I Saw A Film!

Terrifying Teenagers on the streets of commercial Los Angeles. A narrator explains to us teen habits and assures us that they are no different from us. The Standells and Chocolate Watchband do a few numbers. It’s a film with mostly enviable guitars built by Vox and such. I’m told that whatever was fashionable when we were children ends up seeming charming to us as we age.

Police chief Aldo Ray is stuck trying to ameliorate the squares and their right to their enterprise and the youth culture that they are so offended by. The “hippies” of the film don’t mention the war, their “protests” are merely Ankhs and sweet platitudes, like a hippy from the Brady Bunch. Of course this film loses a bit of its impact missing the 1968 burn down that had assassinations and DNC riots. None of this stuff is at all alien to our world, but sympathies on offer might be a little naïve. We want to believe the cops are sympathetic and doing the right work in quelling violence and protecting the innocent, but our realities have exposed unfortunate shock-troops for the elite (this is actually mentioned in the film). However, most of this story is about the teenager daughter of the police chief. Kind of like the story of the family bringing home the undesirable to foist on the family.

Already the comparison of booze to marijuana reveals a kind of hypocrisy of the generational contempt. However, the variety of human desires and behaviors seem to be the greatest of our fears, services become righteous businesses who begin to decide who gets to be on the streets and how people need to look to create the atmosphere for capitalism. Of course, variation frightens, and the money rules. The Magic Christian ran that particular course straight home. A hippy armed with oodles of cash would no longer be a feared public enemy.

“Put some sounds on the hi-fi, will ya, and make it way out!” followed by some quite tame rhythm and blues based modest dance music, and some of the least sexy dancing you’re likely to have witnessed in decades. of course the hilarious zombie-like break-down of the chief’s daughter at the party is as laughable as Reefer Madness. She kicks off her shoes and writhes on the floor like Salome staring at her own hand to be followed by some stretching. Not exactly anything “way out” to be sure, but it’s only ’67. Hendrix and real acid rock are still a few years away. Zabriskie Point with some actual social relevance is still three years away. This film is more like a family drive-in version of your folks putting on a Wang-Chung record on the holidays.

Recently downtown Raleigh was having an issue around a Sunday generosity centered around some church groups feeding the homeless. The unwashed masses would fill the little park square and many of them would leave a mess of food wrappers and worse in their wake. The local businesses were aghast at the unattractiveness of our homeless folk and tried to get the philanthropy ended. Cops were used to enforce the no gathering rules and argument — that I’m not sure was resolved — raged. Only capitalism can matter once you adopt it. Welfare has a way of being an ugly issue, especially if you’re never intending to actually fix poverty problems. Or look into the reasons our boarder floods with children every so often.

It’s a freebie on Prime but don’t expect this silly film to solve any issues — and the fear of a growing youth population is asking, where will all those “kids” go.

3 thoughts on “Riot on Sunset Strip (1967)

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