The Girl in Lovers Lane (1960) Poster

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TheCooperVane1 November 2001
Warning: Spoilers
Here is a movie that was so pedestrian for 90% of it that it had no right to become so challenging and frustrating at the end. Did the director decide to become auteur suddenly, 80% through the making of this movie? Yeesh. SPOILER ALERT Thing start out typically enough for 50's youth-gone-wild; there are drifters, good girls, bad girls, gangs, the kindly old diner manager, and the town creep. Things follow the expected path until about 15 minutes before the end, when the only likable character is killed off and the anti-hero is blamed (this would not be so unexpected if this were the main plot of the movie... but all this stuff starts happening and unravelling during the final reel! Major curve ball). Then things get weird; the kindly old codger forms a mob and beats the hero to a bloody pulp. The mere presence of the hero's friend somehow drags a confession out of the real killer - the leering, creepy town nut (which in any real universe, he'd have been the prime suspect to begin with, even if the anti-hero was found with her body).

We're left with a somewhat feeble "happy" ending, which is about as out of character with the rest of the movie as the events of the 10 minutes preceding it.

Even more odd is this film's insistence on playing homosexual innuendo to the hilt, but constantly presenting the two male leads as straight. Maybe this was on purpose - perhaps Bix's resistance to settling down with the girl was more because of his sexuality (which in the 50s would have to be kept quite repressed, and thus not discussed or even admitted by him) than his need to be a "drifter". If the director's intent was to spin this as a sexual yarn - that the drifter drifts because he feels he's an outcast sexually; that his paternal regard towards Danny is not, in fact, paternal but spousal; that his inability to remain with Carrie is rooted in a sexual revulsion that even he does not quite understand - it could have been made more clear. Instead, we get this very bizarre alchemy of homoeroticism and behavior that is completely heterosexual.

These young men sleep next to each other even when they can get some room to spread out. When Danny is propositioned (and once even in bed with a woman), Bix flips out and takes him away. Danny pays Bix's way (sure, there is another explanation for it, but it still strikes a chord every time you see Danny buy Bix's lunch). They end up living together at the end. Not since Hitchcock's "Rope" has homosexuality been so blatant but denied.

MST3K did the right thing by taking this one on. Aside from Jack Elam, there is little to commend the film.
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A case of a film that's been "MST'd".
MartinHafer24 February 2010
I have noticed that a lot of films that have been featured on "Mystery Science Theater" have received a tons of low ratings on IMDb. However, a few of the films featured on the films weren't that bad and it's not fair to rate a film that's been given the "MST" treatment--with the hosts making funny comments during the film. Now I am NOT saying that "The Girl in Lover's Lane" is a great film, but it's not nearly bad enough to merit its current IMDb score of 2.1.

The film begins with Bix and Danny meeting. Bix is a veteran drifter and Danny a younger guy who seems to have no particular reason to be wandering about the country. Once they blow into a small town, Bix needs to rescue Danny again and again because Danny is quite naive--a nice way of saying he has the intellect of a tomato.

Along the way, something happens to the self-assured Bix--he finds a nice young lady and finds the lure of staying put pulling at him. And, in an odd subplot, Jack Elam plays a super-creepy sicko who wanders the town scaring the crap out of everyone--yet oddly, the police don't seem to take much notice nor does anyone on their own do anything about him. Ultimately, however, when Elam puts the moves on a girl who Bix is falling for, things come to a full boil.

Overall, while not at all a great film, there were many interesting plot elements in this film--enough to merit a score higher than 2.1. The biggest negatives are a simplistic conclusion to the mystery that occurs near the end as well as the total stupidity of Danny one time too often. Considering the minuscule budget, however, it's a watchable little film.
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The Adventures of Big Stupid
InzyWimzy28 March 2004
This one is one of those classic B movie following the exploits of 2 hobos. It's done really cheesily and Big Stupid running off one-liners like a cardboard cassanova. But Jack Elam steals every scene he's in as the creepazoid Jesse (now Jerome!). My favorite scene is the lynch mob and the dad's voice going up 10 octaves ("You loved her?"). Danny, Big Stupid's protege, is surprisingly stupider, but not as loathsome as our lead star. There's also a quaint scene of a guy pimping at the diner. Joyce Meadows is the sweet, naive nice gal and probably the least annoying. And those yellow ruffles (RAWR!). Oh, and booze is evil according to Mr. Stupid.

