Category Archives: Beach & Ski Movies

Surfing in babydoll pajamas

The original Gidget (1959) – not Pajama Party – with Sue George, Sandra Dee, and Mary LaRoche.   Advertisements

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Why we like…

Beach Party (1963): Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon.

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Duke Hobbie

Duke Hobbie: born 6 May 1942, Helena Georgia. On screen 1965 – 1971 including Winter A-Go-Go (1965) and For Singles Only (1968).

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Why we like…

Girl Happy (1965): Lyn Edgington (1935 – 2005), Shelley Fabares, and Chris Noel.

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Meet the new Gidget

Meet Cindy Carol, the new Gidget.

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Pin-Up Cindy

Cindy Carol, born Carol Sydes, was a child star, including a series regular role on The Loretta Young Show (TV 1963), before changing her name to be the third Gidget in Gidget Goes To Rome (1963).

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Vicki Trickett

Vicki Trickett: born 2 September 1938, Kansas City Kansas; played Abby Stewart, friend and rival to Deborah Walley’s Gidget in Gidget Goes Hawaiian (1961).

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Get Happy! Get With It!

Have yourself a Hawaiian holiday with Gidget! Gidget Goes Hawaiian (1961) with James Darren, Deborah Walley, Vicki Trickett and Michael Callan.

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original Ski Party jacket

Aron Kincaid (1940 – 2011), who appeared in many of the popular beach party pics of the 1960s, died Jan. 6 in Los Angeles of heart failure. He was 70.

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Deb doing her own stunts

Once Walley overcame her reluctance to play Gidget, she threw herself into the role, arriving on location in Waikiki two weeks before the rest of the cast to practice surfing ~ she ended up doing most of her own surfing … Continue reading

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perky young actress

Deborah Walley, the perky young actress who succeeded Sandra Dee as the “girl midget” in the first “Gidget” sequel, starred in several of the 1960s beach frolic movies and became a writer and producer aiding children and Native Americans, has … Continue reading

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briskly virtuous teen-ager

Not to be outdone by “Tammy” (and her faithful goat), “Gidget” is also back in a sequel — a broad but bouncy one — with some pretty Hawaiian scenery for armchair travelers. Replacing Sandra Dee, as the briskly virtuous teen-ager … Continue reading

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with the BIKINI BEAUTY LOOK featuring the “SKI HONEYS”

Winter A-Go-Go (1965) original US half-sheet poster.

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The most GO-GO Snow-Show that ever rocked the slopes!

Winter A-Go-Go (1965) Australian illustrated daybill poster.  

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or how to succeed in paralyzing a parent without half trying! again

Pajama Party (1964) compare to preceding post; Tommy Kirk * Annette Funicello * Elsa Lanchester * Jesse White * Jody McCrea * Ben Lessy * Donna Loren * Susan Hart * Bobbi Shaw * Candy Johnson | with special guest … Continue reading

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Or how to succeed in paralyzing a parent without half trying!

Pajama Party (1964): more terrible movie-star likenesses on an Australian illustrated daybill poster; Susan Hart has a monster head, Annette Funicello looks like a plastic sex doll, Tommy Kirk looks OK and Harvey Lembeck is substantially improved.

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Be the first to fall in love with…

GIDGET (1959) co-starring Sandra Dee, Cliff Robertson, James Darren, Arthur O’Connell with Mary LaRoche, Jo Morrow and The Four Preps | The joyous movie based on that book!

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sweetheart of the beach generation

Original Australian illustrated daybill for Gidget (1959) featuring poor likenesses of Cliff Robertson, James Darren and Sandra Dee – she looks more like Pam Colbert.

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1967 Feliz Ano Novo

KAREN JENSEN estrela do filme “Out of Sight” de Universal deseja aos nossos leitores Feliz Ano Novo (KAREN JENSEN, star of the Universal film “Out of Sight”, wishes our readers Happy New Year 1967).

