|High School Confidential|
|Directed by||Jack Arnold|
|Produced by||Albert Zugsmith|
|Written by||Robert Blees|
|Starring||Mamie Van Doren|
John Drew Barrymore
Jerry Lee Lewis
|Music by||Albert Glasser|
|Cinematography||Harold J. Marzorati|
|Edited by||Ben Lewis|
High School Confidential is a 1958 crime drama film directed by Jack Arnold, starring Mamie Van Doren, Russ Tamblyn, Jan Sterling, John Drew Barrymore, Jackie Coogan, Diane Jergens and Michael Landon.
The film also features a cameo by Jerry Lee Lewis who opens the movie singing a song of the same name, which Lewis co-wrote with Ron Hargrave. Lewis released the title track as a Sun Records 45 single which became a Top 40 hit, reaching #21 in the Billboard charts. The film is listed in Golden Raspberry Award founder John Wilson's book The Official Razzie Movie Guide as one of The 100 Most Enjoyably Bad Movies Ever Made.
Mike Wilson, a young police officer, poses as a student under the alias Tony Baker and thus infiltrates a high school in order to investigate a narcotics ring. He lives in an apartment with Gwen Dulaine, a married woman who pretends to be his aunt in public but attempts to seduce him in private.
"Tony" flirts with pupil Joan Staples and incurs the wrath of teacher Arlene Williams as he makes acquaintances in school. He discovers that Joan uses marijuana and inquires about where she purchases it. He ultimately learns that a mysterious man known only as "Mr. A" is the one who sells drugs to the students, helped by an assistant called Bix.
With help from an undercover cop, Quinn, who risks his life to save Mike's, the criminals are apprehended and Joan promises Mike that her drug use is over.
- Russ Tamblyn as Tony Baker/Mike Wilson
- Jan Sterling as Arlene Williams
- John Drew as J. I. Coleridge
- Diane Jergens as Joan Staples
- Mamie Van Doren as Gwen Dulaine
- Jerry Lee Lewis as Himself
- Ray Anthony as Bix
- Jackie Coogan as Mr. 'Mr. A' August
- Charles Chaplin, Jr. as Quinn
- Michael Landon as Steve Bentley
- Lyle Talbot as William Remington Kane
- Robin Raymond as Kitty
The film was based on an original script by Lewis Meltzer. It was produced by Albert Zugsmith, the first of a six-picture deal he had signed with MGM. MGM would get 75% of the profits, Zugmsith 25%.
In January 1958 Russ Tamblyn, who had just made tom Thumb was assigned to star. Filming started February 1958.
According to MGM records the film earned $1,290,000 in the US and Canada and $625,000 elsewhere, resulting in a profit of $578,000. However, the follow up films Zugsmith made for the studio, including The Beat Generation and Platinum High School, lost money.
In popular culture
This film is sampled on White Zombie's album La Sexorcisto: Devil Music, Vol. 1 on four separate occasions. The "Do you want to start a rumble?" conversation, the "Drop it, buster!" line, the "tomorrow's a drag" poem, and the Columbus speech ("the only thing square about this world...").
- The Eddie Mannix Ledger, Los Angeles: Margaret Herrick Library, Center for Motion Picture Study.
- Crouse, Richard (2003-09-01). The 100 Best Movies You've Never Seen. ECW Press. p. 115. ISBN 1-550-22590-1.
- Denisoff, R. Serge; Romanowski, William D. (1990). Risky Business: Rock in Film. Transaction Publishers. p. 96. ISBN 0-887-38843-4.
- Havers, Richard; Evans, Richard (2010-04-01). The Golden Age of Rock 'N' Roll. Book Sales Inc. p. 76. ISBN 0-785-82625-4.
- Wilson, John (2005). The Official Razzie Movie Guide: Enjoying the Best of Hollywood's Worst. Grand Central Publishing. ISBN 0-446-69334-0.
- Universal Pictures, Trying to Erase Loss, Joins in Switch to Independent Producers By STANLEY W. PENN Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL. W10 July 1958: 7.
- JULIE LONDON CAST WITH GARY COOPER New York Times 16 Jan 1958: 32.
- ROLE AS CO-STAR FOR MEL FERRER . New York Times 5 Mar 1958: 36.