July 3, 2019

In 1964, when I was 13, I went to the movies to see "A Hard Day's Night," and it was a double feature.

The other movie — the movie I've chosen for 1964 in my "imaginary movie project" — was "For Those Who Think Young."

That poster says it's "The swingin'est young people's picture of the year," and I saw it immediately after that other "young people's picture," "A Hard Day's Night." Two entirely different visions of "young."

Compare Pamela Tiffin (who was was 22 in 1964) with Pattie Boyd (who was 20):

I made both of those screen grabs, and I can tell you Tiffin was done up like that for a day at the beach. Tiffin oozed maturity. Movies like this were called "beach party" movies, but her character was a college student who was continually attending to her studies and she was insistent that her boyfriend, the rich kid (James Darren), treat her with complete respect. Boyd played a schoolgirl whose role was to gawp at the Beatles and say her one line, "Prisoners?!"

Why didn't I pick "A Hard Day's Night" for my project? It fits the requirement that I need to have seen it in the theater when it came out. But I'd already rewatched "A Hard Day's Night" a time or 2, and I want to compare my original response with what I feel now, so... too much static. And there's something specific I remember about seeing "For Those Who Think Young" when I was 13: I enjoyed it more than "A Hard Day's Night."

But why? That's a mystery to solve. First, I loved Bob Denver. The show "Gilligan's Island" debuted in the fall of that year, but I knew him from my favorite TV show, "The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis," which was on from 1959 to 1963. I had a 8"x10" glossy photo — I'd sent in for it — of Denver as Maynard G. Krebs. I loved the beatnik character who questioned all of society's conventions — especially work.

Let me show you about 10 minutes of "For Those Who Think Young," beginning with the Bob Denver character. He's meditating, and this is 4 years before The Beatles took up Transcendental Meditation. This segment continues with some Tiffin/Darren interplay and reaches a peak with Bob Denver buried in the sand using his mouth in a way that I found gut-bustingly hilarious in 1964. And don't miss Nancy Sinatra:

Did you see that early #MeToo wokeness? Nancy hits Bob for kissing her in an entirely nonphysical way. The meditation is so strong.

The Bob Denver character, Kelp, is employed as Darren's assistant, and we see him running over to serve him and Tiffin some drinks in tall glasses. Before running off, Kelp then slips one of those glasses into his swimsuit pocket, where it bulges like an erection I didn't notice in '64.

The Darren character (Ding) inquires of his disapproving girlfriend, "What have I done?," and Tiffin snarks, "Oh, nothing since the day you were born! Need help? Yell for Kelp."

You know, Bob Dylan was not above rhyming "kelp" and "help":
Now the beach is deserted except for some kelp...
You always responded when I needed your help
That doesn't mean the dialogue in "For Those Who Think Young" is Nobelworthy. (By the way, the Jerry Lewis character in "The Nutty Professor" (1963) is also named Kelp — Professor Julius Kelp.)

I had to force myself to watch "For Those Who Think Young." The acting — most of it — was bad and the production values were very low. The pacing was not comical, and much of the story was about a nightclub comedian — Tiffin's uncle, Woody Woodbury — whose act was extremely popular with the college students, but it just wasn't funny at all. In the video above, scroll back to 20:55:00 to see some of this act. It's excruciating.

I enjoyed the priggish lady professor played by Ellen Burstyn. She's out to get the nightclub, which she thinks is a bad influence on the students, and she tries ordering fruit juice but ends up drinking a lot of booze — very amusingly, using a straw to elegant comic effect. If you watch this segment, you'll also get a lot of Tina Louise (singing badly and then dancing sexily) and some Paul Lynde (including his getting under the covers in bed with Woody), but the main thing I want you to see here is how wonderful Ellen Burstyn is:

Obviously, the entire movie is there on YouTube. I just highlighted the 2 best parts. It's not really a watchable movie. I know what I enjoyed at the time — that Bob Denver routine with his mouth upside down and a face painted on his chin. Childish high jinks. Now, all that delighted me was Ellen Burstyn. A decade later she won a Best Actress Oscar. But for then she was tucked away in a little role, making the most of a straw and the old comedy idea of unwittingly drinking an intoxicating beverage.

I really need to get around, at long last, to watching my DVD of "The Last Picture Show" (with Ellen Burstyn). Crazy to have that sitting on the shelf and be watching such a stupid thing as "For Those Who Think Young." But I did it for you, dear readers, for you and this imaginary movie project. And I'm 1/3 of the way through "Dr. Zhivago," so the task goes on.


