MOVIE: *** (out of 5)
DVD EXPERIENCE: * (out of 5)
BY KEVIN CARR
WHAT IT’S ABOUT
Young lady Virginian Radcliffe (Frances Dee) is eager and happy to join the Crocket Hall finishing school. They have plenty of rules, including no smoking, no drinking and no lipstick. Once she meets the girls, she learns that the students run by their own set of rules. After a weekend in New York, she meets a handsome doctor in his internship, and the romance threatens her place at the school.
WHAT I LIKED
There’s a misconception that older films are stuffy and have no spice to them. That might have been the case later in the 40s and 50s, but in pre-Code Hollywood, some pretty saucy things could happen. Sure, they’re still tame by today’s standards, but they are kind of shocking to see in what you’d expect from a squeaky-clean black-and-white movie.
“Finishing School” may not quite be “Reform School Girls” or the parody “Catholic High School Girls in Trouble” from “The Kentucky Fried Movie,” but it’s still a fun little romp. The story has been seen many times before and many times since, but it’s effectively put together, and the cast works well in their roles. From the naughty girls who lure Virginia on a weekend adventure to the prissy teachers at the school, this is a fun little semi-exploitation film from the early 30s.
Also, like many films from this era, it has a scant 71-minute running time, which is entirely appropriate for a naughty little tidbit of a movie like this one.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
Of course, I prefer the modern naughty schoolgirl movies for many obvious reasons. But these complaints are signs of the era rather than problems with the films. After all, does anyone really expect a “Porky’s” shower scene in this flick?
WHO’S GOING TO LIKE THIS MOVIE
People who know that black-and-white films were not always squeaky clean.