Freitag, 6. Juli 2012

Let's watch...BEACH PARTY (1963)

OK, when I was younger like around 13 or 14, this cable channel would air certain movies every summer. Beach films like Gidget and the beach films starring Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello were some of them. I would anxiously await them each and every summer. 

The first beach film was simply titled Beach Party (1963) and it introduced the whole gang to audiences everywhere back then and again in the 80's on TV. 

An anthropologist named Robert Orville Sutwell (Robert Cummings) is secretly studying the "wild mating habits" of Southern California teenagers who hang out at the beach and use strange surfing jargon. After he temporarily paralyzes Eric Von Zipper (Harvey Lembeck), the leader of the local motorcycle gang, who was making unwanted advances on Dolores (Annette Funicello), Dolores develops a crush on the Professor. Her surfing boyfriend Frankie (Frankie Avalon), the local Big Kahuna, becomes jealous and begins flirting with Ava (Eva Six), a Hungarian waitress. Meanwhile, Sutwell's assistant Marianne (Dorothy Malone..what a treat it is to see her in this film) further develops her crush on the Professor. Von Zipper and his gang plot to bring down Sutwell, only to be thwarted in the end by the surfing teenagers.

Kissee kissee

So a lot happens in this entertaining film. And it was the first of many in a very successful series during the 60's.  So successful in fact that Avalon and Funicello got pigeon holed in these roles and could never achieve success anywhere else. Still they were diverting and fun films that made them household names.


Released mid summer of 1963 on July 14th

Followed by four more sequels: Muscle Beach Party (1964), Bikini Beach (1964), Pajama Party (1964), and Beach Blanket Bingo (1965).

Annette was 20 years old when cast in this film and Frankie was 23.

Just cruising down the highway

Count our lucky stars


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