Thursday, December 31, 2015

13 Frightened Girls! (1963)

Starring Murray Hamilton, Joyce Taylor, Hugh Marlowe, Khigh Dhiegh, Kathy Dunn
Directed by William Castle
(actor & director credits courtesy IMDB.com)

An American diplomat's teenage daughter studies up on espionage and becomes a secret and successful spy, but doesn't plan on the dangers she will encounter.

Although the screenplay sometimes borders on the ludicrous, this is a very fun picture with Dunn winning the audience over with a charming and engaging performance.  Although I've seen it grouped in with Castle's horror films, it definitely isn't one, but succeeds on its own merits, with some talented young actresses joining Dunn in the cast.  It paints the Chinese as villains in rather broad strokes when judged by modern standards, but fortunately avoids any kind of racist propaganda.  I enjoyed it, and appreciated the filmmakers' avoidance of the most predictable conclusion.

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