- Title: Where the Boys Are
- Year: 1960
- Duration: 1h 39m
- Rating: 6,7
- Genres: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Click to Watch
Summary Where the Boys Are (1960)
Four very different college girls drive to Fort Lauderdale, Florida for spring break and seek out various adventures and romance for themselves.
Merritt, Melanie, Tuggle and Angie are four Midwestern college co-eds who travel to Fort Lauderdale, Florida for their spring vacation and we follow the episodic series of adventures and romance they all get into with some college guys they meet.
Good girls Merritt, Melanie, Tuggle and Angie – all students at mid-western Penmore University – are planning on going to Fort Lauderdale, Florida for spring break to get away from the mid-western snow despite not having much money to spend once there. On the drive down, they admit their real purpose is to go where the boys are. The statuesque 5’10½” tall Tuggle just wants to find someone who won’t be intimidated by her height. Because of her size, she sees herself as a “baby-making factory” – only if it is under legal circumstances. She meets the tall but kooky TV (so named because of his want to work in television), who is more interested in sex than he is in matrimony. Tomboy and perpetual fourth wheel Angie ends up with esoteric musician Basil more out of circumstance than want, but Angie tries to find some common ground with him. Naive Melanie is the extreme romantic, who dreams of being swept off her feet and proposed to by an Ivy Leaguer. She gets half her wish when she meets a bunch of Yale boys, but she soon finds out that romance in spring break Fort Lauderdale may not be all that she envisions. And bright but academically underachieving Merritt has the most liberal views about the entire male-female mating ritual, she who believes in living together before marriage and premarital sex, only however with someone you love. She catches the eye of the wealthy Ryder Smith, also an Ivy Leaguer attending Brown, with who she may test her views.
Four girls head south for spring break in the hope of having fun in the sun and meeting lots of boys. Merritt is the most free thinking of the group soon meets an Ivy League senior who also happens to be very, very rich. Tuggle’s main challenge in life is that she is probably the tallest girl at her school but may have found her soul mate in the form of the even taller TV Thompson. Angie is looking for any boy who might think she’s attractive and focuses her chances on a oddball musician, Basil. Finally, there’s Melanie the youngest who is away from home from the first time in her life and is the first of the group to hook up with someone. She’s mixed up with a bad crowd however and she is assaulted. All of the young women learn something about fife from their trip.
Synopsis Where the Boys Are (1960)
One blustery winter day at a nameless Midwestern university, as undergraduate freshman Merritt Andrews (Dolores Hart) and her colleague Melanie Coleman (Yvette Mimieux) attend a lecture on the dangers of random dating, Merritt asks the teacher to seriously discuss whether a girl should have sex before marriage. Appalled by Merritt’s candor, the teacher sends her to Dean Caldwell, who warns Merritt that although her IQ is high, her faltering grades and misconduct in class might be grounds for expulsion. Although she needs to study, Merritt decides to join Melanie and friends Tuggle Carpenter (Paula Prenttess) and Angie (Connie Francis) on their spring break in sunny Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where thousands of college boys and girls go to vacation.
As they drive south, the girls pick up hitchhiker TV Thompson (Jim Hutton), a tall, outlandish dresser and junior student from Michigan State University to whom tall Tuggle takes an immediate liking, because her only requirement for a date is that he be taller than her (Tuggle is 5’10” while TV is at least 6’4″). When the girls arrive at the Fairview apartments to find a group of Ivy League boys, or “Yalies,” rooming there as well, Melanie quickly entices neighbor Dill (John Brennan) into a date.
Also, a running joke used throughout the film is that every night other college girls, who cannot afford the high motel rates, crash on the floor at Merritt, Melanie, Tuggle and Angie’s motel room, which gets crowded with each passing night from the four of them to six, to seven to over a dozen.
The next day on the beach, Dill spends time alone with Melanie, while Tuggle runs into TV who takes her on the town where they listen to radio police reports with a stolen police scanner radio that TV has, and talk about all the college kids’ ridiculous pranks. They then go for a drink at the famous Elbow Room bar using a fake ID. But when the talk turns to about sex, Tuggle does everything she can to change the subject since she is still apparently a virgin.
Later that evening, after TV laments that he has a hard time interesting women, the sympathetic Tuggle discloses that she likes him but refuses his advances when he suggests they have sex. Meanwhile, Melanie returns home from her date, having asked Dill to keep their lovemaking a secret. The next morning, Melanie grows excited about her prospects with Dill and reminds the girls that a college couple met and got married during their spring break. Merritt corrects her, explaining that though they met over spring break, the couple married only in October just before the girl was due to give birth to their child.
When Melanie goes to meet with Dill, she instead meets his roommate Franklin (Rory Harrity) who tells her that Dill has left town to meet with his father in Ft. Myers on business. Franklin, however, invites Melanie to spend time with him.
Later on the beach, the girls, Merritt, Tuggle and Angie discuss their futures. Tuggle wants to quit school and become a “walking talking baby factory” with TV, while Angie just wants a date. Merritt shows no interest in men until suave Brown University senior named Ryder Smith (George Hamilton) approaches invites her out for a cocktail. On their date at an upscale bar, Merritt becomes defensive about her Midwestern background, but Ryder suggests that “sophistication” is how you think about things, not where you come from. Intrigued by his intelligence, Merritt joins the wealthy Ryder on his grandfather’s yacht where she explains her classifications for boys: “Sweepers try to sweep you off your feet. Strokers use soft caresses to seduce you. Subtles quote erotic literature to entice you”. Ryder assumes Merritt speaks from experience, but Merritt fails to tell him that her vast experience dating has been without sex.
