C’mon, Let’s Live a Little (released 3 March 1967)
All-Star Productions — Paramount Pictures
Director: David Butler (1894 – 1979) final credit; TV director whose previous credit was The Girl He Left Behind (1956) with Natalie Wood and Tab Hunter
Writer: June Starr
‘Live a Little’: Youngsters’ Song Fest on Film Begins Run
By HOWARD THOMPSON
The New York Times. Published: May 4, 1967
“C’MON, LET’S LIVE A LITTLE.” Okay, let’s—a little. And don’t go swinging into a theater on the circuits, where this little Paramount rock ‘n’ roller opened yesterday, expecting art.
In some respects, the youthful jamboree is typical of its kind: inexpensive, in pretty color, with a silly plot and a bunch of All-American yearlings singing and twisting their young heads off. This one has a campus setting and a cast of recording favorites, headed by Bobby Vee and spiked with a couple of old-timers like Ethel Smith (minus her electric organ), and that long-absent imp, Patsy Kelly.
Idiotic? Perhaps. But it aims to please, and for the life of us we can’t see how it will harm teen-agers.
For one thing, the picture is clean—much cleaner, in fact, than a lot of rock ‘n’ roll rhythmic beach frolics that cloak on-the-brink sexuality in sunshine and surf. For another, some of the youngsters are genuinely appealing, especially Mr. Vee, as a spunky farmer student who weathers some cynical campus rabble-rousers, and Jackie De Shannon, who is very nice indeed as the dean’s comely daughter. Finally, the tunes that the youngsters and their pals warble and occasionally bellow are several cuts above average.
Mr. Vee has the best one, a jazzy pip (for all the rock ‘n’ roll trimmings) called “Instant Girl.” He also does a neat rendition of a plaintive folk ballad, “Over and Over.” Miss Shannon is right up with him in several numbers of her own. And a twittery, blonde eel named Susie Kaye raises the roof of the off-campus twist hangout with something that sounded like “Baker Man.” Anyway, the joint wobbled.
The villain is a dour lad who turns out to be John Ireland Jr. Another collegiate, a grinning redhead, is Eddie Hodges, out of knee pants and “The Music Man.” The host of that twist nitery is, of all people, Bo Belinsky, right off the baseball diamond. Darkly handsome in a tux, the pitcher has a bit of acting to do and does it. As for Miss Kelly—good old Patsy—the lady may be a bit long in the tooth now. Alas, she looks like Medea from Dublin. But that sassy growl can still split a shamrock at 20 paces.
As for “C’mon, Let’s Live a Little”—man, why not?