Hallie Rogers (the luscious Debbie Watson) is a frustrated go-go dancer itching for her big break in show business. She is continually promised a spot on a music show called WhizBam (a clever send-up of Shindig! and Hullabaloo) but the shyster producer MacElwaine (Phil Harris) and his flunky Howie (George Furth) keep passing her over.
So Hallie loses it, escapes from her go-go cage, and steals the microphone from Glen Campbell who is singing on-camera at the time. The audience goes wild, imitating her moves, and when a misdirected camera sends a message out to the nation, a new dance craze is born – The Tantrum.
Teen Tycoon Tony Krum (Roddy McDowall) – who is obsessed with the colour purple and Napoleon Bonaparte and demands a baby bottle of warm milk and scary story at bedtime (an obvious parody of Phil Spector) – begins to manage her booming career while she hooks up with disillusioned teen idol Cliff Donner (Gil Peterson) to form a duo.
Tony and Hallie hatch a plot to draw Cliff into a faux romance, courtship, and sham wedding with Hallie to drum up publicity. When Cliff catches wind of the plan he exits in disgust – but by this time Hallie has truly fallen in love with him.
Krum’s girl Friday Dee Dee Howitzer (sultry Nita Talbot) is dispatched to get him drunk and lure him back into the fold. Cliff briefly relents, The Tantrum becomes a sensation, and an offer is floated by MacElwaine to have Cliff and Hallie guest on WhizBam.
When given an ultimatum by Cliff to quit the business and marry him to prove her feelings, Hallie can’t let go of her burgeoning career and tearfully turns him down – at which point Cliff bolts for good.
Will Hallie ever become a star? And will Cliff and Hallie find a way to salvage their love?
This is a phenomenal Hollywood pop confection, with songs by the legendary Lee Hazelwood (of Nancy Sinatra Boots fame) and performances by The Leaves (the first group to score a hit with a version of Hey Joe) and underage sensations The Bantams.
The Cool Ones perfectly encapsulates the sunny, good-time mid-’60s California lifestyle and swingin’ Sunset Strip club scene that would be swept away within months by the Summer of Love, Haight-Ashbury and Acid Rock.
Go, baby, go!
TJ & The Formations