If Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! is the Citizen Kane of crap, this movie is the Magnificent Ambersons.
High School Confidential! is breathtakingly audacious for a film that received such a mainstream release (through Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, no less). The movie’s casual and honest depiction of heroin use might seem odd at first glance, but a look at the writing credits reveals that co-writer Lewis Meltzer had just come from a stint as co-scripter of the granddaddy of all serious explorations of drug abuse, Otto Preminger’s The Man with the Golden Arm (1955). It is quite a jolt to see an attractive high school girl in a heroin withdrawal writhing on the backroom couch of a drug kingpin, because only moments earlier we witnessed Mamie Van Doran purring seductively on the bed of her nephew while he changes clothes in his room! (…)
High School Confidential! features more eye-candy than just the female form; throughout the film Russ Tamblyn drives a gorgeous 1958 Imperial Crown convertible. Los Angeles-based car customizer George Barris wrote in his book Barris Kustoms of the 1950s, that, while roadsters and cool cars had been a staple of teen and exploitation films since the late 1940s, “High School Confidential! was one of the first to feature hot rods and customs built specifically for a movie. We built two 1948 Chevys with teardrop skirts, custom grilles, blanked outside windows, lowered suspension, and chopped tops.”