Big Mike said...

Well, you’re right. I never would have guessed that one.

Thankfully, it wasn’t “Bikini Beach.”

gilbar said...

So, Professor Alhouse?
What's you feelings about
Tuesday Weld, and her character?
I assume they're way different than mine

rcocean said...

5.3 IMDB rating. Ouch. Aimed at teenagers. Yeah, its hard to maintain any interest. Its like a very long TV Sitcom. But Paul Lynde improves even the worst material. Hollywood was selling surfing and SoCal hard back in the early to mid 60s - most of the Hollywood/TV execs had money in LA Real Estate and wanted to make it as glamorous as possible.

Ken B said...

No Tina Louise pic??

Ann Althouse said...


You mean in "Dobie Gillis"?

She's hilarious. And to my eye one of the prettiest actresses in the history of TV — maybe the prettiest.

tcrosse said...

Back in the 1980's when Pinchas Zukerman was the music director of the St Paul Chamber Orchestra, he ditched his wife Eugenia to take up with Tuesday Weld. From time to time she would show up at concerts, and was absolutely stunning, although she had porked out considerably by that time. She was brilliant in Serial (1980), especially when one of the characters Comes Out to her, and she gets to say, "Straight or gay, you're still a cunt".

rcocean said...

Here's what the only External "Critic" of the film says about Burstyn:

"She has another faux feminist plotline as she starts out loathing Woodbury and plans on aiding the school in shutting down his comedy club. The club's owner offers her a fruit drink that has an obscene alcoholic content, leaving Woodbury to care for her overnight. Since he doesn't rape her, she naturally takes that as a sign that maybe he isn't that bad and a romantic engagement ensues.

The IMDB "External Critic" sees a lot of faux Feminism and Rape in the movie. You'll never see a SJW liking beach blanket bingo.

rcocean said...

I liked Dobie Gillis TV show, but a little went a long way. Its somewhat repetitive.

Ann Althouse said...

Check out Tuesday Weld in "Pretty Poison" (1968).

I'd like to rewatch that but it doesn't fit my project because I saw it a few years after it came out.

Ann Althouse said...

""She has another faux feminist plotline as she starts out loathing Woodbury and plans on aiding the school in shutting down his comedy club. The club's owner offers her a fruit drink that has an obscene alcoholic content, leaving Woodbury to care for her overnight. Since he doesn't rape her, she naturally takes that as a sign that maybe he isn't that bad and a romantic engagement ensues."

I kind of think Lynde and Woodbury are coded as a gay couple.

She's treated with complete respect and there isn't even any leering over the idea of doing anything sexual with her. And her interest in him isn't just from the lack of raping (or other sexual violation), it's that when she did some drinking in the club she was able to enjoy the comedy show. She was very humorless and repressive and with loosened inhibitions she saw the value of a night out. She was also shown — by Woody — that the club had a system of avoiding serving drinks to the underaged kids. So her idea of what was bad about the club was disproved and she saw that Woody was a funny comedian and an intelligent, warm guy.

It does show the value of alcohol as a disinhibiting agent.

The movie was extremely un-rape-y. The women controlled all the sexuality aimed at them, and the men never challenged their power. Only tried to woo them.

wildswan said...

"The longer I think, the drinker I get"

Isn't there phrase like that? Can't find it on Google which merely "finds" sites opposing drunkenness. I think Google's AI has picked up TDS from its masters and is getting more into dogma and less into "search" by the day. Soon it will rename itself "a find engine."

rcocean said...

Paul Lynde is always coded Gay. Its another reason he's so funny in "bye bye Birdie".

BUMBLE BEE said...

And Robert O'Rourke is tryin so hard to hide his Chatsworth Osborne Junior ass. Beto?

BUMBLE BEE said...

Paul Lynde and Rip Taylor were flamers!

gilbar said...

Pretty poison was my 1st experience with Tuesday, she's Why I watch Dobie
But her Dobie Character is perfect too
Every woman she plays is the perfect woman

gilbar said...

Tuesday was Also, The Only Good Thing
About looking for mr goodbar

Leland said...

For Althouse, you may be interested in this concept: Flashback cinema

For example, they had "The Sound of Music" from 1965 on Mother's Day.

Fitchburg 18 is a participating theater.

dreams said...

I always liked Tuesday Weld, she seemed so sweet and vulnerable in the movie Cincinnati Kid.

traditionalguy said...

