Sex Kittens Go to College / Beauty and the Robot, The (1960)

Sex Kittens Go to College / Beauty and the Robot, The (1960)

“I’m so far out already, I’m on another planet!”

A platinum blonde (Mamie Van Doren) with an IQ of 268 faces prejudice, lust, and jealousy when she begins her new job as head of a college science department.

Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:

  • College
  • Comedy
  • John Carradine Films
  • Mamie Van Doren Films
  • Robots
  • Teachers
  • Tuesday Weld Films

From the opening strains of its title song — “Sex-pot goes to co-llege!” chants a taunting male voice — Albert Zugsmith’s campy sex comedy reveals its misogynist attitude towards BBB (Brainy but Beautiful) women. Poor BBB Dr. West (Van Doren): despite her eminent intelligence and multiple (13!) college degrees, she can’t seem to get respect anywhere. Male undergrads (such as the painfully unfunny football star, “Woo Woo”) faint in her presence; married male colleagues invite her out for dance and drinks instead of academic conversation; and nearly all females (including beautiful undergrad Tuesday Weld) feel hopelessly threatened. Van Doren — who, fortunately, is a delight to watch — tries her best with the sub-par material, but is ultimately done in by the film’s hopelessly offensive gender politics. Not even a smattering of slightly amusing lines — “You make every woman in the world feel positively… flat-chested!” wails Weld — can rescue this clunker from its egregious failings, which include a dated subplot about a robot named “Thinko” accurately predicting the results of future horse races, and a blatantly offensive denouement. Whenever Van Doren’s not on the screen, this film sinks — and fast, daddy-o.

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • Mamie Van Doren as the brilliant sexpot professor with “13 degrees”
  • Van Doren demonstrating “velocity” by shooting off two revolvers

Must See?
No. Although Peary lists this in the back of his book as a Camp Classic, it’s really only “must see” viewing for fans of Mamie Van Doren.


One thought on “Sex Kittens Go to College / Beauty and the Robot, The (1960)

  1. Almost painful, a first-class bomb, unable to be considered for any kind of cult status; I’d actually be afraid to know (or meet) what kind of film fanatics would consider this a camp classic.

    Some may be lured in by the very unusual cast collected – I was – but it isn’t worth detailing how most of them are hopelessly at sea. Oddly enough, though Woo Woo Grabowski (playing himself – whoever he is) is indeed, like everyone else, saddled with nothing but unfunny lines, he manages a hangdog earnestness.

    And I do have to hand both Van Doren and Weld (the latter looking delectable!) the ‘Nice Try Award’ for ceaselessly seeking chances for comic delight – even if the script doesn’t allow. Van Doren gets to lead a bunch of straight guys doing a semi-drag routine (the single amusing bit and not as funny as it sounds) but poor Weld just gets to look yummy (which ain’t nothin’).

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