The Beatniks (1960)

3/5 (1)

“The Beatniks” is a 1960 American film directed by Paul Frees and written by Arthur C. Pierce. The film is a low-budget crime drama that explores the seedy world of beatnik culture in 1960s America.

The story follows a group of beatniks, led by the charismatic and manipulative Eddie (Tony Travis), who use their poetry and music to swindle unsuspecting victims. One night, they are involved in a hit-and-run accident, and Eddie convinces the group to go on the run to avoid the police.

As they travel across the country, tensions rise within the group, and Eddie’s manipulative and abusive behavior becomes increasingly apparent. The other members of the group, including the troubled young musician Nick (Peter Breck), begin to question their involvement with Eddie and his criminal activities.

“The Beatniks” is a product of its time, and the film’s portrayal of beatnik culture is often exaggerated and stereotypical. However, it does offer a fascinating glimpse into the counterculture of the early 1960s and the disillusionment and dissatisfaction of many young people at the time.

The film’s soundtrack, featuring music by jazz saxophonist Charles “Charlie” Mariano, is a highlight and captures the cool, improvisational style of the beatnik era. Overall, “The Beatniks” is an interesting and entertaining film that provides a unique perspective on a fascinating period in American cultural history.

Paul Frees

Paul Frees

Tony Travis, Karen Kadler, Peter Breck

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