The best part of seeing these old wild teenagers at the beach films was the perfect hair dos. That seemed so easy, and then the hippie drug culture came and perfect hair dos were never seen again.

traditionalguy said...

Have you reached the intermission yet in Doctor Zhivago? That was one hell of a sound track.

narciso said...

Pam tiffin was in Harper, and she played a significant role in that updated noir.

Dan Harris said...

I was 12 when I saw A Hard Days Night and my takeaway was I couldn't understand most of the dialogue. This left me confused because I certainly understood the singing.

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

Ken B said...
No Tina Louise pic??

met her at church. God has a weird sense of humor.
"Dear God, I want to meet Ginger!"
Sure, kid! Hahahahahahahah!

...decades later..

God: "What? You said you wanted to meet her! Well--there you go! Hahahahahahaa!"

Two-eyed Jack said...

I saw the movie on TV when I was 9 or 10 and loved Bob Denver in the scene you highlight. To my younger self it all seemed very adult.

mezzrow said...

work WORK? Just like tapping your knee with a rubber hammer. Who didn't love Maynard?

The Colorado capital was named for James William Denver, the great-great-grandfather of Bob Denver.

narciso said...

This is the Latin soap star from the 70s that I ran into 20 years later


readering said...

The youtube video is too fuzzy to tolerate. Too bad not on dvd. I enjoyed Tiffin in Harper and One Two Three so would like to see her here along with the other actresses. (Bob Denver did nothing for me on tv.)

I'm a big fan of Tuesday Weld, although she's depressing in 1983's Falling Down as the beautiful wife who can't handle aging out of her beauty.

A Hard Day's Night one of my all time favorites. When it pops up when scrolling I almost always stop for at least a while.

Narr said...

Maynard G. Krebs, oh hell yes! (My name scans the same, and my m.i. is G.) Loved that show.

"O my gosh golly!" Leo G. Kern as the comic wog, what a period peace.

Downright nostalgic

khematite said...

Until now, I never understood how the beach in "Sara" could be deserted "except for some kelp." How does the presence of some seaweed on a beach make it any less deserted? One might as well say that the beach was deserted except for some cigarette butts. But if Dylan meant the Bob Denver character, then it all begins to make sense. After all, are we not talking about a movie with Kelp on the beach.

Next question: In "Tangled Up in Blue," how is it possible for a person to thin out, unless we're these lines are an oblique Dylan reference to weight loss?

And later on as the crowd thinned out
I was just about to do the same

RBE said...

"Where the Boys Area" is my favorite beach movie. I also loved "A Summer Place" I have never heard of the movie "For Those Who Think Young" I'll have to check it out.

Molly said...


The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis--one of the greatest. The very great Max Shulman wrote The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, I Was a Teenage Dwarf, and Barefoot Boy with Cheek--I still have the paperbacks somewhere in this house.

narciso said...

That's as close as I've ever been to meeting a TV or movie star,

Ann Althouse said...

I didn’t watch it as a YouTube video. I rented it as streaming video on Amazon Prime. I guess I should have put up a link, but I didn’t think of anyone actually buying it.

Caroline said...

That’s Tina Sinatra, Nancy’s little sister. For reelz.

wild chicken said...

Def need subtitles on the Beatles movies.

But then I need them for every movie now.

Quaestor said...

Beach parties are what sharks evolved to prevent.

Yancey Ward said...

I was a Maryanne guy, but Ginger was hot.

eddie willers said...

So I saw the Pepsi dispensers in the nightclub scene.

Which came first... the movie or the Pepsi slogan?

PS. I couldn't wait. Wiki sez the company used the slogan from 61 to 64 and sponsored the movie.

eddie willers said...

Since you mentioned you were not a Steely Dan fan, you may have missed Don Fagan's marvelous ode to the late Fifties/early Sixties and the go-go generation: (line in second verse keeps this on topic...sorta)

New Frontier

Yes we're gonna have a wingding
A summer smoker underground
It's just a dugout that my dad built
In case the reds decide to push the button down
We've got provisions and lots of beer
The key word is survival on the new frontier

Introduce me to that big blonde
She's got a touch of Tuesday Weld
She's wearing Ambush and a French twist
She's got us wild and she can tell
She loves to limbo, that much is clear
She's got the right dynamics for the new frontier

Well I can't wait 'til I move to the city
'Til I finally make up my mind
To learn design and study overseas

Do you have a steady boyfriend
Cause honey I've been watching you
I hear you're mad about Brubeck
I like your eyes, I like him too
He's an artist, a pioneer
We've got to have some music on the new frontier

Let's pretend that it's the real thing
And stay together all night long
And when I really get to know you
We'll open up the doors and climb into the dawn
Confess your passion your secret fear
Prepare to meet the challenge of the new frontier

Yancey Ward said...

