace moves, the comedy's funny, and one quickly sees why Where The Boys Are became more than a movie, but a national phenomenon instead, the predecessor of every MTV spring break special to follow. George Wells' adept adaptation only covers the first half of Glendon's famous novel, however. In the second half of the book, the college kids help raise money to pay for guns to smuggle out on a yacht for Fidel Castro to help him with his Cuban revolution!

A huge hit and one of the seminal films of the Sixties.


"High comedy, romance galore and a case of heartbreak are in this unique movie made by Joe Pasternak for MGM. There is a wonderful cast of young players, some experienced, some not, who under Pasternak's paternal supervision and Henry Levin's knowing direction put vitality and reality into the characters they portray . . . Dialogue is just right, natural and bright. Even though the movie is loaded with laughs, it has a serious undertone and subtle advice to college girls on a lark." Wanda Hale, New York Herald Tribune

"Potential box office whopper on basis of unusually strong appeal for young people. Showcase for several of Hollywood's more promising younger players . . . Producer Joe Pasternak deserves a thank-you for giving all this young talent an opportunity to show off. He'll be all the better for it when the returns are in. This one has smash potential." Variety

"As for the new faces, they are a very competent bunch, and the best is also the newest of the lot: that of tall, young Paula Prentiss, who is making her professional debut but can already toss off a funny line with as little strain as Roslind Russell before she discovered costumes. Summing Up: Two cheers for the team." Newsweek

". . . a travel-poster panorama of fresh young faces, firm young bodies and good old Florida sunshine. Time

"The quintessential teen vacation film, Where The Boys Are helped make Easter in Fort Lauderdale de rigueur for thousands of college students . . . This film has spawned countless imitations over the years, including a recent remake, but this is the granddaddy of them all." Z Cable TV Guide

Where the Boys Are '84

(Tri-Star, 1984)

Director -- Hy Averback. Starring -- Lisa Hartman, Lorna Luft, Lynn-Holly Johnson, Russell Todd, Alana Stewart.

This box office bomb was an embarrassment to all involved, with producer Allan Carr almost turning it into the first gay beach picture, what with all the male bun shots in skimpy bathing suits. Bad reviews killed this bad movie right out of the chute, and the Swarthouts had absolutely nothing to do with it, nor did any of the original film's stars, luckily. Remake rights were purchased by Carr from the original producer, Joe Pasternak, and Glendon only received a modest payment and token credit for writing the original novel, buried in the end credits. He didn't mind much, considering the way this disaster turned out.


"Where the Boys Are '84 (rated R for considerable raunchiness) is yet another in the never-ending series of misbegotten remakes." Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times

"Tame update . . . Where the Boys Are '84 is a film with modest expectations and even on those terms it's a bit disappointing . . . Picture still doesn't totally deliver on its promise of a good time. Maybe a more authentic sounding rock soundtrack would have helped. The girls, too, seem a bit old for the college life. Or maybe nostalgia just isn't what it used to be." Variety