Saturday, April 07, 2012


Hollywood gossip monger Sheilah Graham refuses to mention it while jazz singer Mel Torme devotes a paragraph to the teen exploitation drive in movie “Girls’ Town” in his autobiography.

Albert Zugsmith produced several salacious thrillers at MGM, Universal and Allied Artist with Mamie Van Doren topping the bill. Ms. Graham played a sympathetic nun at a girls reformatory in “Girls’ Town” and Torme was a bad boy who dukes it out with singer Paul Anka and the son of film icon Charlie Chaplin. In the scene with Charles Chaplin junior the actor was to slug Torme and actually did, loosening a few of the singer’s front teeth.

If Ms. Graham suffered any indignities or loose teeth we may never know because in all the books written about her and her lover F. Scott Fiitzgerald there are no references to GT. Too bad. Then again Torme makes no reference in his book to Lana Turner with whom he is alleged to have an affair. Discretion is the better part of valor, I guess.

Interesting that by the mid 50s the once distinguished MGM had fallen on such hard times that it was catering to the drive in crowd as was Warner Bros., who distributed the Mamie musical effort “Untamed Youth” as well as "Teenagers from Outer Space" in the 50s.

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