This movie's a hoot. Watch the MST cover of this and Crow's terrific Elam homage!
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If Troubled Youth Films Are Your Thing, It's OK
BillDP22 September 2003
This is a film I would have thought I would be seeing as part of one of those Something Weird Video double feature disc's. Pretty much your typical 1950's "troubled youth" films. Though this one is a bit talky and light on the action, I did enjoy it somewhat. I guess I have a soft spot in my heart for these kinds of films. Basically you have this young guy who leaves home in order to come to terms with the fact that his parents have decided to get a divorce. He meets Bix, a road weary and very experienced drifter. They end up in a small town and stay longer then they expected which leads to romance, complications, confrontation, rape and murder. Brett Halsey stars as Bix and gets fine support from Joyce Meadows and a perfectly cast Jack Elam as the town letch. All in all, it's no great shakes but it is entertaining enough.
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50's "Youth Movie" that has more to it then meets the eye
sol-kay20 April 2004
****SPOILERS**** Late 1950's youth movie about two young drifters Bix & Danny, Brett Halsey & Lowell Brown, drifting in on a fright train into the peaceful little town of Sherman. A town where the police chief says that nothing bad ever happened there in 20 years.

It didn't take long for something bad to happen in peaceful Sherman where on just the first night there the two outsiders are attacked by a gang of local thugs because one of them had a $50.00 bill that he changed at the towns pool hall to play a game. $50.00 seems to be a very small price to corrupt the local boys from their 20 years of peaceful endeavors.

The people of Sherman weren't that bright either by beating to a pulp ,and almost lynching, Bix for raping and murdering his girlfriend Carrie, Joyce Meadows, after her body was found in the woods. The locals didn't have enough sense to know that Carries killer may well have been the local town weirdo Jesse ,Jack Elam, who was alway after Carrie. Jesse even tried to rape her the day before but was stopped by none other then Bix himself who belted Jesse and left him in dreamland.

Bix was saved from being lynched by the mob led by Carrie's emotionally upset father Cal,Emile Meyer, by his friend Danny who came to his rescue, just when he was about to leave town, by telling them that it may very well have been Jesse who killed Carrie. Jesse who just happened to be at the scene to watch the lynching then broke down and confessed to the crime and was taken away into custody by the police. The cops were released from the towns jail in which they were locked up in when the townspeople stormed the police station to get and then try to lynch Bix. The townspeople, including Carrioe's dad Cal, were more kinder to Carrie's actual killer then Carrie's boyfriend by not trying to apprehend or kill him like that tried to kill Bix who they should have known was innocent.

It was also interesting to see that Danny who was in town for just a few days could put two and two together and come to the conclusion that it was Jesse who killed Carrie when the local townspeople, who lived in the town all their lives, who knew about Jesse's dangerous obsession for Carrie didn't have the brains to figure that out by themselves? Danny who ran away from home when his parents divorced gets the good news at the end of the movie, I guess that his parents are back together, and happily invites his friend Bix to come home and live with him and his parent which Bix readily agrees to do, just what was meant by that? Isn't two grown up young men living together a bit odd especially in movies made back then in the 1950's? The movie "The Girl in Lover's Lane" seems to have more under the covers then over them, when it comes to Bix & Danny, and may have been made for other reasons other than what those watching it back then really thought.
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People Are Too Hard On It
JasonLeeSmith14 February 2011
Like probably 90% of the people writing reviews for this movie, I saw this on "Mystery Science Theater 3000." Joel and the bots did an excellent job of riffing on this movie, and I thought that it was one of the funnier episodes.

This being said, however, this wasn't a particularly horrible movie. Especially compared to some of films they ran on MST3K.

It had it's weaknesses: the movie had about zero budget and so things like the costumes and set design were horrible. The plot, also, digressed in spots. On the whole, though, the acting was competent and the story held my interest. I actually found myself caring about the characters.

