Greetings, and welcome to VIEWING THE CLASSICS. Here you'll find capsule reviews of vintage movies from the early days of cinema through the 1970s, with a special emphasis on sci-fi, horror, and mystery movies. Be sure to check out the Pages links, where you can find a Film Index of all my reviews, links to the reviews organized by cast members, directors, and other contributors, and links to my reviews of the films of talented young director Joshua Kennedy.

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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

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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