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The kids are the same

August 6, 1964: The kids are the same “Beach Party” and “Muscle Beach” crowd, headed by Annette Funicello, growing prettier with each beach outing, whose chief playmates are Frankie Avalon, burlesquing a Beatle-type; Jody McCrea, the goony one; and Candy … Continue reading

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Harvey Huntington Honeywagon III

August 13, 1964: Harvey Honeywagon (Keenan Wynn) sets out in “Bikini Beach” to prove that the modern teen-ager operates on the level of a chimpanzee; he has a pet chimp (a man in a monkey suit) named Clyde to prove … Continue reading

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See the Beach-Party Gang Go Dragstrip!

Bikini Beach (1964) – the third Beach Party Gang movie – with special guest star Keenan Wynn (following Bob Cummings and Buddy Hackett), new mature leading lady Martha Hyer (after Dorothy Malone and Luciana Paluzzi) and Don Rickles in his … Continue reading

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Kelp and the White Buick Riviera

Bob Denver posing with the George Barris customised and repainted white Buick ‘Villa Riviera’ featured in For Those Who Think Young (1964).

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Gardner Pruitt III’s Cherry Red Buick Riviera

When ‘For Those Who Think Young‘ director Leslie Martinson was visiting George Barris Kustom in North Hollywood, he was quite taken with the cherry red Villa Riviera but quickly signed a contract that included a clause to repaint the Buick … Continue reading

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Martha Hyer, 1924 – 2014

Martha Hyer, born 10 August 1924, died 31 May 2014; ‘Vivian Clements’ in Bikini Beach (1964) ~ “a horrible juvenile comedy in which surfers fight cyclists and convert their elders to the pleasures of the bronzed physique” NY Times. Obituary…

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AKA Tara Ashton

Darlene Lucht (1938 – 2011): three credits as Tara Ashton: Wendy and Me (TV 1965) – ‘Tea Leaves for Two’ with Connie Stevens Marriage on the Rocks (1965) with Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin Five Bloody Graves (1969) with husband … Continue reading

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Lady Bug and the dragster

Bikini Beach (1964): ‘Lady Bug’ (Danielle Aubry) inspects the dragster to be raced by English mop-topped singer ‘Potato Bug’ (Frankie Avalon) – built by Schiefer Manufacturing Company of San Diego and customiser George Barris, creator of the original Batmobile, the … Continue reading

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Morey Amsterdam, circa 1912 – 1995

Morey Amsterdam (14 December circa 1912 – 28 October 1996): played Cappy in Beach Party (1963) – manager of surfer hangout ‘Big Daddy’s’ (Vincent Price played the eponymous owner); then promoted to proprietor of ‘Cappy’s Place’ in Muscle Beach Party … Continue reading

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Starlet In Green Bay

Starlet in Green Bay — Blonde and vivacious Darlene Lucht was in Green Bay Thursday for a whirlwind tour of local radio and televisions stations to publicize “Muscle Beach Party.” Miss Lucht, a former Miss Milwaukee, is featured in the … Continue reading

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cars, bikinis and high-heels

Patti Chandler promoting her first Beach Party movie, American International Pictures‘ Bikini Beach (1964), the third Beach Party Gang movie.  

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In Pathecolor and Panavision

DARLENE LUCHT is featured in American International Pictures‘ “Bikini Beach” which stars FRANKIE AVALON and ANNETTE FUNICELLO. In Pathecolor and Panavision.

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Bob Cummings (1910 – 1990)

Robert “Bob” Cummings: born 9 June 1910, Joplin, Missouri; died 2 December 1990, Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California; on screen 1935 – 1986. Beach Party (1963) ‘Professor Sutwell’ Gidget Grows Up (TV Movie 1969) ‘Russ Lawrence.’

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Rhonda in a yellow polka dot bikini

Valora Noland (born Valor Baum, 8 December 1941) made her film debut as Rhonda in Beach Party (1963), returning as ‘Animal’ in Muscle Beach Party (1964); final acting credit: Seduction of a Nerd aka Up Your Teddy Bear aka The Toy Grabbers (1970).

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Donna Russell

Donna Russell (born 1944) of Sherman Oaks, Los Angeles and a Theatre Arts Major at Valley College, spent her summer break in 1963 filming Beach Party (1963) with Frankie Avalon, before being elected First Princess to the Homecoming Queen in October … Continue reading

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Beach Monster Press Book

The Beach Girls and The Monster (1965) press book supplied by Edward Janis Productions.  