Wow, Tina Louise is still alive, but 85 now. Yikes!

Amexpat said...

How does the presence of some seaweed on a beach make it any less deserted?

Could be the kelp is something the singer relates to, personifies in such a way that he's feels he's not alone. Sort of like; "Well, the comic book and me, just us, we caught the bus".

Amexpat said...

Next question: In "Tangled Up in Blue," how is it possible for a person to thin out ....?
"And later on as the crowd thinned out
I was just about to do the same"

He's not leaving the club abruptly but is getting ready to emotionally disentangle himself from the scene he's in.

Roy Lofquist said...

No novocain for me. I'm trying to transcend dental medication.

Ann Althouse said...

"How does the presence of some seaweed on a beach make it any less deserted?"

Good question.

"Could be the kelp is something the singer relates to, personifies in such a way that he's feels he's not alone. Sort of like; "Well, the comic book and me, just us, we caught the bus."

That's the right answer.

Made me think of:

"Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse" and "Nobody here but us chickens."

It's a figure of speech...


"Sweethearts out for fun, pass me one by one
Guess I'll wind up like I always do, with only
Me and my shadow
Strolling down the avenue
Me and my shadow
Not a soul to tell our troubles to..."

Ann Althouse said...

"Well, the comic book and me, just us, we caught the bus."

Great retrieval from the junkpile of remembered Dylan lyrics.

Kay said...

Bob Denver’s beatnik schtick must not have been a total act, as he’d been arrested for marijuana possesion twice. Was sad to discover that he passed away in 2005. My brother dressed as Maynard G. Krebs for Halloween only a few years ago, but I was doubtful anyone would remember who that was. I’m glad some people still do. I feel as though I’ve seen this movie before, somehow, and I’m feeling tempted to watch all these movies along with our hostess.

Char Char Binks, Esq. said...

The best thing about the movie is Mousie, played by Paul "Mousie" Garner.

F said...

I grew up in California around this time and the beach party scene in the movie was so absurd to watch. Surfers were either out on the water, or carrying their boards back to their cars. Their girl friends lounged on their beach towels working on their tans. No one ever yelled “surf’s up” because we could all see the surf and hear the big waves when they crashed onto the shore. There were parties on the beach but they were after sunset, when it was too dark to surf. The parties were pretty tame affairs for the simple reason: you only have sex on the beach once in your life because it turns out that sand and sex do not mix.

Rory said...

"I feel as though I’ve seen this movie before, somehow..."

Denver was in another beach bum movie, The Sweet Ride.

Char Char Binks, Esq. said...

Kelp groped her chakra. That's tantamount to tantric rape.

AndrewV said...

I ran into this movie a few months ago on TCM, so I Googled it then. It turns out the title, For Those Who Think Young, was Pepsi Cola's advertising slogan back in 1964. According to Wikipedia PepsiCo had financed a large part of the movie, so basicly it was a two hour ad for their Cola.

Roger Sweeny said...

"Now it's Pepsi
In new half quart size."

Interesting how the soft drink industry has standardized on 3/8 quart for cans and 5/8 quart for individual bottles. Closest to a half quart is the ubiquitous 500 milliliter bottled water (=.528 quarts).

Bilwick said...

"For Those Who Think Young" is an interesting (not the same as "good," mind you) movie with some weird stuff: "It's Woody Weeding Time" and Denver's Senor Wences shtik where his head is mostly buried in the sand and the camera shoots him upside-down. (It's hard for me to describe but I'm sure it's on YouTube.) But the main good thing it has going for it is Pamela Tiffin. I never paid much attention to her back in the day, but when I saw her in this movie all I could think was "Wow."

Heartless Aztec said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Heartless Aztec said...

Heartless Aztec said...
I haven't read the upstream commenters but I'll comment at risk. To enjoy "Hard Day's Night" you have to decipher Liverpudlian. They were famous for speaking in opposites. And they were consistent in that from begining until the credits ran. Hard for a 13 year old to pick up. I was in my 20's before an English friend clued me in. She also thoroughly enjoyed doing the Carolina shag. But that's another story.