Tuesday, April 5, 2011


Here is another vintage movie review from the New York Times addition of September 17, 1960...

Crosby Plays Student Again in 'High Time'
by Bosley Crowther

IT has been a long time since Bing Crosby was seen in a college comedy, sporting the customary beanie and crooning romantic melodies. But things haven't changed much in the colleges favored by Bing in all those years, to judge by the one he is attending in his latest picture, "High Time."

Bing is again attending college? Do you start in some amazement at the news? We don't wonder, considering the old groaner is a trifle worn for a college career. But, sure enough, he is back on the campus as a middle-aged student in this Twentieth Century-Fox color film, which opened yesterday at the Warner. And it's the same old Hollywood college, so far as we can see.

To be sure, the taste of the students in music has silghtly changed. The once-favored jazz of the redhot era has been replaced by rock 'n' roll. The co-eds are much more casual about visiting in boys' rooms. And Mr. Crosby's erstwhile beanie has been abandoned — for a sensible toupee.

But Pinehurst U., which he is attending as a middle-aged millionaire who thinks it high time that somebody in his family get a college degree, is in other respects the institution of higher learning that Dick Powell and Betty Grable used to roam. Their places are simply taken by the likes of Fabian and Tuesday Weld.
Football, basketball, picnicking and shooting-the-breeze are still the principal subjects taught, and much is still made of building the bonfire that precedes the big game. The major concern of the male students is still making the right fraternity, and outrageous pranks are still demanded of the fellows who get in.

For instance, Mr. Crosby, who is delighted when he makes Xi Delta Pi, is forced to attend a swanky party in a fine old mansion disguised as a southern belle. This, of course, creates much amusement among the fellows who are in on the prank, and let's Mr. Crosby, at long last, try his hand at a bit from "Charley's Aunt."

And although Pinehurst U. appears a huge place, as huge as the University of California at Los Angeles, it has but a president, an athletic director (who coaches football, basketball and the Phys. Ed. class), a chemistry professor and a teacher of French, so far as we could see. The last is fortunately female, pretty, widowed and amiable. Needless to say, she hooks up with our middle-aged student. She is played by Nicole Maurey.

Thus Mr. Crosby, still pretending to be youthful, goes to college again, but a few necessaries are lacking. One of them is a script. The other is youth. The screen play by Tom and Frank Waldman, based on a story by Garson Kanin, is awfully sad, awfully burdened with hackneyed situations. And Mr. Crosby, alas, is no kid.

He tries hard to be casual and boyish, to prove modestly that he's in the groove, to match the animal spirits of the swarming youngsters, such as Fabian and Miss Weld. But as much as director Blake Edwards has tried to help him with a lively beat that keeps the action thumping and gives an illusion of vitality, at least, there is a terrible gauntness and look of exhaustion about Mr. Crosby when the camera gets close and peers at his face.

We don't blame his children (in the film) for objecting to his going to college. He should have stayed at home with his feet to the fire...


1 comment:

  1. While HIGH TIME may not be one of Bing's best, it's a pleasant film and more amusing than some of his 1950s musicals.