High Times (1960)

I first watched this early Blake Edwards film (1960) the summer before I started university (1975). Its depiction of college life was quite unlike what I would encounter at USC and not just because the film was made 15 years before. The movie stars the inimitable Bing Crosby as a wealthy fast-food restaurant magnate who decides to earn his college degree. He moves into a dormitory on campus where one on his roommates is played by the then stud du jour Fabian. (Yes, there is singing.) Bing wears a frosh's beanie, gets the hots for and dates his French teacher (Nicole Maurey), pledges a fraternity and hangs out with a hippie free spirit played by Tuesday Weld, who I think is studying anthropology. (None of which I did.) And, predictably, he gives the commencement speech at the end of the film. (Ditto.) It's all harmless, colorful fun and for those of us whose college experience was quite different is a little like visiting another planet. (Which will be another of my holiday film recommendations later.) This film has only recently been available on disc. Recommended.


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