The Beatniks (film)

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The Beatniks
Poster of The Beatniks (film).jpg
Directed by Paul Frees
Produced by Edward Heite
Ron Miller
Written by Paul Frees
Arthur Julian
Starring See below
Cinematography Murray De Atley
Edited by Harold White
Running time 78 minutes
Country United States
Language English

The Beatniks is a 1960 American film directed by Paul Frees. It was also featured on the movie-mocking program Mystery Science Theater 3000.


Eddy Crane is the leader of a gang that robs small businesses for petty cash. At one point his gang accosts the broken-down car of a music business executive, Harry Bayliss. Afterwards Bayliss wishes to call a tow truck, so he goes into the eatery where Eddy's gang is celebrating. Bayliss overhears Eddy singing to the jukebox and offers him a chance to audition for his variety program. Eddy accepts, passes his audition, and is given a spot on television. Eddy sings a two-minute song that is apparently stupendously successful, with Bayliss calling Eddy an 'overnight sensation' and prophesying an astounding rise to fame, complete with a hit record, 'a guest spot on every top show,' and eventually culminating with 'The Eddy Crane Show.' Atop Eddy's newfound success, he also immediately begins making advances at Bayliss's secretary, Helen Tracy, in preference over his long-suffering girlfriend, Iris.

The specter of Eddy's stardom raises dissension among his gang, who wish either to accompany him unquestionably on his ascent, or to hold him back in their ranks. Iris is also jealous of Helen, with whom Eddy has been carrying on an affair. Helen eventually professes her love for Eddy. But one of Eddy's gang members, Moon, commits a murder, threatening to drag Eddy down by association. Moon runs from the police, but is tracked down by Eddy, who delivers him for arrest. With this he also definitively separates himself from the rest of his gang and from Iris, but also destroys his prospects for a career as a singer with his own arrest.



Songs for The Beatniks were written by songwriter Eddie Brandt and director Paul Frees.

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