SEX KITTENS GO TO COLLEGE (1960)
(a.k.a. THE BEAUTY AND THE ROBOT)
Article #1438 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 2-20-2005
Posting Date: 7-20-2005
Directed by Albert Zugsmith
Featuring Mamie Van Doren, Tuesday Weld, Mijanou Bardot
A robot chooses the new head of the science department, a woman with an IQ of 268 who just happens to look like Mamie Van Doren. Hilarity ensues.
Let’s face it; with a title like SEX KITTENS GO TO COLLEGE and a director like Albert Zugsmith, you won’t be expecting anything along the lines of CITIZEN KANE. Therefore, I can honestly say that this one didn’t catch me off guard, especially given the fact that I knew the basic premise of the movie ahead of time. It’s bad, but no worse than I thought it would be; in fact, it may be a hair better, though this should be balanced out by the fact that I thought this would be really bad.
Still, bad doesn’t necessarily mean immemorable, and there are several things here I that I won’t forget. Such as –
– Seeing Jackie Coogan engaging in a W. C. Fields impersonation.
– Watching Brigitte Bardot’s sister Mijanou coming on strong to a gangster called Legs Raffertino in order to do scientific research.
– Watching John Carradine do the Charleston with Mamie Van Doren.
– Watching John Carradine do the tango with Mamie Van Doren.
– Watching John Carradine, Louis Nye, Jackie Coogan and Irwin Berke engaging in the same sexy dance moves being used by Mamie Van Doren which ends with a kick line on top of the bar.
– Watching the augmentation of the above kick line by the addition of a monkey.
– Watching Tuesday Weld con Woo Woo Grabowski out of his fraternity pin by telling him she needs to fix her bra strap of else she’ll “fall to pieces”.
The movie also features a full-figure bra saleswoman, a robot called S.A.M. Thinko, a gangster who mistakenly keeps a violin in his violin case, Martin Milner, Conway Twitty and Vampira.
So who gives the best comic performance here? I’d pick Woo Woo Grabowski as the captain of the football team who faints every time Mamie Van Doren is around because he can’t handle the opposite sex. His line to Tuesday Weld is priceless, to wit—”It’s too bad you’re not a guy. Then we could have some fun together.”
Incidentally, IMDB lists this movie at 94 minutes. My print runs 101 minutes. I suspect this is because a seven-minute sequence in the middle of the movie which features several topless dancers in quick succession was added after the fact. The reason I believe this was added after the fact is that only two of the regular cast members appear in this sequence with them, and they’re the two who would seem to me to be the least likely to object to appearing in these scenes; namely, the robot and the monkey.