A Swingin’ Fight

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Martin West and William Wellman Jr wrestling in Lake Arrowhead in A Swingin’ Summer (1965).

50 YEARS AGO: “A Swingin’ Summer” Filmed In Lake Arrowhead” by Michael P. Neufeld ROTWNEWS.

A SWINGIN’ SUMMER (1965) featuring Raquel Welch was filmed entirely in Lake Arrowhead and the San Bernardino Mountains and featured Welch in her first and only musical film appearance.

The “beach party” film — also starring William Wellman, Jr., James Stacy and Lori Williams — had Welch join Gary Lewis and the Playboys in a rendition of “I’m Ready To Groove.”

Welch, a 25-year-old single mother at the time the film was made in 1964, played a bespectacled bookworm who learns to loosen up and groove with the best of them!

The musical comedy — A SWINGIN’ SUMMER — involves a group of teen beach buddies leaving the beach for the summer for a change of scenery at Lake Arrowhead and a season of fun, water sports and concert promotion at the Pavilion in the Village.

The rock acts that were gathered in the low budget film for the concert promotion plot element included the Righteous Brothers, Gary Lewis (son of comedian Jerry Lewis) and the Playboys, the Rip Cords and Donnie Brooks.

Locals will appreciate the opening scenes as the credits roll over a car trip up Highway 18, through The Narrows and into Lake Arrowhead Village.

In his book, More Magnificent Mountain Movies, film historian W. Lee Cozad wrote: “The old Lake Arrowhead Village and dance pavilion are prominently featured in the film, as well as an exciting chase of old ‘woodie’ speed boats.”

Cozad also pointed out that the film had financial troubles and almost wasn’t released and that its distribution didn’t really begin until 1965 — 50 years ago.

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