Because They're Young
|Because They're Young|
|Directed by||Paul Wendkos|
|Written by||James Gunn|
|Based on||Harrison High|
by John Farris
|Produced by||Jerry Bresler|
|Cinematography||Wilfred M. Cline|
|Edited by||Chester W. Schaeffer|
|Music by||John Williams|
Jerry Bresler Productions
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures|
Because They're Young is a 1960 American drama film starring Dick Clark as Neil Hendry, an American high school teacher who tries to make a difference in the lives of his students. The film co-starred Tuesday Weld, Michael Callan, Warren Berlinger, Roberta Shore, Doug McClure, and Victoria Shaw. It was directed by Paul Wendkos. The screenplay was based on Harrison High, a 1959 novel by John Farris.
Musicians Duane Eddy and James Darren had cameo roles in the movie, whose title song became the biggest hit record of Eddy's career. Though not appearing himself, Bobby Rydell's "Swingin' School" was featured prominently in the movie's soundtrack.
A crusading high school teacher tries to help his troubled students.
- Dick Clark – Neil Hendry
- Michael Callan – Griff Rimer
- Tuesday Weld – Ann Gregor
- Victoria Shaw – Joan Dietrich
- Roberta Shore – Ricky Summers
- Warren Berlinger – Buddy McCalla
- Doug McClure – Jim
- Linda Watkins – Frances McCalla
- Chris Robinson – Patcher
- Rudy Bond – Chris
- Wendell Holmes – Principal Donlan
- Philip Coolidge – Mr. Rimer
- Bart Patton – Kramer
- Stephen Talbot – Eric
- James Darren – Himself
- Shirley Mitchell – Mrs. Summers
- Duane Eddy and the Rebels – Themselves
The novel Harrison High was published in 1959 when John Farris, the author, was 22. He wrote it when 20 while a student at the University of Missouri; it was based on his high school experiences in Memphis, Tennessee. ("Harrison High" though was fictional.)
The New York Times book reviewer said it was like "an interminable adolescent bull session."
"Most pictures about teenagers are wrong", said Clark. "They are older people's concepts of how teenagers act... I doubt if there ever can be a truly honest portrayal in films. Not all girls are beautiful and all boys handsome, as they are in films... [But] the script is fairly true to life. Most teenagers are normal."
The cast included several young actors under contract to Columbia including Michael Callan. Warren Berlinger had just been in Blue Denim.
Filming started 12 August 1959.
The campus and classroom scenes were shot at Hoover High School in Glendale, California; most of that school's buildings were later torn down and replaced with a more contemporary look in the mid-1960s to comply with California's building codes for schools.
Clark later wrote in his memoirs that making the film was "an extraordinary experience. Columbia really laid it on; they rented a house in Bel-Air owned by Mercedes McCambridge, provided a maid, a butler and a chauffeur, and gave me a hundred dollars a day in expenses." While in Los Angeles he presented a show, "A Salute to Dick Clark".
The Los Angeles Times called the film "an agreeable surprise."
The film did not make Varietys list of top earners for 1960.
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