Wild for Kicks (1960)


Beat Girl goes where few American JD’s films dare to go. It comments on the nature of revolt, the need for revolt and the reasons for revolt. In one scene, when “the gang” are hanging out in a cave-like nightclub, the kids begin to talk about their experiences during the Blitz, their disgust with their middle-class conservative parents and their boredom with everyday life. These are not the typical American “young thrill seekers” of the 50’s and 60’s, moralistically raised by immoral parents. These are the burnt out products of modern society, angry at a world that offers them nothing of any meaning. More shocking is the reaction the the Beat Girl’s father to his new wife’s past life-he is horrified, and mad at having been deceived into thinking he was marrying a “nice French girl”. He has no sympathy or imagination-if she was a stripper, she must have been a tramp. His incapacity to love her unconditionally compares to the emotionless “love” he expresses for his daughter. On the whole, this is social commentary of the first degree.