Born Wild (1968)

Born Wild (released 11 December 1968)
American International Pictures
Director: Maury Dexter
Writer: James Gordon White

Girls: Patty McCormack, David Macklin

Boys: Tom Nardini, Joanna Frank, Zooey Hall

Violence Sets Pace for ‘Born Wild’
The New York Times, December 12, 1968

AMERICAN International Pictures’ youth-oriented film bag, which already contains everything from bikini belles and motorbiking Hell’s Angels to standard monsters, now has another bargain-priced, glib commentary on the time in “Born Wild,” which crashed into local theaters yesterday. As a fictional footnote to history it is long on pointless violence and torrid talk while it pays lip service to a Mexican-American student strike for equality with their gringo high school mates. Call it decidedly short on education in every way.

James Gordon White’s script perfunctorily acknowledges the serious theme to concentrate on needless fights between opposing teenage camps, bloody beatings, a rape, endless auto chases, a couple of loud, meaningless rock numbers by the American Revolution and a scenically interesting but mindless climactic battle in an airplane junkyard.

Tom Nardini, as the good Mexican-American strike leader seeking a peaceful solution; David Macklin, as his vicious opposite number; Patty McCormack, as Nardini’s vacuously sympathetic white girl friend and Russ Bender, as an unctuously bigoted teacher, flunk miserably in struggling with the rudimentary dialogue and Maury Dexter’s mechanical direction.

“Born Wild,” which originally was more appropriately titled “The Young Animals” was filmed in color but it is colorless.