It wasn't a perfect movie, but it was nowhere near as bad as the usual MST3k fare such as "Giant Gila Monster" and "Manos Hand of Fate." As such, it doesn't really deserve to be mocked as much as it has been. It was a B-Movie from the 50s, but it was a watchable one.
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This film is really gay - and I mean that in the best possible sense!
Rod Evan22 August 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Queer cinema took off in the 1990's but this weird little gem from 1959 was an early example.


Back then if you were a writer with a good gay plot there was no way you could get it produced unless you coded it. William Inge, & Tennessee were past masters at applying the code. But 'The Girl in Lovers Lane is another matter. Nothing makes sens in this film anymore, and that makes it very intriguing to watch.

The film is about two guys, but it's the 'girl' that gets into the title and onto the poster.

At the beginning of the film one guy picks the other up for no reason, when he could have just stolen his wallet. They shack up. They undress (at times for no reason). They try to outdo each other at getting girlfriends. One pushes his girlfriends away whenever they gets 'too friendly' and 'rescues' his friend whenever he's about to get lucky with some of the town's colourful dames.

The women in the film are fantastically bad girls, celebrated in a delirious brothel scene, except for one nice girl. And guess what? It's the nice girl that gets bumped off in the end, leaving the way clear for our two (male) lovebirds in denial to face a happy future of domestic bliss together.

Watch this film (with or without MST3K) and enjoy.
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MST3K Version: One of the Funniest Episodes Ever
Don_Mac7 July 2000
A young man, named Danny, has run away from home and meets a drifter, named Bix, who agrees to tag along with Danny and watch out for him... and his money. They end up in a small town where they meet Carrie - a shy, naive girl working in her father's diner. Bix starts seeing Carrie but he plans on leaving soon (because he's a drifter, see? He's no good! Understand?). Meanwhile, the town creep, Jesse (played by a perfectly casted Jack Elam), keeps showing up at the diner and bothering Carrie. Danny keeps inadvertently picking up whores left and right (because he's loaded with money – he has almost a hundred dollars!) whom Bix has to constantly chase away (there are a lot of ambiguously gay overtones between Danny and Bix in this flick). Eventually, Bix and Danny decide to leave town but trouble is a-brewing, due to Jesse the creep.

My review of the movie itself: a terrible, dated "Troubled Youth" flick from the '50s.

My review of the MST3K version of the movie: I've got to say that this is one of the best episodes of MST3K ever. The riffing is dead-on, all the time. Except for the somewhat downbeat ending, this movie is easy material for Joel and the Bots, especially Danny's constant screw-ups that Bix has to rescue him from. The host segments are pretty good too, especially the segment with the `Train Song.' Hopefully, Rhino releases this episode to home video one day.
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"Pa doesn't know much about girls' clothes."
bensonmum211 September 2009
Warning: Spoilers
The Girl in Lovers Lane is one strange little low-budget film. On its surface, the movie tells the story of a tough drifter named Bix (Brett Halsey) who spends his time looking out for a young kid named Danny (Lowell Brown) and the girl, Carrie (Joyce Meadows), that Bix meets who would like to look out for him. Nothing overly interesting happens (Bix goes out with Carrie, Bix gets Danny out of trouble, Carrie's father drinks a lot, etc.) until about 10 minutes to go in the movie when Carrie is murdered. Her father blames Bix, pulls him out of a jail cell, and just about beats him to death. Now their roles are reversed and Danny has to save Bix.

Until I read the reviews on IMDb, I thought that maybe it was just me reading more into Bix and Danny's relationship than was really there, but I see now that I'm not alone. It was quite obvious to me early on that Bix and Danny had more of a relationship than you usually see in a movie from 1959. The homosexual nature of their relationship, while never openly expressed, is still quite obvious. Their living and sleeping arrangements, Bix's reaction to finding Danny in bed with a prostitute, Bix's inability to commit to Carrie, and that phone call at the end when Danny tells his parents he's "brining home a friend" are a few examples of moments that lead to the inevitable conclusion that there's more to their relationship than initially meets the eye. I'm sure they exist, but I can't think of any movies I've seen from the 50s that scream homosexual quite as loudly as this one.