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Gidget’s Hawaiian Dream

Gidget Goes Hawaiian (1961): Deborah Walley and Michael Callan.

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Hawaiian Lobby Cards

Gidget Goes Hawaiian (1961): 19 year old Deborah Walley and 23 year old  James Darren.    

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Gidget goes water-skiing

Gidget Goes Hawaiian (1961): James Darren (born 1936), Vicki Trickett (born 1938), Michael Callan (born 1935), Bart Patton (born 1939), Deborah Walley (1941 – 2001), Jan Conaway (born 1938), Robin Lory (? – ?), Don Edmonds (1937 – 2009), Arnold … Continue reading

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Ahna, not Anna

Ahna Capri, who began as a child actress in the 1950s and had a career as a sexy starlet through the 1970s, died on August 19 at age 65 from injuries sustained in an automobile accident in Los Angeles ~ … Continue reading

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Surf’s Up?

Cliff Robertson as Malibu Beach surf bum ‘Kahuna’ in Gidget (1959). Novelist Frederick Kohner based the character on surfer Terry ‘Tubesteak’ Tracy.

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Gidget’s boy friends

Hot Shot (Robert Ellis) and Moondoggie (James Darren) carry Gidget (Sandra Dee) down the beach while Lover Boy (Tom Laughlin, rear left), Lord Byron (Burt Metcalfe, rear center), Stinky (Joby Baker, rear right) and Waikiki (Doug McClure, foreground right) run … Continue reading

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Hot Shot, Waikiki, Lover Boy, Stinky, Moondoggie, Lord Byron, Kahuna

Left to right: Hot Shot (Robert Ellis), Waikiki (Doug McClure), Lover Boy (Tom Laughlin, behind Sandra Dee), Stinky (Joby Baker), Moondoggie (James Darren, with Shary Marshall), Lord Byron (Burt Metcalfe), Kahuna (Cliff Robertson) in Gidget (1959).

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Moondoggie

The love-interest of the original Gidget (Kathy Kohner) was a 20 year old Malibu surfer named Bill Jensen, but the nickname ‘Moondoggie’ belonged to artist-surfer Billy Al Bengston.

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Gidget’s boy Moondoggie

James Darren was 22 years old when filming Gidget in the summer of 1958. He returned for Gidget Goes Hawaiian (1961) and Gidget Goes To Rome (1963).

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Gidget’s rival Joanne

Shary Layne a.k.a. Shary Marshall was 23 years old when filming Gidget in the summer of 1958, appearing in one scene as Moondoggie’s girlfriend who doesn’t like the outdoors.

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Betty Louise’s boyish hairstyle

Sue George‘s short hair while for Gidget (1959) was useful for her role in Jefferson Drum — “The Outlaw” (TV 1958) as “a girl disguised as a boy” discovered on the open prairie by titular western hero Jefferson Drum.

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Gidget’s friend Betty Louise

Sue George was 25 years old when filming Gidget in the summer of 1958 and had been married for 2 years to insurance salesman James Thobe.

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Gidget’s friend Patti

Patti Kane was 25 years old when shooting Gidget in the summer of 1958. She had been married since 1954 to fellow Pasadena Playhouse alumnus Ken Becker. Gidget was her only film credit.

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Gidget’s friend Mary Lou

Jo Morrow was 18 years old when shooting Gidget in the summer of 1958. She appeared uncredited in Ten North Frederick (1958). She shot Juke Box Rhythm after Gidget, but it was released a week before the surf movie in … Continue reading

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Gidget’s friend Nan

Yvonne Craig was 21 years old when shooting Gidget in the summer of 1958. Her previous credits were Eighten and Anxious (1957), two episodes of Schlitz Playhouse (CBS TV 1958) directed by Don Weis and John Brahm; and a episode … Continue reading

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Nan, Mary Lou and Patti

Gidget (1959): Gidget (Sandra Dee, born 1942), Gidget’s friends: Nan (Yvonne Craig, born 1939), Mary Lou (Jo Morrow, born 1939), and Patti (Patti Kane, born 1932).

