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Little Darlings

3 Ratings: 3.0
A movie directed by Ronald F. Maxwell

Two 15-year-old girls, one rich and sophisticated and the other poor and belligerent, wager which one will be the first to lose her virginity at summer camp.

Director: Ronald F. Maxwell
Genre: Comedy
Release Date: March 21, 1980
MPAA Rating: R
1 review about Little Darlings

Little Darlings (1980)

  • Apr 24, 2002
Pros: ahhh .... young teenage lust

Cons: older movie, may not be appreciated by todays younger audience

The Bottom Line: Take a trip into nostalgia

What happens with the poor little rich girl meets up with the trouble making poor girl? Charisma and fireworks, at least in this movie. From the beginning we are introduced to bored and precocious Ferris Whitney (Tatum O’Neal), sent to camp by her parents that are constantly traveling, and fiesty and ornery Angel Bright (Kristy McNichol), sent to camp just to keep her outta trouble. Will this work? I think not!

Both adventuresome and competitive girls, Ferris and Angel butt heads from day one. Angel, who tries to portray herself as tough-gal, bad girl, is a smoking, cussing, and conniving funmaker. Ferris, more prim and proper, but willing to do anything she has to do to beat out Angel, sends sparks flying. Of course, some kind of competition has to grow out of this, and I don’t mean swimming meets and diving tryouts.

alluring young ladies, budding sexuality, they are on the teetering edge of ‘the big experiment’. You know, they are 15 and they haven’t ‘done it’ yet. So, we have our story set up – to get Ferris or Angel laid before the end of camp season. Now how we gonna do this staying at an all girls camp?

Well, we have two choices here, for the enterprising young things. First of all, there is the breathtaking camp counselor Gary Callahan (Armand Assante), and for another, we are smack dab across the lake from the all boys camp. What ingenuity! What possibilities? What a mess!

Thrown in the cabin with these two enterprising young ladies is one of the biggest pains in the pootie I ever saw, one Ms. Krista Errickson, otherwise known as ‘Cinder, the Tidy Curl Model’. This is one gal you simply want to slap up side her perfectly made up coiffure.

So, the stage is set. Ms. Ferris sets her eyes on camp counselor Callahan. Every chance she gets, she is nestled up next to the poor unsuspecting guy, although he isn’t long in getting the hint. After all, he is used to these antics, ya gotta expect that when you look like Assante.

Story two unveils itself when we find Angel attracted to boy’s camp bad boy Randy (Matt Dillon). Actually, considering the characters they are trying to set forth, this would be the perfect match – bad girl/bad boy. But truthfully, Angel isn’t all that hard. In fact, Angel is durn near shy and retiring compared to Randy, and nothing compared to Cinder!

Story 3 & 4 evolve when ‘Parents Day’ arrives, and Ferris’s parents don’t, naturally. Even worse, Angel’s mother does (Margaret Blye) and she is all that you expected. Cinders’ too perfect parents do show, to visit their too perfect daughter. Not a good Parents Day, I would say. In fact, it throws Ferris in a funk, which she tries to alleviate in the bed of poor Callahan.

showing up at his door late at night in her filmy linen nightgown (for your information, linen can be a lot more enticing than silk), she practically rapes the poor guy, but he soon sets her straight – and on her way back to her cabin. Unfortunately, Ferris is not one to accept rejection lightly, and she spreads the rumor quickly that she and Callahan had begun a heated affair.

This leaves Angel in the throes of agony, as she realizes she is losing the ‘contest’. In an attempt to ‘save face’ Angel submits to Randy’s wishes one night in the loft of the boathouse. Remorseful, yet shoving her tough girl persona in your face, she tells Ferris later that she slept with Randy.

rather than give the entire story away, I’ll just suffice to say that the ever lovin Cinder gets her comeuppance, thank you very much, friendships are formed, Ferris scares the Hell outta Callahan, love tentatively blooms, and they put on one stupid play at the end of the camp season.

If you ever wanted to see a movie with lessons, this would be the one to catch. Added to that, you get to see these great actresses/actors in their young fledgling stages, except Assante who will always be the same age and continue to be hot.

Kristy McNichol and Tatum O’Neal are just a cute as can be, their acting doesn’t really appear to be acting but more like a docudrama of young girl’s lives. Yes, guys, this is really how young girls think and act, pitiful as it may seem. I enjoyed every minute of this movie, even that hateful Cinder, because except for going away to camp, I felt like I was reliving every feeling, scene and nuance of the characters.

This is an older but definitely under appreciated film that shows the fear and loneliness of young girls with their awakening sexuality. Scenes between O’Neal and Assante are actually quite good, their chemistry is apparent. This would be a good movie, even considering it’s age, to introduce to young groups who are teetering on that edge of .…. what if ……

Kristy McNichol was nominated for Best Young Actress in a Major Motion Picture, from Young Artists Awards, in 1981. Unfortunately, she didn’t win.

Little Darlings was directed by Ronald Maxwell, written by Kimi Peck & Dalene Young. Stars: Kristy McNichol, Tatum O’Neal, Armand Assante, Matt Dillon, Margaret Blye, Krista Errickson.


The Oracle says: Armand Assante has a Bacon number of 2.
Armand Assante was in Marrying Man, The (1991) with Tom Milanovich
Tom Milanovich was in Novocaine (2001) with Kevin Bacon ***

***Compliments of: Department of Computer Science
School of Engineering, University of Virginia


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