As for the movie, I don't know any other way to put this – it's boring. As I wrote earlier, nothing much at all happens for 90% of the run time. The characters are dull and the actors aren't good enough to give The Girl in Lovers Lane much of a spark. The lone exception is Jack Elam. His crazy Jesse is the one character interesting enough to be worth watching. Elam had creepy down pat! But I guess the biggest problem I had with the movie was with character motivation and logic. Carrie is killed and Bix is immediately blamed? What about crazy Jesse who has been stalking Carrie for probably her whole life? Anyone think to ask Jesse where he was that night? Her father has seen him bother Carrie at the diner, yet he never considers that the leering Jesse might have something to do with his daughter's death? Not a lot of logic there. And what about Jesse's confession? Danny grabs Jesse by the lapel and this is all it takes to force a confession out of Jesse? Real tough guy, huh? Why would he confess so easily? And after he confesses, no one thinks to grab him? It's awfully nice of Jesse just to stay put and not run off. In any other reality, he would have never spilled his guts and would have run like a rabbit if he had been fingered for the murder. The fact that The Girl in Lovers Lane asks me to accept these ridiculous actions on the part of the characters is something I'm not willing to do. Overall, I'm giving The Girl in Lovers Lane a 4/10.
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They're Right; They're Probably Gay
Hitchcoc23 October 2007
What a very odd movie. Two drifters meet on a train and form a relationship. One of them is the dominant one who throws his weight around, turning his buddy into a man. There is a plot line where they fight some local toughs, get involved with a girl who is later raped and murdered. But it always gets back to the two of them and their connection. Jack Elam, with those gigantic eyes, is the local nut case, who is always lurking in the bushes, going after the young daughter of a small town diner. There's more to it than this, but it is cheesy and talky. The conclusion is really intriguing. These two guys are more than friends, and I don't mean that to be terribly critical. It's just that you don't expect it in 1959 movies. Anyway, it is interesting enough in its fairly bleak images. We never quite understand some of the motivations, unless one can think "death wish." All in all, I'm sure it raised a few eyebrows of those who are not totally dense.
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The Girl in Lovers Lane ... Brokeback Train Station
juliankennedy2328 November 2009
The Girl in Lovers' Lane: 3 out of 10: Homoerotic subtext in the movies is a well known phenomenon. Plenty of dissertations have come out of film schools about the hidden subtexts in such films as Top Gun and Spartacus. The Girl in Lover’s Lane certainly fits the homoerotic trope. In fact, it is so blatant and over the top even MST3K, whom rarely notes such things in their riffing, simply cannot avoid it.

The film is about two drifters. One a rich kid (Lowell Brown) running away from home with a hundred dollars and no street smarts, the other is a professional hobo (Brett Halsey). The hobo saves the kid from a gang of thugs and they end up in a small town consisting of a diner, a pool hall and a whorehouse. Our drifter scholar gets a second look from the diner’s waitress (Joyce Meadows as the titular Girl in Lovers Lane) who clearly is past the age of being choosy and whose only other prospect is creepy Jack Elam doing a Steve Buscemi impression.

On the surface, this seems like a strange film for the MST3K treatment. While the cast are to old for the characters they are playing, the acting is actually pretty good with both Brett Halsey and Jack Elam giving solid performances. The story is slight, but hardly The Robot vs. Aztec Mummy material and the production values are cheap back lot, but relatively competent.

It is the strange Batman and his ward homosexual undercurrents that make this film both awful and hilarious. Halsey’s over the top objections to the kids attempts to get laid in the whorehouse are hilarious, his inability to commit to the waitress (or at the least get past first base) are telling, and the dozens of glances between him and the kid; a hand on shoulder, the sleeping arrangements, blowing off dates with the girl so he and the kid can shave each other. You don’t have to be Freud to figure out this undercurrent.
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Tries to deal with controversial topics, but fails
robertmurray-7063723 October 2019
This film is a typical example of why a revolution in film occurred in the 1960s and 1970s. One the one hand the producers of this 1960 film wanted to deal with controversial topics such as the hobo lifestyle and homosexuality, but they just couldn't avoid the traditional Hollywood studio compulsion to sanitize things. One particularly stupid example occurs very early in the film. The freight hopping hoboes are dressed like prep school students, and their clothes are amazingly clean and neat. Boxcars are FILTHY. I know this because I worked one summer loading them at a factory. An hour or two working in one and you look like you spent the night in a dumpster. As for the homosexuality, I completely missed that implication the first time I saw the film and only picked up on it after I read reviews here at IMDB. The producer and/or director just couldn't bear to make it too obvious, and that would have been easy to do. Homosexuality was common among hoboes, by the way. Like prisoners in jail, even straight hoboes engaged in it, as they had few other options.

