Beach Blanket Bingo (1965) Poster

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The Best Of The Beach
hillari18 December 2000
All of the seven, count 'em, seven beach movies are really silly and poorly acted. However, they are great fun to watch. This is the best of the lot, featuring a pre-"Big Valley" and "Dynasty" Linda Evans as pop princess Sugar Cane. Paul Lynde is a scream here, with his trademark slow burn. Watch him as he insults Eric Von Zipper, who's too stupid to realize it. Don Rickles is also good during a scene where he takes the mike and rips into the kids. There is so much zaniness going on here, much more than the movies that came before or after it in this series.
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Best of the Beach
carolsco11 January 2000
William Asher's Beach Blanket Bingo is probably the best, and certainly the most entertaining, of the AIP beach party movies. For once, the script is actually funny, not just stupid, and the presence of Buster Keaton, Timothy Carey and, of course, Harvey Lembeck as Von Zipper, adds a lot to the camp value and a very young Linda Evans adds her own exotic beauty.

Annette looks great, Frankie even seems to have a tan and the late, great, John Ashley adds to the fun.

This isn't Shakespeare, but the script is clever, and this probably has the best songs in the series, with the great Les Baxter actually having a hand in the songs and their arrangements in addition to his usual scoring duties.

By all means catch this one if you like the series, and if you aren't familiar with it, I would recommend starting here. You won't be bored!
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BEACH BLANKET BINGO (William Asher, 1965) ***
MARIO GAUCI23 July 2008
The fifth entry in the "Beach Party" series is universally acknowledged as the best of the lot. Having watched three such films in quick succession, I have to agree: it's not that those concerned made a concentrated effort at creating something more accomplished than before, but just that all the various elements (while others were dropped or altered) seemed to be more evenly balanced here to produce a generally more satisfying result. Incidentally, not only is the script wittier than usual – but even the songs are kinda pleasant this time around…

Plotwise, we still get Frankie (Avalon) and Annette (Funicello) bickering – but, rather than because one of them is being 'preyed' upon by an interloper, both of them are in this case (and, coming via members of a skydiving troupe who're supposed to instruct the "Beach" gang in just that type of sport, creates a few welcome sparks of high-flying tension). As always, the manager of the exciting but potentially dangerous 'entertainment' is played by Don Rickles – whose character name, or moniker, has gone from Jack Fanny in MUSCLE BEACH PARTY to "Big Drag" in BIKINI BEACH (both 1964) to "Big Drop" in this one! Annette's fling, then, is John Ashley (usually seen as a surfer!) while Frankie's is spunky Deborah Walley (whom I recently watched in the Elvis Presley vehicle SPINOUT [1966]) – since Ashley and Walley were married to one another at the time, I guess this is why they made the former a rival to Frankie instead of a pal for this particular entry!

Another important change in the nonsensically-titled BEACH BLANKET BINGO (by the way, exuberant dancing blonde Candy Johnson – easily the most resistible element in the two earlier films from the series that I watched, is nowhere to be seen in this one!) concerns the character played by Jody McCrea: while his nickname has unaccountably gone from "Deadhead" to "Bonehead", he's now given two separate romances (which means that his former grating comic relief persona has been considerably diluted). The first involves singing starlet Linda Evans (miles removed from her signature role in the 1980s TV series DYNASTY!), ostensibly engaged in a skydiving stunt to promote her current record but actually doubled by Walley, and the other with real mermaid Marta Kristen, who's really the one that saved McCrea from drowning but the feat is once again attributed to the naïve but spoilt Evans by her conniving and sardonic manager Paul Lynde! While we do get an appearance from another screen giant here – comic genius Buster Keaton, then going through a much-deserved renaissance – this is rightly credited at the very start instead of relegated to the end credits, since it's a relatively bigger role than either of Peter Lorre's or Boris Karloff's cameos (one in each of the previous "Beach Party" films I'd checked out). Even so, his character could have been better integrated into the plot – since, playing Rickles' girl-chasing assistant, he's not given anything particularly inspired to do: it's fitting, for instance, that Keaton be involved in the speeded-up chase towards the end (by now a typical component of the series intended to mimic the style of Silent comedies)…but the same can't be said of his cavorting with a trio of anonymous-looking girls during the final credit roll!

