Official Movie Poster
|Directed by||Laurence E. Mascott|
|Produced by||William Lipper|
|Screenplay by|| Holly Mascott|
Laurence E. Mascott (uncredited)
|Starring|| Tom Holland|
|Running time||85 minutes|
The film was released under a variety of titles and distributors tampered with it, adding additional nudity and sex scenes so they could market it as a soft-core sexploitation flick. The original version has never been issued on home video and the soundtrack was only released as a promo.
Josie Eliot (Holly Mascott), Leonard Robbins (Tom Holland) and Ken Tanaka (George Takei) are all 20-somethings going through divorces, so they decide to shack up together in a cheap house that's slated for demolition. Josie and Leonard quickly begin having a torrid affair, much to the chagrin of Ken, who also has eyes for Josie.
Things begin going south for the new couple when they host a Renaissance-themed party and meet neighbor Bartholomew, who carries on an open flirtation with Ken and tells Josie that Leonard is gay. Initially she doesn't believe it, but Josie begins having doubts as Leonard drifts further away from her. Ken sets her straight with the truth: Leonard's trying to hide the fact that he's dealing drugs, and she finds this news irksome.
Meanwhile, Ken discovers his ex-wife is pregnant and plans to give up the baby for adoption. Heartbroken, he urges her to let him raise the child.
Life comes crashing down on the trio when Leonard's thrill-seeking shenanigans land all three of them in the slammer, and they soon find themselves drifting their own separate ways.
- Tom Holland (as Tom Fielding) - Leonard Robbins
- George Takei - Ken Tanaka
- Holly Mascott - Josselyn "Josie" Eliot
- Barnaby Shackleford - Bartholomew
- John Bakos - Sean
- Irene Martin - Grace Margery McAllister
Like most early '70s independent films, details on the original releases are sketchy. It screened at the Atlanta film festival in 1971 under the title "Grass Is Always Greener" and then was picked up for distribution by the American Producer's Distributing Corporation in 1972 as "Josie's Castle." In 1975, it was obtained by The Monarch Releasing Corporation and IFI Scope III, who issued it under the titles "The Young Divorcees," "Teenage Divorcee" and "California Fever." The latter two are the same edit of the film, they exclude several bits that appeared in the "Josie's Castle" trailer, and it's unknown whether there's any differences between them and "The Young Divorcees."
In 1991, L.D. Video Productions issued "California Fever" on VHS. Somewhat eschewing Mascott and Holland (known only as "Tom Fielding"), the cover prominently features Takei.
In 2009, Secret Key Motion Pictures issued it on DVD as part of a four-pack titled "Skin in the 70's." The box/label boasts the title "Teenage Divorce" (though the print itself says "Teenage Divorcee"). Although the picture is sharper than the "California Fever" video, there are color distortions with prominent scratches and dirt visible throughout, and 30 seconds of mostly-minor footage has been lopped off at the reel changes. Packaged with legitimate skin-flicks "Blue Summer," "Summer School Teachers" and the abridged version of the X-rated "Sometime Sweet Susan," most reviewers have cited "Teenage Divorce" as the weak link in the set.
SoundtrackEditThe soundtrack album with music composed by Jimmie Haskell and lyrics by Jeremy Kronsberg was issued on vinyl as a promotional "Demonstration Album" in 1972 by Mascott Records (through Producer's Distributing Corp.), with lyrics on the back, brief liner notes about the composer and a declaration that the music won a Gold Medal Award at 1971 The Atlanta Film Festival. There are a few minor typos as well as lyrics for a verse in "House of Mirrors" which was omitted, an inaccurate length is cited for the 90 second instrumental "Stoned," and Jeremy Kronsberg is credited as Graeme Kronsberg on the back cover. The singers and musicians were not credited, and the song which opens the album, "Short Way 'Round," was cut from the versions of the movie which were released on home video.
Interestingly, the cover was pressed with the title "Grass Is Always Greener," but instead of scrapping the covers when the film was retitled, a sticker was placed over it which reads "Josie's Castle." Copies without the stickers pop up infrequently, though the label of the accompanying record bears the "Josie's Castle" name. There are a few discrepancies between the track listing on the jacket and the LP. The jacket denotes "The Grass Is Always Greener (The Party Rock)," the LP says "Josie's Castle (Theme Music - Party Rock);" and the final track is denoted as "Call It a Night" on the sleeve and "Sleep Tight, Josie" on the record. Generally the album sells in the $20-$30 range but, due to the rarity, eBay bidders have been known to push it into the triple-digits.
In addition to the 12", a 7" 45 single was also issued featuring "Let the Music Play a Little Longer (The Bicycle Song)" and the so-called "Theme" ("Party Rock"). A black-and-white copy of the "Josie's Castle" poster adorns the left side of the 45 sleeve, with the words "Award Winning Music From the Motion Picture" centered on the right side. The 45 very seldom surfaces for sale and it's often missing the cover.
- Short Way 'Round
- Let the Music Play A Little Longer (The Bicycle Song)
- Tijuana Quatros Veces
- Grass Is Always Greener/Josie's Castle (Party Rock)
- Living for Today
- House of Mirrors
- Just Friends
- Ballad of Reading Gaol
- Call It a Night/Sleep Tight, Josie