This could have been an excellent film, even with a low budget, if the producer didn't clean everything up so as not to offend audience members with delicate sensibilities. But then why did he show a rape/murder, a beating, and a near lynching? I guess those things were OK to watch in the "heartland" of America in 1960.
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BandSAboutMovies2 March 2020
Warning: Spoilers
Also known as The Young and the Damned, this is the story of two drifters: Danny (Lowell Brown, High School Caesar), a rich kid who has run away from home, and "Big Stupid" Bix (Brett Halsey, Touch of Death, The Devil's Honey), a long-time hobo who is mentoring the former.

Bix begins to make lovey eyes with an innocent waitress named Carrie (Joyce Meadows, I Saw What You Did), who's already dealing with the creepy affections of Jesse (Jack Elam). Yeah, so creepy that he eventually murders her.

This film's writer, Jo Heims, would later write Double Trouble for Elvis, the story for Dirty Harry and Play Misty for Me. Its director, Charles R. Rondeau, also made The Devil's Partner and the fact that I can remember than without the internet both makes me happy and somewhat sad that I know this much about junk movies instead of something important that can actually help the world.
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Better Than Average Bot Fodder
sailor-mac-4328216 June 2018
For years, when MST3K fans have been polled about which riffed films were "not completely terrible," this movie has come up (along with the Godzilla and Gamera movies). It's easy to see why - unlike complete train wrecks like Space Mutiny and Manos the Hands Of Fate, you can tell that this could have been a halfway decent film if it had a little more of a budget - better sets, better costumes, a competent script editor to fix the problematic ending. The acting isn't terrible, some of the characters are actually likable, and Jack Elam's villain is genuinely creepy. It made for a very underrated MST3K episode - one of the funniest of the later Joel era. (The show's writers reported being genuinely traumatized by the film's ending - and you just KNOW that it was a rare film that could get that crew to genuinely care about the characters).
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A drifter mentors a young man and falls in love
Aaron137526 February 2016
I saw this film as an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000 as chances are I would have never even known it existed without it. Not that it was all bad, it was pretty typical of a lot of films of the era. Of course, most of the ones I have seen have been episodes of Mystery Science Theater. The film was one of the ones they did that featured more of the whole struggle of youth type episode rather than science fiction or a horror which is the stuff the normally riff. These types of films usually are pretty good too though. They normally run from being youths that want to be violent or youths trying to figure things out that get caught up in some craziness. This one is more the latter, though the lead guy is rather older. He is a mentor who helps a young man who is trying to figure things about his own life, but he seems to do a lot of running.

The story has a young man named Danny being chased in a train yard from two guys who are out to get his wallet. Well poor Danny manages to ditch his wallet, but he ends up taking one hit and falls right out. Thankfully, a wise traveler named Bix puts him in the boxcar and soon he and Danny are riding the rails. Bix agrees to help Danny and be a traveling companion, while Danny provides some cash. They soon stop at a town and if you thought this was a traveling film where our new found friends were going to have different adventures in different towns and cities you are going to be disappointed. Yes, they stay in the town throughout the duration of the film, but it sure is a strange town. Depicted as very small, but at the same time it has one very large brothel in it. It also has a shady pool hall where every person in it is willing to beat up a person for their money. At the same time it is such a peaceful town that a young couple can stroll its streets at night. Well Bix falls for a girl who has an incredibly obvious stalker that also has his eyes on her! Things take a turn for the surprising and a bit depressing.

