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Surfing's answer to Red Line 7000. Fabian looks to outlast his buddies at the annual Waimea Bay surfing blowout on the North Shore of Oahu. A great period piece filmed at the same time as the Beach Blanket movies, but with less comedy and romance and more emphasis on competition. As already noted by reviewers, lots of great surfing shots mixed with laughable (almost campy) shots of the stars in lifeless waters. Still, stars take it seriously. Loads of fun if you like this sort of thing.
Shoot the curl, man! Three hotshot surfers from Malibu hang-ten down in Honolulu; all find the usual quota of romance, teen competition, and gnarly waves. Director Don Taylor does competent work (as usual) and he gives the surf-sand-&-suntans material a little kick. Unfortunately, all the back-projection gives the film a cheesy, dopey look, which is incongruous to the seriousness with which it takes the sport of surfing. The youthful, beaming cast (most in their prime) are certainly a great drawing card, and Fabian, Tab Hunter, a blonde Shelley Fabares, Barbara Eden, Susan Hart, and surly Jim Mitchum all look terrific. An instant hit at drive-ins circa 1964, the movie features gorgeous location footage, but also a corny, unnecessary voice-over narration and far too much moony-eyed boy-girl drama. ** from ****
RIDE THE WILD SURF remains as one of my very favorite 'surf/beach' genre films (notable others: BLUE CRUSH, BIG WEDNESDAY, the GIDGET series, the Avalon/Funnicello BEACH movies, ALOHA SUMMER, Bruce Brown's ENDLESS SUMMER films ~ and hey ... you could even include Nickelodeon TV's popular ROCKET POWER animated series into this mix!). Although several of the fore-mentioned are documentary-style films, they are nonetheless true 'surf' Classics which are a MUST to own/see and should NOT be ignored. RIDE THE WILD SURF was well-stocked with talented actors (see the Credits) and although these actors never truly dared the 'heavies' at Waimea Bay ... only the laughable (yet fun) stationary studio boards with backdrop waves) ... there are quite a few great stock footage scenes of enjoyable, real surfing! The plot was surprisingly more of an adult oriented drama than a juvenile film, therefore adding a bit more realism to the (albeit thin) storyline. The production values were fine and the soundtrack was stoked with some great JAN & DEAN tunes!! True to 60's standards, there is no GORE, NUDITY, PROFANITY-LACED-DIALOGUE, or EXTREME VIOLENCE - so it can be enjoyed by the entire family. I really cannot find fault with this film and highly recommend it for your film library! Now, if only COLUMBIA PICTURES would get off it's corporate ass and release this little gem onto DVD (that's a big HINT)! Until such time, you will have to suffice by renting a VHS copy from your local Blockbuster - the film has almost never been seen on TV (very possibly once - many years ago on AMC-TV). Until then try some of the films listed above and you WON'T be disappointed! 'Til then ... SURF ON, KAHUNA!
The opening scenes of this beach & surf film seem like the prototype for early 1980's gay porn! Three cute guys looking at the ocean while cheap music plays and then deciding to get in the car together to change into their swimsuits. Only this movie steers clear of any sordidness and the guys actually get out of the car and catch a wave! Where was Jerry's "Springer-Break" when ya needed it?! Everything is swell as the three pieces of meat (Porterhouse Hunter with his seasoned body, Sirloin Strip Brown with his lean, low-fat cut and Ribeye Fabian with his adorable baby fat cheeks--both sets!) paddle out to the ocean amidst a bevy of tan surfer boys. Unfortunately, it isn't long before some pesky girls enter the picture and spoil all the fun. The film's main goal (aside from attempting to add a little seriousness and reality to the beach movie genre) seems to be to switch everyone from their previously established hair color! Tab's hair is light brown instead of blonde, Fabares' is platinum blonde instead of brown (she is half-Scandinavian in the flick so she has to be an almost albino blonde?!), Eden ("Jeannie" for cryin' out loud) is a dark auburn and Brown lightens his natural brown hair and winds up with a shocking. brassy, golden-yellow 'do. Bizarre! (It has since been revealed by Hunter that the guys' hair was changed to match their stunt doubles' hues.) Surprisingly, the surfing footage is pretty decent--especially for it's time. The horror is that interspersed with some great footage featuring stunt doubles, there are rear-projection shots of the leads standing in a studio with water splashed on them as they're teetering back and forth!! Sometimes they actually carry on conversations while "riding" the wild surf! Hilarious! It is interesting to note that the trio of surfer dudes are presented as peers of college age. In truth, one was 21, but the other two were 29 and 33 (!) years old! But they all look pretty darn cute in their suits and with their now-politically incorrect tans. Fabares unexpectedly resembles Sandra Dee very much with her new hair and even sounds like her several times. Look for her first scene in which her headlights are on......HIGH BEAMS! Also on board is Robert Mitchum's son Jim who resembles his father so much it almost seems like Bob popped in for a cameo! It's a pleasant, occasionally interesting, always attractive film which depicts a time that is gone forever. Check it out!
