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|Index||21 reviews in total|
Okay, I'm a sucker for ALL the old "Beach Party" movies, starring
Frankie and Annette. How 'bout that? They're like Fred and Ginger, Hope
and Crosby and William Powell and Myrna Loy: They're icons! This movie,
the ORIGINAL "Beach Party," is the BEST of the lot if you're asking me.
Besides Frankie and Annette, Bob Cummings and Oscar winner ("Written on
the Wind") Dorothy Malone, also star. I can't believe that someone on
this thread actually described the WONDERFUL Bob Cummings as
"offensive." Apparently, this person NEVER saw this actor on his old
"Love that Bob" TV sitcom from the '50's. I did. A more lighthearted
and fun actor I've never seen; decidedly NOT "offensive."
THIS movie is just like the old Beach Boys song, "Fun, Fun, Fun." NOTHING to take seriously. Pure fluff, just like the old Doris Day and Rock Hudson comedies from a more innocent time. Not too much in the way of plot (hot-blooded and red-blooded American girls and boys, sand, surfing, rock 'n' roll, a little harmless sex (c'mon, this IS 1963!), a couple of middle-agers (Bob and Dorothy) and the most tame, inept and funny "outlaw" motorcycle gang you've EVER seen! Also, a GREAT supporting cast: Morey Amsterdam, Harvey Lembeck, John Ashley, Jody McCrea, Eva Six and EVEN Vincent Price!
Look, upon reaching puberty, Annette Funicello was my very first "crush." I'm 55, now, and I STILL love her! This movie didn't re-define the American cinema, but there are FAR worse ways to kill 101 minutes!
A must have for your surfing movie collection, a piece of cinematic kitsch
The surfing scenes (a montage of various places, apparently in SoCal) are all too brief, but worthwhile.
The fake-surfing and stunt-surfing are a hoot and leave you wanting more.
Precious scenes of Malibu and Santa Monica pre-building explosion.
And of course, Eric Von Zipper. Personally, I think Bob Cummings is adorable, and there's such a cheapie, near-porn subtext to much of the film, everyone gets to camp it up a bit.
This is a fun little film. Bob Cummings stars as a professor who has taken
a beach house so that he can observe the sexual habits of the healthy young
kids around him.
Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello--in her first feature other than her Disney films-- are young lovers looking for some fun at the beach.
Annette feels that Frankie is taking advantage of her, so she flurts with the professor to make Frankie jealous.
Also starring is Dorothy Malone in a worthless part that does little to enhance her career. (She is excellent in other films.)
This film is the beginning of the beach movie cycle that AIP made over the next few years. All in all, this film is good clean light comedy entertainment that gives us a look at Hollywoods' view of the early '60's on the California beaches.
The supporting charactors are fun, and Eric Von Zipper is a hoot in his Brando-like role as the leather-clad bad guy without a brain.
Vincent Price is seen as Big Daddy in a quick cameo with references to his then recent film (For AIP) The Pit And The Pendulum.
This film, and its spawns, are all worth a look at least once.
Bob Cummings (offensive in nearly every movie I've seen him in) acquits himself quite nicely here as nerdy professor studying the mating habits of today's teenagers, eventually finding himself sort-of attracted to busty-but-innocent Annette Funicello. Frankie Avalon and Annette get co-starring parts here, later carrying the torch onward to many other beach sequels; they fight a lot (as usual) and try to make each other jealous. The only thing that really separates this initial sand-&-sex romp from the others is a bit more attention to plot and dialogue, less silliness (it's surprisingly low-keyed). Annette, her hair tinted a pretty cinnamon-brown, sings a great solo number, "Treat Him Nicely"--actually, it's her mirrored reflection who gives the advice. A pleasant, colorful outing, with Harvey Lembeck very funny as Eric Von Zipper, who gets "the finger" from Cummings ("You stupids!"). A little singing, a little loving, lots of arguing, and a pie fight finale. *** from ****
Even people who HATE these movies, who won't even watch them as "schlock", probably have second thoughts when it comes to Eric Von Zipper and his Rat Pack. Which is easy for me to say, since I've always been attached to the things IN GENERAL (a Summer wouldn't be quite the same without them). I never knew anything of The Bob Cummings Show for the longest time, and never SAW it until last year, so I never really got the inside joke of him (of all people) playing a straight-laced character trying to be a swinger. And speaking of inside jokes, I just saw it again yesterday, and at least THOUGHT I saw one. In one scene, Frankie Avalon hands a cigarette to John Ashley, after taking kind of a long drag on it. Regardless of what kind of cigarette it's SUPPOSED to be, this at least seemed like a little reference to something else. I glanced at someone's comments about it, and they said that Dorothy Malone had a thankless part, and that might be partly true, but she had some pretty good comeback lines, including yet another private joke - "Why don't you sell the movie rights to American International? They'll buy anything." Anyway, I don't like it QUITE AS MUCH as "Beach Blanket Bingo", or even a few of the other sequels (I guess it's one of those "Godfather / Godfather Part II" situations), but I'm still really attached to it.