Two welcome presences (actually both returns from previous entries in the series, though allowed greater stature than before) are those of Harvey Lembeck as Eric von Zipper – self-pitying leader of the motorcycle gang "The Rat Pack"(!), who idolizes Evans to the point of kidnapping her – and Timothy Carey as the nasty "South Dakota Slim" (though, regrettably, without his werewolf companion from BIKINI BEACH: it's strange how this actor brings such intensity to his portrayals that he seems to be permanently on acid or something…and this goes for mainstream fare as well, such as CRIME-WAVE [1954], which I watched just a few days prior to this one). By the way, both these actors are involved in the film's two biggest belly-laughs: engaged in a billiards game at a pool-hall – already featured in BIKINI BEACH, its walls are adorned by portraits of notorious dictators! – and, with Lembeck taking forever to make his next move, Carey acidly quips that he's shaved twice since von Zipper's last shot!; the latter, then, enters a trendy nightclub by smashing through the front door on his motorcycle (as is Lembeck's fashion) – only to land, in this particular case, head first in an aquarium! Besides, the element of surrealism which surprisingly entered the series with BIKINI BEACH is also present here in the form of the fanciful mermaid subplot as well as von Zipper's ghastly yet amusing fate during the climax at a sawmill (which, again, evokes the cliff-hanging serials from the Silent era).
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This Movie is AWESOME!!!!!
classictvgirl503 February 2006
It is truly one of the best movies out there, no doubt! The music is great, it's HILARIOUSLY funny, it's perfect for the entire family to enjoy, and the characters are wonderful!!! Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon make such a cute couple; Donna Loren once again nails it at her wonderful singing; Paul Lynde and Don Rickles are funny as always; Jody McCrea and Marta Kristen's mermaid-human relationship is beautiful; John Ashley and Deborah Walley's skydiving bag is out of sight; Harvey Lembeck does the hilarious Von Zipper antics once again; and what a great almost-final acting job for Buster Keaton before he died (even though it wasn't a big role)! If you're looking for a lot of fun, romance, comedy, drama, adventure, and more...this is the movie for you! It has everything!!! Look out Hot-Doggers and Beach Bunnies...this movie's a knockout!!!
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Quintessential Beach
mermatt31 May 2001
I must agree with others who say this is not only the ultimate beach flick but also the essential 1960s teen-scene movie.

Even though the plot is nitwit (intentionally, after all), the cast is wonderfully silly. And what a cast it is: Frankie and Annette establish that this is a genuine teen-beach romp, Harvey Lembeck is a riot as the Marlon Brando wannabe who worships Marlo Branden, Don Rickles and Paul Lynde provide two different forms of wicked insult humor, Buster Keaton gives us his unique dead-pan slapstick, and we even have a pretty little wet mermaid for Bonehead (definitely Freudian).

