Are You Popular? (available for viewing on You Tube.

This 1958 remake of the 40s social guidance classic shows a bit of wear and tear around the edges. The acting is uniformly terrible––the kids look and sound like they were recruited from Centron. The script is basically the same, though this time Ginny is ostracized for dating all the boys at the lunch table, Carolyn has a conversation with a friend about the dangers of going steady (so you can’t date lots of boys and you can’t go steady; what’s a girl to do?), the slightly more sophisticated 50s Carolyn agrees to go to the movies at the Strand rather than a skating party and weenie roast (and there’s no mention of “Teen Town”; the town council must have closed it down after the JD’s took over), and the couple drives away in a big 50s car with tail fins, rather than running down the street throwing snowballs at each other, illustrating the rising standard of living in the 50s. And though the house is different (smaller and poorer-looking, actually), the doorbell chimes in exactly the same way as in the older film. This is not quite as much fun as the older film, losing some of its dorky charm in the updating, but it is worth seeing for the bad acting.

Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ****. Weirdness: ****. Historical Interest: *****. Overall Rating: ****.

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