I find it very difficult not to like Beach Party. While it may seem dated by today's standards, it is interesting to see surfing done this way and how people acted and I thought it added to its charm. My only real problem with Beach Party actually is the banal subplot between Sutwell and Marianne that seemed to come from a completely different movie altogether. Bob Cummings however is very likable, and Dorothy Malone is resourceful with some nice lines. Her character may seem somewhat worthless compared to this subplot, but not because of her performance. The rest of the performances are also fine, Harvey Lembeck seems to be enjoying himself, and the leads Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello(it's easy why anybody would have a crush on her) are really charming and sweet. Vincent Price also has a nice if brief cameo. The film looks colourful, and the soundtrack is very catchy and drives it wonderfully. The pacing is zippy, the characters are appealing and the story is rarely dull. The dialogue has its wit and fun too, if perhaps very of the time. All in all, charming, likable and fun, very difficult not to enjoy regardless of whether it's perfect or not. 8/10 Bethany Cox
Before there was Baywatch we had the Beach Party movies and this one
was the one that started it all.
Robert Cummings must have seen Lover Come Back where Rock Hudson had a full growth of beard and Doris Day mistook for a scientist. Cummings must have liked the look as a scientist because he uses it here in portraying an anthropologist studying teenage mating habits.
Where better than Malibu and who better for study than Frankie Avalon, Annette Funicello and their friends?
The same innocence of the years before November of 1963 is there, this film's not quite as surreal as the later successors. It's like The Road to Singapore which established the formula for those Crosby/Hope films, but hadn't descended yet into the zaniness that characterized the later ones.
It all works out quite nicely and it was nice Dorothy Malone was around for Bob Cummings although the poor woman had very little to do in this film. My favorite in these film is Harvey Lembeck as Erich Von Zipper, the motorcycle gang leader. He's a Marlon Brando wannabe.
Beach Party does kind of take me back to my teen years.
While not the best in the Frankie-Annette beach movies they made with their supporting cast of recurring characters including villain Von Zipper, lovable leader of his "stupid" motorcycle gang, dim-witted Deadhead and the human dancing machine Candy Johnson, it's still pretty good and has something to offer audiences of today. For one thing, it's a good chance to see the beaches of southern California before developers moved in and built homes all over the place. Then, there are some great surfing scenes. The songs and dancing are first rate,and the climactic fight scene is very good, although a lot of the pies thrown missed their marks. There's something for everybody in this entry: comedy, romance, music, hunky guys and pretty girls in bikinis. A film like this must have been a big boon to the tourism industry and for attracting new residents to the state. Who wouldn't want to go to a place where even the motorcycle gangs make nice? Dale Roloff
This is the first and some would say best(other than Beach Blanket Bingo) of the series.Annette and Frankie are on their way to a cozy weekend beach vacation,but Annette has invited the whole gang!!!Frankie is mad at her rejection of him,and they have a childish fight.Meanwhile,a professor is studying the teens and Annette uses him to get back at Frankie,while Frankie uses an over-endowed girl.Annette sings "Treat Him Nicely" and "Promise Me Anything" as well as the title song with Frankie.Fun pie-throwing things.
I watched this first of AIP's Beach Party movies in tribute to Annette Funicello. I forget just how painfully dopey these teen comedies from the era can be. No offense meant to Funicello - she's pretty charming here. She's almost an afterthought, though. Robert Cummings, playing an anthropologist studying surfing culture, is the film's star. He's pretty much the only one who lands any of his jokes - he comes off as a pretty talented comedian surrounded by hackiness. Frankie's here, too, of course, and also doesn't have too much to do. Dorothy Malone, as Cummings assistant and the gal who he'll end up with (he has a phony romance with Funicello which we know from the start won't go anywhere), also has nothing to do. And, poor girl, she looks hopelessly ancient next to Funicello, Eva Six and the rest of the young women. There are several good songs. Whenever they're singing, the film's worthwhile.
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