The next day, Merritt, Tuggle and Angie run into an experimental jazz band whom performs “dialectic jazz” at the Elbow Room bar and offers free beer to anyone who wants to listen. After the eccentric band leader, Basil Demotomes (Frank Gorshin), is rejected by both Tuggle and Merritt, he turns to Angie, who is overjoyed to finally have a date.
That evening after another date together, Ryder tries to convince Merritt that sex is only a matter of everyday “personal relations,” but Merritt refuses his advances. In trying to persuade Merritt to have sex with him out of love, he claims that they can have sex “after they become better acquainted. Most marriages go on the rocks because people aren’t better acquainted” something that Merritt told her professor earlier. She insists that Ryder take her home and he does.
Later that night, a drunken Melanie returns to the hotel room and announces to Merritt and Tuggle that she is in love with a new man, Franklin. She so drunk and unruly that Merritt and Tuggle have to hold her head under a faucet to calm her down.
The next day, when the hung-over Melanie gets into a minor argument with Merritt who recalls that Merritt had supported sex before marriage during the school lecture, Merritt tells her it was not advice for young, drunk kids. Feeling sorry for Melanie, Merritt invites her to spend the day with her and Ryder aboard his grandfather’s yacht despite that Melanie’s third-wheel presence will hamper her romantic plans with him. After finding Franklin not around, Melanie accepts Merritt’s invite.
Later that day, while taking the two girls out in the canals around Ft. Lauderdale on the yacht, Melanie just sits around silently while Ryder professes to Merritt that though he has told many women that he “loves” them, he actually likes Merritt.
Later that night while the jazz group plays, Angie succeeds in attracting Basil’s attention by singing her own catchy lyrics to his composition (‘Turn on the Sunshine’). Meanwhile, the love struck Melanie returns from another date with Franklin only to find out here that Franklin does not consider their relationship to be special and suggests an impulsive marriage would be silly.
The next day, with only days left in their vacation, all of the guys and girls agree to go out for a night on the town to bring their vacation to a fine close. While getting dressed to get ready to go out with their respective boyfriends, Merritt, Tuggle and Angie discuss their chances of getting a marriage proposal without giving up their chastity while they prepare for a triple date together. Despite Merritt’s attempts to include her, Melanie insists on staying home to wait for Franklin’s call. After the group leaves, Melanie phones Franklin’s room where a wild party with some frat guys is taking place. Franklin tells Melanie to meet her later tonight at a motel where they had been meeting for the last few days.
Ryder takes the group to the Tropical Isle nightclub, where Basil breaks his thick-lens-ed eyeglasses and spends the rest of the movie stumbling around claiming to be blind. Things take another humorous turn when a drunken TV cannot resist stage entertainer Lola (Barbara Nichols), who performs underwater acrobatic tricks in a large tank. When TV jumps in the tank with Lola, Tuggle, knowing TV cannot swim, jumps in after him. Soon Merritt, Angie, Ryder and Basil have fallen in the tank attempting to save one another. The police soon arrive and arrest everyone.
At the police station, after the police chief (Chill Wills) dismiss the restaurants charges against them, the group have a beach party, where TV is once again seduced by Lola’s dancing. When jealous Tuggle hears TV use the same line on Lola as he did on her, she interrupts, but TV yells at her to leave them alone.
Meanwhile, Melanie waits for Franklin to show up at an arranged motel room, only to find Dill showing up and announces he is replacing Franklin, she realizes the boys are using her and tries unsuccessfully to fight him off. Dill then forces himself upon Melanie (off-camera)
After Tuggle arrives back at the motel, Melanie, traumatized by the rape, calls Tuggle, but she cannot speak in a coherent voice and mumbles wanting to speak to Merritt… and only Merritt. Back at the beach party, Merritt is almost ready to give up her virginity in the heat of passion with Ryder, when they run into Tuggle who asks them to help her find Melanie. As Melanie, Ryder and Tuggle drive in Ryder’s car towards the motel in nearby Silver Beach from which Melanie has phoned, they see her wandering on the traffic-filled road (clearly attempting suicide) where she is sideswiped by a car. After Ryder saves her life and pulls her from traffic, they take Melanie to a hospital for her injuries, where Merritt chastises Ryder for being like all boys who think girls exist merely to please boys. After giving his statement to a policeman, Ryder leaves the hospital dejected.
Alone with Merritt, Melanie laments her mistake and caustically says the boys were not even “Yalies,” (both Dill and Franklin having lied to Melanie about attending Yale) l prompting Merritt to cry in shame. TV arrives at the hospital soon after to reassure Tuggle that he only wants to be by her side. He claims that he was faithful and nothing happened between him and Lola.
The next day TV, Basil, Angie and Tuggle leave for home, while Merritt remains to care for Melanie until she can return to her parents. As she wonders the now deserted Fort Lauderdale beach alone, Merritt runs into Ryder once again where they talk about the other night and she finally doubts her own resolve about chastity, but Ryder assures her that she is too strong to succumb. Merritt responds that no girl is strong in the face of what she thinks is love. When they both cautiously offer that they might be in love, Ryder asks her to come to his Brown graduation and continue their relationship. They kiss and walk off down the beach together.
Click to Watch