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Gidget in thumbnails

Gidget (released 10 April 1959) Columbia Pictures. Based on the novel by Frederick Kohner, directed by Paul Wendkos, starring Sandra Dee, James Darren, Cliff Robertson, with Yvonne Craig, Joby Baker, Doug McClure.

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Tom Nardini

Tom Nardini: born 16 April 1945, Los Angeles CA. First credit: The Lieutenant (TV 1964); select credits: Cat Ballou (1965) with Michael Callan and Dwayne Hickman; Winter A-Go-Go (1965); Cowboy In Africa (TV 1967) with Dodie Marshall; Born Wild (AIP … Continue reading

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Michael Callan

Michael Callan (born Martin Harris Calinieff, 22 November 1935, Philadelphia PA) Moondoggie’s rival in Gidget Goes Hawaiian (1959), his fifth feature film appearance. Other credits include Because They’re Young (1960) with Dick Clark, Warren Berlinger, James Darren; The Flying Fontaines … Continue reading

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Hawaiian autographs

James Darren (born 1936), Deborah Walley (1941 – 2001), Michael Callan (born 1935) — Gidget Goes Hawaiian (1961).

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WOW What a figure!

Gidget Goes Hawaiian is outgrossing the first Gidget by 52% in its first 152 engagements! from Columbia!

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she had left her heart in California

Gidget Goes Hawaiian by Frederick Kohner | BUT — She had left her heart in California and nothing — well, almost nothing — could make her forget… See Deborah Walley, the new Gidget, in the sparkling motion picture GIDGET GOES … Continue reading

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Melanie Tolman

Yvette Mimieux (born 1942). First three film credits: Platinum High School (1960) Lorinda Nibley; The Time Machine (1960) Weena; Where the Boys Are (1960) Melanie Tolman. Retired from acting at age 49, final screen credit: a supporting role in the … Continue reading

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Tuggle Carpenter

Paula Prentiss (born 1938): discovered by a talent scout at Northwestern University (Illinois) for Where the Boys Are (1960). Later appeared in Follow the Boys (1963) with Connie Francis. Married to actor Richard Benjamin (born 1938) since 1961. Most recent … Continue reading

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Merritt Andrews

Dolores Hart (born 1938) 10 films in Hollywood, including the lead role of Merritt Andrews in Where the Boys Are (1960) and two movies with Elvis Presley, before retiring to join a convent.

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Angie, Bonnie, Libby and Ginger

Connie Francis, born Concetta Rosemarie Franconero, 12 December 1938, Newark, New Jersey. She acted in four movies: Where the Boys Are (1960) Angie; Follow the Boys (1963) Bonnie Pulaski; Looking for Love (1964) Libby Caruso; When the Boys Meet The … Continue reading

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xes spelled backwards

Where The Boys Are (1960) — Here are all these youngsters jammed together, on the beach, in beer joints and motels—coeds from state universities, fellows from the Ivy League—with only one thing on their minds. That is xes spelled backwards. … Continue reading

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The Little Girl with Big Ideas

THE surf goddess was just 15 when she started hanging with the crew at Malibu and gave surfing to the world.

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Dick Clark Goes For “Gidget”

Modern Screen, May 1959.  

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Cliff Robertson 1923 – 2011

Cliff Roberston (born 9 September 1923; died 10 September 2011) as Burt Vail aka ‘The Big Kahuna’ in Gidget (1959). When the movie was shot in August 1958, Robertson was almost 45 years old, Sandra Dee was 16, and James … Continue reading

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Picture Show and TV Mirror

Cliff Robertson, Sandra Dee and James Darren in “Gidget” (1959).

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Gidget in England

A wet Sandra Dee in Gidget (1959) the movie on the dustjacket of Gidget the novel by Frederick Kohner (British first hardback edition, 1958).

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a candid and refreshing novel

Frederick Kohner’s 1957 novel, Gidget, which sprang from his daughter’s adventures with a gang of Malibu surfers, sold nearly two million copies and spawned seven sequels, a hit single by James Darren, a 1959 movie starring Sandra Dee and a … Continue reading

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Gidget and Moondoggie

James Darren (Moondoggie) and Sandra Dee (Gidget) in a publicity photo for Gidget (1959).