It made for a rather funny episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000. This one did not have a short and from the looks of it, I do not see this one being as edited down as other episodes either. I think you can get a full sense of the picture without seeing the whole thing. The film is entertaining enough to make it a good episode too. I think that some of the truly awful films that are boring make for poor riffing material. My least favorite episode of MST3K is the one featuring that German Hamlet as it was done so minimally and it was just labored. This one has lively characters that can at times make you feel a little sympathy and a less dreary episode of the show.

So in the end, it was not anything I would want to watch without the aid of the gang of the satellite of love, but it was not as bad as other things they have made fun of. The movie moves along about like other films and it is better made than say an Ed Wood film or Coleman Francis movie that were also being made at this time. Nothing really stands out except that crazy eyed dude who was so obviously insane. Oh no, he is just harmless. Yep, the type of thing people say about psychos after they kill! Along with kept to themselves.
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Could've been pretty good... if they hadn't ruined what little it had.
raven_blood8812 August 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Okay... for the most part, and all its cheesiness, this movie was actually pretty good for an MST3K flick... but then they decided to ruin what little goodness it had about fifteen minutes before the ending. *SPOILER ALERT* The film is very basic... a rich mama's boy named Danny meets a bum named Bix, and the two of them travel to a small town, where Bix meets a pretty girl named Carrie (who is so very.) Now, this film's basic premise seemed promising enough. All they needed to do was follow the simple chemistry of any romance movie... Carrie loves Bix... Bix loves Carrie... a creepy guy in town lusts for Carrie... Now, I know what you're thinking... Bix fights the creep and ultimately decides to settle down with Carrie, and Danny returns home, and they all live happily ever after... right? WRONG!! Because Carrie gets murdered by the town creep, because Bix is too gay to commit. (There are so many homosexual undertones between Danny and Bix.) And then, the whole town decides to lynch Bix, even though the town creep would've easily been the prime suspect. Then, the town creep confesses to killing Carrie without much hesitation... (must've felt bad, the poor dope.) Then, Danny brings Bix home with him... that's the film's "happily ever after." Sad, huh? All I can say is, thank God for Joel and the Bots. Because they turned this horse hockey into one of my favorite MST3K episodes.
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The romance between a hobo and a waitress
WakenPayne2 March 2013
Warning: Spoilers
I have watched this through Mystery Science Theater 3000. This movie starts out with a kid running away from thugs. After he is beaten up he is carried to the nearby train by a hobo by the name of Bix Dugan. Sooner or later they arrive at a small town. Bix then falls in love with a waitress. Then - afraid of him getting too attached to this place he decides to leave. Then he reconsiders, then the girl dies by the jealous-creepy-guy-with-crush-on-her cliché. Bix then gets accused of murdering her. Soon they find out the truth, Bix broods and the person at the beginning phones home and invites Bix for dinner over there.

Now, this is worthy of MST3K. The acting is weak at it's very best and the writing is also flat. Although when fair is fair this is extremely easy to make fun of and Joel and the Bots do it well. If you watch it with them it will be a great old laugh for you to have.
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"...every time you think it gives me a headache".
classicsoncall14 August 2010
Warning: Spoilers
There was a time when Jack Elam was actually a pretty good looking young actor, but by the time his late Fifties TV Western days rolled around he had that weird eye sinister look going and it's on display here in all it's glory. Man, what a creepy looking guy! And speaking of Westerns, this might be the only time outside of one where there's a lynch mob going after a suspected murderer. Considering it was set in modern times, I had some trouble reconciling that scene with my own recollection of 1960 and growing up in a small town. I guess it could have happened somewhere, but I don't recall ever hearing of one.

Anyway, this story is about as off the beaten path as you'll find considering the understated yet overt subtext between the principals - Britt Halsey as Bix Dugan and Lowell Brown as Danny Winslow. Other reviewers have elaborated on the subject convincingly enough so I won't have to go into detail with my own review. I will say though, it did give me the creeps the very first time Danny put his hand on Bix's shoulder way back on the freight train ride. The other thing that kept me off balance was Bix's unusual resemblance to Michael Landon which I just couldn't get out of my mind while watching.

With all that, I'm not sure why this one was called "The Girl in Lovers Lane". Maybe it was for the benefit of the unidentified couple out parking near the lake when they heard Carrie scream. Now there was a real hero, the guy who went to investigate. And Bix never even saw him.
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