Little Darlings

Little Darlings

name = Little Darlings

caption = little darlings movie poster
writer = Kimi Peck
Dalene Young
starring = Tatum O'Neal
Kristy McNichol
director = Ronald F. Maxwell
producer = Stephen J. Friedman
music = Charles Fox
cinematography = Bedrich Batka
editing = Pembroke J. Herring
distributor = Paramount Pictures
released = March 21, 1980
running time = 96 min.
country = United States
language = English
length = 96 minutes
budget = Unknown
amg_id = A77581
imdb_id = 0081060

"Little Darlings" is a 1980 teen film starring Tatum O'Neal, Kristy McNichol, Cynthia Nixon, Matt Dillon and Armand Assante, directed by Ronald F. Maxwell. The screenplay is written by Kimi Peck and Dalene Young. The original music score is composed by Charles Fox. The film is marketed with the tagline "Don't let the title fool you."

As of 2008 the film has not been released on DVD.

"Little Darlings succeeds in treating the awesome and scary subject of sexual initiation with some of the dignity it deserves." -- Roger Ebert [ [ Little Darlings] By Roger Ebert,, March 25, 1980]

Plot summary

The story is about a group of teenage girls that go to summer camp and bet on which of the two of them will lose their virginity first. After that, they choose "targets", or guys they want to be the ones they lose the virginity with. Unbeknownst to the adults, all the girls in camp bet money on the contest and divide into two "teams," each rooting and egging on either Ferris or Angel. At the same time, the girls engage in typical teenager acts of fun, such as food fights and other activities.

The girls involved in the contest are opposites and rivals: cynical, suspicious and streetwise poor girl Angel Bright (McNichol) and romantic rich girl Ferris Whitney (O'Neal). Both girls discover that "it" is not what they thought it was.

Ferris thinks of love as romance and wine and flowers. She imagines herself swept off her feet by Gary, the camp counselor. When she lies about "making love" with him, the biological side manifests itself in others' reactions to what she said she did. She discovers that, at least in the context of a camp counselor having sex with a fifteen year-old, sex can be dirty and hurtful and ugly. Her attitude is now more grounded in reality; she has become more like street-wise Angel.

Angel approaches the same issue from the other side. She views winning the contest as a mechanical, purely biological function, "no big deal" as her mother has told her. But when she tries to do "it" with Randy (Matt Dillon) in the boathouse, she becomes confused by feelings she did not know she had. She behaves very defensively, as if Randy is trying to force her to have sex. Randy, who could take it or leave it, is disgusted with her recalcitrance and leaves. She then must admit to herself that sex is not a mechanical function she can cynically turn on and off, but is something she deeply wants to do.

Angel reconnects with Randy later with a much improved attitude, one closer to Ferris'. This time she pays attention not to clothing removal procedures and condoms, but to her feelings for Randy. Then, as [ the novel] describes it, "All her fear and resistance melted as they kissed, and soon she didn't know who was touching whom, only that it was wonderful and right and fine. The moon stared impeneterably through the window."

In the end, Ferris discovered that love involves sex (which is not always romantic), and Angel discovered that sex involves love, which deeply touched her and transformed her soul. They both grew up that summer.

"Little Darlings" was filmed in Hard Labor Creek State Park, 50 miles east of Atlanta, Georgia. The signs and props built for the film remain for visitors to see. The meeting place for the busses at the beginning and ending were filmed in a parking lot near the offices of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. When Ferris is driven into town, they pass the Swan House, indicating that her family lives in Buckhead, a wealthy part of town to the north of the city.

Awards and nominations

*Young Artist Awards:Nominee: Second Best Young Actress in a Major Motion Picture - Kristy McNichol

Main cast


External links


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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