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Gidget and Gidget

Kathy Kohner (born 19 January 1941) and Sandra Dee (born 23 April 1942). “Somebody actually did call me ‘Gidget’ at the beach,” recalls Kathy Kohner Zuckerman, 37. “I asked, ‘What does it mean?’ and he said, ‘Girl midget.’ That’s how … Continue reading

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Jackie DeShannon

Jackie DeShannon (born 21 August 1941, Hazel Kentucky): three movie credits: Surf Party (1964), Intimacy (1966) and C’mon, Let’s Live A Little (1967).

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Lorelei on a surfboard

Marta Kristen: plays the mermaid ‘Lorelei’ in Beach Blanket Bingo (1965).

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FTWTY lobby card

For Those Who Think Young (1964): James Darren and Pamela Tiffin. “Miss Tiffin plays a stanchly virtuous student, briskly pursued over the campus and along the beach by Mr. Darren, a rich playboy. Add to all the splashy cavorting, the … Continue reading

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A zany satire on teenage girls!

Glendon Swarthout, an associate professor of English at MSU, was teaching an honors class in 1958 when he overheard one of his students talking about spring break. When Swarthout asked his students for more specifics, he was invited to join … Continue reading

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Why do thousands of coeds flock to Fort Lauderdale?

“This novel is meant to be a half-gay, half-sad, but always breezy account of that, by now, minor institution — the collegiate goings-on in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, during the spring semester vacation.” Kirkus Review.

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Sinatra, Ercolani and Crocetti

Nancy Sinatra, daughter of Frank (1915 – 1998), James Darren, born James Ercolani, and Claudia Martin, daughter of Dino Crocetti (1917 – 1995) in a publicity photo for For Those Who Think Young (1964).

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visible bikini

Sue Hamilton promoting The Ghost in the Invisible Bikini (1966). Born Los Angeles 1940, Playboy Magazine Miss April 1965 (as Sue Williams), five AIP beach movies and three episodes of Gidget between July 1965 and June 1966, final appearance as … Continue reading

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“underrated”

The joy lies in watching Disney idol Annette and chipper pop favorite Frankie strut their stuff with any colorful personalities available for a day or two of work under the AIP banner. Thus the viewer is treated to an oddball … Continue reading

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Summertime is movietime, U.S.A.

Also on the bill is ‘Bikini Beach,” a horrible juvenile comedy in which surfers fight cyclists and convert their elders to the pleasures of the bronzed physique. Eugene Archer, New York Times.

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Al, Carl, Dennis, Mike and Brian

THE GIRLS ON THE BEACH (1965) The Beatles are coming…to a southern California sorority party! At least the Alpha Beta sorority thinks so! Believing that The Beatles have agreed to fly from England to perform at their fundraiser, the girls … Continue reading

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slightly spicy beach movies

Walt Disney told Annette Funicello that he had been approached by American International Pictures about her making a beach movie. He said he thought it sounded like “good clean fun,” but asked her not to expose her navel. She readily … Continue reading

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Whatever happened to…

Update here (August 2017). Sue Hamilton aka Sue Williams, Playboy Playmate and beach party movie actress, WAS NOT Karen Sue (Levitt) Hamilton, who died by suicide in 1969. Who was the actress who played “Peanuts” in How To Stuff a … Continue reading

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Batgirl in a big bikini

Yvonne Craig, actor and dancer, born 16 May 1937; died 17 August 2015. The dark-haired beauty, a native of Taylorville, Ill., began her theatrical career at age 17 as the youngest member of the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo. She … Continue reading

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Honeymooners at Idlewild Airport

The bride wore a purple cocktail dress, no shoes, and one of America’s favorite smiles; the groom, a jacket and one of America’s favorite snarls. The 10-minute ceremony at music publisher Don Kirshner’s Camden, N.J., home was preceded by a … Continue reading

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James, Danielle and Jessie

James Darren, Danielle de Metz, and Jessie Royce Landis (1896 – 1972) – “Gidget,” that wholesome American girl with the wide-eye appeal and the Buster Brown hairdo, is now conquering Rome. Her past successes include Hawaii and California, fans will … Continue reading

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As performed in the motion picture…

