Review: That Kind of Girl (1963)

That Kind of Girl
aka Teenage Tramp

Directed by Gerry O’Hara
Starring Margaret Rose Keil, Linda Marlowe, David Weston, Peter Burton

Some facts I learned while watching That Kind of Girl:

1. There was only one dance move in 1963 and it was called the “No Sex Before Marriage,” which consists of standing one metre away from your partner and rotating your hips a half centimetre from side to side;

2. sexual assault is socially acceptable if you work in advertising;

3. and when a girl tells you, “I don’t want to talk to you. I’m going back to Austria,” you probably gave her syphilis.

In addition to these three facts, I have also been trained to spot warning signs of premarital sex. I understand that it was an impossible-to-avoid practise in the ’60s, but it’s simply ridiculous to even consider it in this day and age, what with the advent of the serial divorcee, Call of Duty, and damp sweatpants. We have new ways of shutting down sexuality.

It’s a brave new world, sure, but we can’t forget the plight of our parents and grandparents, living each moment of youth in the constant clutches of wanton desire. Xboxes were a half-century away. Masturbation had not yet been invented. One mistake could send you into a spiral of really lame house parties and VD.

The makers of That Kind of Girl understood this danger, and pulled no punches in their depiction of youth culture in the age of the pillbox hat.

Eva is a young Austrian woman working as a nanny for a British married couple. She looks like that one furry Gremlin if you put a wig on it and shaved its face. Therefore, she is a desirable option among all types of young Londonian men. First, there’s Elliot, an ad man. He takes her to a burlesque show and makes her drink most of a glass of wine. Soon enough, she’s gone off her nut and engages in her first taste of premarital intercourse. Next, there’s Max, a nerd with greaser hair. He takes her to a nuclear disarmament protest and she’s so turned on she can’t stand it. Finally, we meet Keith, a young Republican type with poofy hair. He takes Eva swimming and, well – you know what happens when two young people partake in aquatic activities.

Soon enough, Eva finds out she has syphilis and we meet the hero of our story – syphilis.

Syphilis is brave because syphilis has a tough job. Syphilis is greatly admired by the staff of all London medical centers, and for good reason. When Eva is diagnosed, she stops being That Kind of Girl and starts being The Kind of Girl Who Has Syphilis and Regrets All the Premarital Sex She’s Had. At that point, syphilis finds itself a tough ally: Eva tells her former suitors that she gave them VD and they have to go to the doctor and never touch unmarried genitals ever again.

Keith’s girlfriend Janet is a sensible woman. “I’ve never been to the doctor to tell them I’m an unmarried mother and the man who got me pregnant has VD!” she says. She neglects to mention all those times she had to go to the doctor because she had half a glass of beer and was afraid she might never feel sober again, but those times weren’t as revelatory.

That Kind of Girl examines the horrors of casual sex and chardonnay, but it also considers the human condition. In the end, each character has learned the error of his or her ways and either accepts the spinster life or swears never again to join political rallies. The very notion of premarital sex has rightly been removed from their minds.

Oh, wait – we have condoms now?

Links:

Amazon – That Kind of Girl Blu-ray (??)
Amazon – Trojan Condoms
Amazon Instant – That Kind of Girl
Netflix – That Kind of Girl
YouTube – Original Theatrical Trailer

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