College Confidential (1960)

Genres - Drama  |   Run Time - 91 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Craig Butler

If you believe that Elisha Cook Jr. could possibly sire someone that would grow up to be Mamie van Doren, then you may be the audience that College Confidential is looking for. Most people, however, are unwilling to suspend their disbelief to the extent that most of College requires. College is a bad movie, but it's also one of those bad movies that certain viewers will enjoy laughing at and will forgive the film its barrage of inanities because they do up the enjoyment quotient. Those who are more serious about their cinema will probably not be able to get in on the joke, too distressed by the abysmal screenplay and the waste of a cast that, if not exactly stellar, does deserve at least a little better than this; after all, what team of actors can be expected to pull off a climactic trial scene in a grocery store? Van Doren probably comes off best, having made a career of films of this sort, but Steve Allen and Jayne Meadows are shown to the worst possible advantage. Allen especially suffers, coming across as shrill, pedantic, preachy, and unbelievable -- and, because the script requires him to do his anger schtick so often -- rather boring. Albert Zugsmith's direction could be called straight and to the point by the charitable, or unimaginative and repetitive by the irritable. And that pretty much sums up one's reaction to College Confidential -- those in tune with its badness will excuse its flaws, those not in the mood will be much better off clicking to a different channel as soon as possible.