Not to be outdone by “Tammy” (and her faithful goat), “Gidget” is also back in a sequel — a broad but bouncy one — with some pretty Hawaiian scenery for armchair travelers. Replacing Sandra Dee, as the briskly virtuous teen-ager … Continue reading

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Easy Dodie

Dodie Marshall: born Rhoda Bailey Wolf 1934; on screen 1964-67, including Spinout (1966) and Easy Come Easy Go (1967). In 1991 claimed to have achieved a perfect score of 200 on a self-administered IQ test (LA Times); from 1977 to … Continue reading

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Rhoda Bailey Wolf

Dodie Marshall dancing with Elvis Presley in Spinout (1966)

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Lynette Winter

Lynette Winter: born Mary Lynette Winter 17 June 1946, Decatur Illinois. On screen 1958-70, married Charles Edward “Ted” Cessac (1945-2011) 18 June 1969 in Los Angeles, relocated to Abbeville Louisiana and co-founded the Abbey Players in 1976, co-founded the Bodwin … Continue reading

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Stephen Mines

Stephen Mines: born 3 February 1939, Muskegon Michigan. On screen 1961-71, including two episodes of Gidget (TV) as Jeff a.k.a. Moondoggie. He retired from acting to start a woodworking business in Los Angeles. In 2005 he relocated to his home … Continue reading

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Dear Diary – Et Al.

“Dear Diary – Et Al.” (Gidget episode 1, 15 Sep. 1965). Gidget’s private and personal feelings are revealed when her older sister “accidentally” comes across Gidget’s diary. Girls: Sally Field (Gidget), Betty Conner (Anne Cooper), Lynette Winter (Larue), Pamela Colbert … Continue reading

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Maury Dexter

Maury Dexter: born 12 June 1928, Paris Arkansas USA. Directing credits include: Surf Party (1964), Wild On The Beach (1965), Maryjane (1968), The Mini-Skirt Mob (1968), The Young Animals (1968), Hell’s Belles (1969).

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Martin Milner 1931 – 2015

Martin Milner: born 28 December 1931, Detroit Michigan; died 6 September 2015, Carlsbad California. Select credits: Sex Kittens Go to College (1960), Gidget (TV 1965): S1E3 The Great Kahuna – ‘Kahuna’ Ski’, Ski Fever (1966), Valley of the Dolls (1967), … Continue reading

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Roddy McDowall 1928 – 1998

Roddy McDowall: born 17 September 1928, London England; died 3 October 1998, Los Angeles USA. First credit: Murder in the Family (UK 1938), moved to the US the following year, on screen until 1998. Selected credits: Lord Love a Duck … Continue reading

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a random, bearded beatnik or two

For Those Who Think Young (1964): It’s strictly summery, light-headed fare, pretty to look at but about as obvious and empty as breeze. Miss Tiffin plays a stanchly virtuous student, briskly pursued over the campus and along the beach by … Continue reading

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Swinging Twisting Surfing

Muscle Beach Party (1964) novelization by Elsie Lee quotations: Her hand caught warmly in Frankie’s, Dee Dee wandered where he led, across the sands and away from the sounds of civilization, If you can call it that, she thought vaguely. … Continue reading

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Guys are swinging with their Dolls

Muscle Beach Party (1964) synopsis: Surfers Frankie and Dee Dee and their friends become uneasy when muscleman Flex Martian and his friends from Jack Fanny‘s gym invade their section of the beach. On a yacht offshore, a wealthy contessa named … Continue reading

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diverting and zany

Critical reaction to Muscle Beach Party was, not surprisingly, harsh. The New York Post branded the outing “abysmal.” Photoplay was kinder, daring to suggest that Muscle Beach Party was superior to Beach Party while Seventeen went out on a limb … Continue reading

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teenage-geared romantic farce with songs

Muscle Beach Party is American International‘s followup to Beach Party, its click of a year earlier. The novelty of surfing has worn off, leaving in its wake little more than a conventional teenage-geared romantic farce with songs. December 31, 1963, … Continue reading

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a twitch-and-twist musical

The second feature on the program is a twitch-and-twist musical film entitled “Muscle Beach Party,” which stars Annette Funicello, Frankie Avalon and a tangle of vigorous young people with beautiful bodies and empty heads. If you can last through “A … Continue reading

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