Because They're Young is a 1960 American drama film directed by Paul Wendkos and 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-stars Tuesday Weld, Michael Callan, Warren Berlinger, Roberta Shore, Doug McClure and Victoria Shaw. The screenplay was based on Harrison High, a 1959 novel by John Farris.
|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|
Musicians Duane Eddy and James Darren appear in cameo roles, and the film's title song became the biggest hit record of Eddy's career. Bobby Rydell's "Swingin' School" is featured prominently in the film's soundtrack, though Rydell does not appear in the film.
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 its author John Farris was 22. He wrote it at the age of 20 while a student at the University of Missouri, and it was based on his high-school experiences in Memphis, though Harrison High is fictional.
The New York Times likened the book to "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."
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."
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