Am I to believe this film was written by someone called Josephine Napoleon? (Check the credits!). Then shouldn't it be set in Noumea not Hawaii? Oh ha-ha. In late 1964 my local cinema, The Empire Theatre ran this double feature...and I ask you to imagine the behavior among the teens present: RIDE THE WILD SURF + AND GOD CREATED WOMAN. Nothing like some French Art-house Brigitte Bardot to wet the, er, appetites of the surf crowd. Now on DVD RIDE THE WILD SURF plays well for a 40 year old surf film that tries to offer good surfing footage among the drama. I was pleasantly surprised at the well matched stunt footage to the cast (stunt surfers who actually looked like the actor..and wearing identical togs) but, oh dear, that back projection in the actors surfing scenes on the water..... (waving their arms about whilst swaying etc) ...still it all makes now-days for quaint fun. In Oz cinema audiences roar with laughter at scenes of American surfers sitting on their boards, arguing in dead flat water.. then some dude yells "Wave" and out of nowhere comes a gigantic set of pipeline breakers shot in some other country. This happens in this film and later in Big Wednesday from 1978. In fact these two films are very much alike with their three surf buddies storyline, the "Bear" guru board shaper guy (here called "Phil") and last reel big wave accidents and dramas. The opening of RIDE THE WILD SURF is a lame affair with dull tinny music over 16mm outtakes and TV style titling, but after a few minutes the film swings into gear and allows the three love interest gals to pick up the credibility in the acting stakes. Fabian is in believable shape for an Italian surfer (!) and each of the girls are 60s cute and rom-an-tic. Hawaiian locations are good and the usual Elvis movie family dramas are roped in for another try. See Robert Mitchum's son Jim play someone called Eskimo who wears bee stripe board shorts! (He's the taciturn bad dude)....
Good time parties and excellent surfing footage, plus a better than average
script (involving most of the usual beach melodrama, except without the
jealousy of AIP's beachers). The leads are all good looking, reasonably
mature dialogue and a well-shared spread of characterization making them
seem more mature and real than most beach "kids". Of course, many modern
day fans of beach movies are looking only for derisive laughs, so they
should probably look elsewhere -- because this is a more heartfelt, less
Could have shown the way for some new stars -- but this hollywood brat club got mostly passed over.
"Ride the Wild Surf" is really two movies, two great movies. One is a beach party fun, boy meets girl, campy treat. The other is a strong tast of balance of bravado and self doubt one feels fulfilling a dangerous dream. This is by far the best of the surf movies. Not a documentary like "The Endless Summer" but a movie, like "Big Wednesday" or even "Gidgot." It plays smooth and sweet with it's young cast flying to Hawaii, surfing, dancing and finding love. The dialog is at the same time over the top corn ball, witty sharp and beatnick hip. All's well till the big waves hit and the cast turns to try their hand at Waimea. Then tempers flair, heroes doubt themselves and some just throw in the towel. Even after all these years, it still captures just what it's like to fly to Hawaii and tackle the North Shore for the first time. With some of the best '60 surf footage ever shot, "Ride The Wild Surf" is the best of the surf movies. Unlike Mr Chinn's brother in law, it will not be 'replaced with automation.'
