Palm Springs Weekend (1963)


(director: Norman Taurog; screenwriter: Earl Hamner Jr.; cinematographer: Harold Lipstein; editor: Folmar Blangsted; music: Frank Perkins; cast: Troy Donahue (Jim Munroe), Connie Stevens (Gayle Lewis – Jane Hoover), Jack Weston (Coach Fred Campbell), Ty Hardin (Doug ‘Stretch’ Fortune), Carole Cook (Naomi Yates), Stefanie Powers (Bunny Dixon), Dorothy Green (Cora Dixon), Andrew Duggan (Police Chief Dixon), Jerry Van Dyke (Biff Roberts), Robert Conrad (Eric Dean), Amanda North (Zeme North); Runtime: 101; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Michael A. Hoey; Warner Home Video; 1963)
The comical hi jinks depressed me more than tickled my funny bone.

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Predictable nonsensical ‘fun in the sun’ routine teen flick. In this Norman Taurog (“If I Had A Million”/”Bundle of Joy”/”G.I. Blues”) weakly directed pic the college crowd invades Palm Springs, California, for their annual spring break.It’s written by Earl Hamner Jr. without distinction. The comical hi jinks depressed me more than tickled my funny bone.

Clean-cut college basketball captain and medical student Jim (Troy Donahue) picks up local gal Bunny Dixon (Stefanie Powers), unaware her pop is police chief (Andrew Duggan) and hates the invading college students because they always give him a bad case of anxiety. You can imagine her pop’s reaction when his bundle of joy is picked up in a police raid and arrested with the visiting college boy. Coach Fred Campbell (Jack Weston) provides comic relief, as he accompanies by bus the entire basketball team to their Easter holiday in the resort. Another team member of note is Biff (Jerry Van Dyke), the team clown. On the same bus is Hollywood High School senior Gail Lewis (Connie Stevens), who pretends to be a wealthy college girl from Beverly Hills. When the bus breaks down, Gail gets a ride to the resort with playboy Eric Dean (Robert Conrad), the spoiled and neglected psychotic son of a millionaire. But she likes Stretch (Ty Hardin), a Hollywood stuntman from Texas she met on the bus, and strings him along keeping up the lie until she learns that he’s a keeper and that Eric is a rapist.

Also around for comic relief is the lusty widow motel maven Naomi (Carole Cook), where many of the vacationers are staying. Naomi and coach hook up for an adult romance, that’s about the funniest thing in this unfunny and staid rom/com.For action, Stretch and Eric get into a fight over the young chippie that leads to some serious consequences.