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Site of the Week – Hollywood Teen Movies


Nothing defines an era quite like the teen movies it produces. Whether it’s the beach parties of the ’60s, the high school detentions of the ’80s, or the Mean Girls of the new millennium, Hollywood Teen Movies celebrates them all. “Teen movies needed some long overdue respect,” says Tony Pichaloff, who started the site in 2001. “Not all teen movies are classic masterpieces,” admits Pichaloff, but he “appreciates them for what they are, despite their imperfections.”

During the ’30s and ’40s, he says, “movies specifically about teens
were rare, the exception being the long running Andy Hardy film series
starring Mickey Rooney.” If you thought Mayberry was a wholesome place
to grow up, try Andy’s hometown of Carvel. Then the ’50s brought a
different teen to the big screen: The juvenile delinquent. “Leather
jackets, motorcycles, rock ‘n’ roll and rebellious youths were
introduced to the world,” says Pichaloff. He credits what many consider
to be the original high school film, Blackboard Jungle , and Sidney Poitier’s performance in it, with the change. The film was the first to use rock ‘n’ roll on the soundtrack.

From the looks of the movies, teens had the most fun in the ’60s. “The original Beach Party
(1963) starring Frankie and Annette made such a splash with its fusion
of color, skimpy bikinis, sand, surf and blue-screen wave riding that
numerous sequels and spin offs followed throughout the decade,” says
Pichaloff. In the ’80s, Pichaloff says, “teen movies were not only most
prevalent but possibly reached a peak in terms of quality and
popularity.” Two words: John Hughes; or, according to Time Magazine in 1986, Molly Ringwald.

reason the genre continues to captivate? “Everyone in the world has
been a teenager at some point in their life,” says Pichaloff. “That age
is something special because it is relatable to everybody and not just
a small demographic of society.” Pichaloff, who was a teen in the ’90s,
says the films you watch as a teen, “tend to stay with you pretty much
forever.” Now that he’s older, he says he still enjoys “knowing what
goes on in young person’s mind and watching that play out on film. So
keep in mind, Pichaloff says, “There are many teen movies out there
that are really smart, believable and intuitive to what makes a young
person tick.” And that long before American Pie , there was Porky’s and Porky’s did it better.

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