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is probably the only beach surfer movie I have ever seen that did not have a lot of comedy in it. It has some by Barbara Eden, but there is a lot more drama involved. The cast is top notch: Fabian, Peter Brown, Tab Hunter, Shelley Fabares, Barbara Eden & Susan Hart. Interesting enough Michael Ansara(Barbara's husband) does the narrative of the surfer's life. I will say I really liked the entire cast. The story has the three guys going to Hawaii to catch the big wave in a surfing contest at Wayamaya Bay(hope I spelled it right). The theme song by Jan & Dean talks about riding the wild surf. They all meet their mates early in the film. Fabian & Shelley, Peter & Barbara and Tab & Susan. Early on the guys meet the locals who don't respect them at all. Fabian meets Shelley about 18 minutes into the film. She has her hair dyed platinum blonde and she looks sexy. She also has on a bra that makes her chest point straight out. Shelley was 20 at the time and she would get to show how much she had grown up from her Donna Reed days. She now has the body of a woman and it's near perfect. We get a good look at her body in many bikini's. Early on Shelley wants a career and Fabian just wants to be a surfer. The next day the guys surf as Shelley & Barbara show up. Shelley is wearing a blue & white two piece swimsuit. Who cares about Barbara. Shelley's body is hard to look away from. The next day there is some awesome surf footage at the banzai pipeline. Shelley has a quick scene in a white bikini looking thru binoculars. Nice bikini! She also has a quick scene in a flowered bikini. Again nice body! After some partying and dramatic moments with the couples, we get to the surfing competition. There are some more great surfing shots along with Shelley in another flowered bikini. My favorite bikini she wears in the whole film. There are a lot of nice shots showing her perfectly tanned body. Fabian ends up winning the competition and he decides to go back to school. Solid movie with a little too much drama. Shelley Fabares is the hottest bikini wearing woman of the 60's and the surfing footage is second to none. I highly recommend this film.
i am 24 and i haven't seen almost any surf movies from the 60's so this was my first one. i really enjoyed it and i hope to see more of these kinds of movies! i really wish they would go back to making cute beach movies like this nowadays, almost all movies today have way too much cursing, nudity, over the top blood and gore, sex scenes, etc. you don't need all that in a surf movie! this was such a joy to watch, not only Barbara eden from Jeanie but 2 more other beautiful gals, Shelly fabres aka the cute girl from the Donna reed show who i would think is the "main" girl, followed by Barbara and then by some black haired beauty that i don't think i'd seen before. and of course there are 3 "hunks" for the girls to get and all this male ego drama with the surf competitions. one boy goes to school full time, one boy works full time, and one doesn't work or go to school, he just surfs all day. one by one they meet these fabulously gorgeous girls and it takes off from there. it was actually really good and so much fun to watch this and even though the guys were obviously in great shape with there tanned lean bodies for the girls in the audience, the 3 girls are just SO HOT! i was so drooling at Shelly and Barbara, it was like heaven! i loved Shelly's innocence and sweetness, ah if only there were girls like that in todays world! this movie really seems to hearken back to a day when girls were girls and guys were guys. today we live in a world it seems devoid of real men who enjoy being men and real women who really enjoy being women. its really a sad state of affairs, and i blame womens lib and all that rubbish for that. but this film was so nice and pleasant and wish the world was just as pleasant. ah, only a movie like this could they make it seem so easy to meet girls like this! girls and boys who really want to fall in love and not just some one night stand. it was adorable and i guess thats the kind of romance i hope to find one day. i know its a stretch but still! anyway, other notable appearances were Robert mitchums son who looks SO MUCH like his dad its not even funny! also it was so funny to see Roger Davis, who i had been watching quite recently as Peter on the "Dark Shadows" TV show. and a lot of familiar faces that i couldn't quite pinpoint, like that dark haired girls mother. all in all, with the very funny "back projection" surfing and the dialog, its so very 60's and i truly love it! i would recommend this for all the girls and the boys out there who love surf movies without the sex drugs and violence you see in todays movies. i wish i grew up back then!
This is a great film, much better than the other campy beach movies. Good story, good music and a young Barbara Eden.....yahoo. Beautiful Hawaiian scenery with huge waves that any surfer would drool over are prominent throughout the film. The story is set around a surfing contest of who will be bravest and toughest to ride the wild surf, the biggest waves in the world that come in only once in a long while. The vintage look and sound of the movie will bring you to the 1960's surf scene where girls look cute in bikinis and the guys are all tan and muscular. Even though you can easily spot the studio filmed scenes, the real footage of surfers tackling giant waves is truly exciting. After watching this movie you are going to want to by a Willy's and a long board and hit the beach. Aloha!
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