Thoughts From The Music(al) Man (2019) on… High Time (1960)

And now it’s time for us to dig into the 1960 college movie High Time, starring Bing Crosby!

Bing plays Harvey Howard, a 51-year-old restaurant owner who has decided that it is high time somebody in his family (meaning himself in this instance) went to college, much to the protests of his two children.  He prefers not to be given any special treatment because of his age, but wants instead to enjoy college life as all the other, younger students do.  Along the way, he ends up falling for Professor Helene Gauthier, the French teacher.

This movie is, at times, more like a series of events. We are mainly seeing Bing’s Howard as he goes through his four years of college, with the story stopping here and there to focus on different things. Amongst other things, we see the freshman bonfire, where they are told they need to build a bonfire taller than previous freshman, and Howard has to climb up the unstable pile with one last chair to help make it taller. One particularly hilarious moment is in his sophomore year. As a candidate for a fraternity, Howard has a few things to do, like scrubbing floors, polishing shoes, etc., but most hilariously, he has to dress in drag to go to a southern costume ball, where he has to dance with the host, an elderly gentleman who is suffering from gout and sitting it out. I find it hilarious, especially after hearing how uncomfortable Bing was in doing the “Sisters” number with Danny Kaye in White Christmas, to see Bing completely dressed in drag (of course, Howard’s two children were BOTH invited to the party, and are completely discombobulated by seeing their father like that, as well)!

The movie was directed by legend Blake Edwards (best known for stuff like Operation Petticoat, some of the Peter Sellers Pink Panther movies, Victor/Victoria and others), and also includes a score by Henry Mancini (who worked with Blake Edwards on some of those movies as well). Not the greatest movie ever made by Blake Edwards, but it is one I do enjoy watching every now and then, even if it is a far cry from what college life might be like now (or might even have been like at the time it was made). So, if you do get a chance, I do suggest trying this one just for fun!

As to the availability for this movie, I’m not sure what to say.  The movie itself is owned by 20th Century Fox (or will be, until Disney buys them out).  They licensed the movie out to Twilight Time a few years ago for a limited run of 3000 copies on Blu-ray, which have since sold out, and as far as I can see, it was never available on DVD.  So, to see this one, your best bet is to wait and see whether Disney makes it available when they start their streaming service, catch it on TV, or find a friend that has the Blu-ray.  The movie is one hour, forty-three minutes in length.

My Rating: 7/10

Audience Rating: 

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