The Beatniks (film)

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The Beatniks
Poster of The Beatniks (film).jpg
Directed byPaul Frees
Produced byEdward Heite
Ron Miller
Written byPaul Frees
Arthur Julian
StarringSee below
CinematographyMurray De Atley
Edited byHarold White
Running time
77 minutes
CountryUnited States

The Beatniks is a 1960 American crime film in the teensploitation genre[1] 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. Afterward Bayliss wishes to call a tow truck, so he goes into the diner 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, kills a fat barkeep, 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.


  • Tony Travis as Eddy Crane
  • Karen Kadler as Iris
  • Peter Breck as Bob 'Moon' Mooney
  • Joyce Terry as Helen Tracy
  • Bob Wells as Chuck
  • Sam Edwards as Red
  • Charles Delaney as Harry Bayliss (final role)
  • Stanley Farrar as Mr. Ray Morrissey
  • Claude Stroud as The Hotel Manager
  • Martha Wentworth as Nadine (Iris' Mother)
  • Bob Pacquin as The Hotel Detective
  • Frank Worth as Gus, the bartender


The film was shot in 1958 under the title of Sideburns and Sympathy.[2] In 1958 it was announced the film was to have been produced by Elmer Carl Rhodan Jr. (1922-1959).[3] In addition to producing teen exploitation films[4] such as Daddy-O, The Cool and the Crazy (both 1958), The Delinquents (1957) and Corn's-A-Poppin' (1956),[5][6] Rhodan was the son of the owner of the Midwestern Commonwealth Theatre chain,[7] but died in 1959.


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


  1. ^ Thomas, Bryan. ""The Beatniks": Hollywood hoodlums on a rock 'n' roll rampage that has absolutely nothing to do with beatniks". www. Retrieved 14 August 2019. External link in |website= (help)
  2. ^
  3. ^ p.4 Galaxy Science Fiction Volume 16 World Editions, 1958
  4. ^ P. 27 The Daily Courier Connellsville, Pennsylvania February 27, 1958
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ pp. 79-80 Zuckoff, Mitchell Robert Altman Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 20 Oct 2009

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