Girls Town

Girls Town is a 1959 film produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, starring Mamie Van Doren, Mel Tormé, and Ray Anthony. Paul Anka also appears in his first acting role. Van Doren stars as a juvenile delinquent who is sent to a girls' school run by nuns, where she finds herself unable to help her sister. The film capitalizes on the 1950s rebellious-teen exploitation films, with catfights, car races, music from Anka and The Platters, and sexy outfits.


The movie opens with a young woman fending off an attempted rape. In the process, the would-be rapist accidentally falls off a cliff to his death. Circumstantial evidence places 16-year-old delinquent Silver (played by a 27-year-old Van Doren) at the scene, and she is sent to Girls Town, a rehabilitation village run by a group of nuns. There, she lives with Serafina (Gigi Perreau) and some experienced juvenile delinquents. Trouble and misunderstandings ensue. Troublemaker Fred (Tormé) saw the cliff incident from a distance and realizes it was actually Silver's sister, Mary Lee (Elinor Donahue), who was there. Fred blackmails Mary Lee into being his partner in deadly "hands-off drag racing", then prepares to take her to Tijuana to sell her into the slave trade. Silver finally wins the respect of her Girls Town friends, and finally they rescue Mary Lee.