VIDEO ARCHIVES WEEK: Little Darlings (1980)

VIDEO ARCHIVES NOTES: This movie was discussed on the January 3, 2023 episode of the Video Archives podcast and can be found on their site here.

One of the most popular posts on the site is about Ten movies that were never even released on DVD.

Little Darlings is one of those movies, one that has completely skipped disc home media. It’s been on TV hundreds of times and the original VHS release had all of the songs. That said, the second VHS release replaces John Lennon’s “Oh My Love,” Supertramp’s “School” and The Bellamy Brothers’ “Let Your Love Flow” with cover versions. Little Darlings sometimes shows up on iTunes and Amazon, but then goes down just as fast. Interestingly, Lionsgate announced that they would be releasing this on DVD and then canceled it.

Directed by Ronald F. Maxwell — who went from this movie, Kidco and The Parent Trap II to Gettysburg — and written by Kimi Peck and Dalene Young, this movie was an HBO favorite in my preteen days. It felt wrong, like I was too young to learn that girls wanted sex just as much as the boys.

The main girls in question are tough as nails poor girl Angel Bright (Kristy McNichol) — guess who my favorite is, of course) and romantic rich girl Ferris Whitney (Tatum O’Neal). Angel has her eyes on Randy (Matt Dillon), while Ferris wants older man Gary (Armand Assante). They make a bet to see who loses their virginity first over the summer.

As you can imagine from an 80s teen comedy, the girls have a lot to learn. Mostly, they learn from their differences, as well as what love and sex is all about. I always felt like this movie was more real, if you will, than the other teen sex comedies I was sneaking in at the time.

If you saw this on broadcast television, you saw a heavily edited version. All the sex is taken out and the bet is over which girl can make a guy fall in love with her. This was all done in editing and the director had nothing to do with it.

There was also a TV movie — written by Peck and Young, but directed by Joel Zwick — that had Pamela Adlon from Grease 2 as Angel and Tammy Lauren (Wishmaster) as Ferris.

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