Musical numbers, faked surfing and parachuting shots, sand, salty air -- it's a true treasure of a seemingly "innocent" time gone by even though the film was made after America lost its innocence and was getting wrapped up in what would become the Viet Nam disaster. But forget all that. Take a trip into the never-never land of the beach and get yourself a good tan, moondoggie!
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The movie that gave the whole series its name
Skragg27 May 2007
I've hesitated to make any comments about this one of the beach movies. It's like commenting on Citizen Kane or 2001 - too daunting. First of all, along with the COMPLETELY regular cast, it's one of the ones with Don Rickles. People have said that he just doesn't come across well in anything that's SCRIPTED for him, but that's far from completely true. Just watch for the little moment with him, after Frankie does his skydiving - it's a "classic" Don Rickles moment. And Paul Lynde could always be funny, with or without a script (most recently, fans of Roger the alien on "American Dad" are interested in him). One of his best lines is when Earl Wilson - who looks like the most straight-laced person in the world - wants to visit the surfers' hangout a second time. Lynde says, "Which girl is it, Earl?" And then there are Jody MacCrea (sp.) and Marta Kristen in the "Lorelei" subplot. Anyone who's seen brooding movies like "Night Tide" might like this mainly COMICAL mermaid story (not that it's the first or last one, of course). And of course, Timothy Carey as South Dakota Slim, who steals Sugar Kane from Erich Von Zipper, after Von Zipper went to the trouble of kidnapping her himself! Anyway, these are just SOME of the things going for it. The only thing missing from this beach movie is the cameo - I've always wondered why that is.
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A fun "Beach Party" outing, but showing some fatigue
moonspinner559 April 2001
"Beach Blanket Bingo" is full of quirky touches (like Annette's face turning green while doing a free-fall out of an airplane or a kidnapped Linda Evans about to be buzz-sawed in half a la "The Perils of Pauline"). It's a colorful entry in the "Beach Party" serial, though oddly missing an exciting musical group (The Hondells in favor of Stevie Wonder or Dick Dale). Also missing is dancing-wonder Candy Johnson, and Annette sings two duets with Frankie Avalon but no solo number (it was cut). The comedy routine by Don Rickles is agonizing and falls flat, but Paul Lynde has some funny one-liners. This series was starting to show its age by now, and the teens are looking a bit long in the tooth (John Ashley no longer plays Frankie's friend, here he's a sky-diving instructor). The mermaid sub-plot featuring a ravishingly sweet Marta Kristen wowing Jody McCrea is the best part of the picture (it tops anything in "Splash") and there's just enough slapstick and visual gags to keep it bubbling. *** from ****
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The Best of the Beach Parties!
b_movie_lover31 December 2002
For those of you who haven't seen any of these 60's beach party movies yet...this is the one to see! It's got Frankie and Annette, the sun and surf, and the best music ever! This film is the icon for all the other beach movies from the same genre!
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Beach Blanket Bingo is a great movie!
Chris Strutt29 July 2014
Beach Blanket Bingo is a great movie by all accounts.

The beginning of the movie starts straight away.

The plot kicks in right from the start, making the movie exciting from the off.

As the film starts to get towards the middle part, the plot really begins to thicken.

Between the start and middle of the film is arguably the best bit.

As the title suggest it's definitely Beach Blanket Bingo rather than and the beach scenes are really funny by all accounts!

Getting past the middle of the film, the excitement really begins to build.

The suspense continues until the final few scenes, which are gripping to say the least.

As the final few scenes take place you know that you have watched a movie and a half.

The main male lead actor, and supporting actors, are very good unquestionably.

The lead female actress is superb, and deserves an award.

Definitely recommend getting on the gravy train and watching Beach Blanket Bingo!
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The Gang At The Beach
bkoganbing25 January 2009
The gang at the beach led by Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello get themselves innocently involved in a publicity stunt staged by Paul Lynde. Lynde hires Deborah Walley who is a professional skydiver to fall from the air and then has his client, singer Linda Evans in the same outfit be rescued by one of the beach kids. Which of course turns out to be Avalon.

The budding relationship between Evans and Avalon of course arouses the jealousy in Annette. Their pal Jody McCrea who plays Deadhead and as you can imagine not the sharpest knife in the drawer or riding the waves gets a romance with Mermaid Marta Kristen in this one.

Beach Blanket Bingo is not all that bad. Frankie Avalon was a teen idol who could actually sing as his career which is still going shows. The songs aren't bad for the type usually featured in these films.

But what makes Beach Blanket Bingo a treat is seeing such fine performers as Paul Lynde, Buster Keaton, Timothy Carey, and most of all Harvey Lembeck in his usual role of Erich Von Zipper leader of the most inept motorcycle gang around until John Quade took that title in Every Which Way But Loose. When Lembeck decides that Evans ought to be the gang pinup girl it's the beach kids versus the motorcycle crew.

And Frankie and Annette make a lovely couple once again.
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Harriet Deltubbo22 August 2014
In the fourth of the highly successful Frankie and Annette beach party movies, a motorcycle gang led by Eric Von Zipper kidnaps singing star Sugar Kane managed by Bullets, who hires sky-diving surfers Steve and Bonnie from Big Drop for a publicity stunt. With the usual gang of kids and a mermaid named Lorelei. The people who put this one together really knew what they were doing. Even if you are not a beach movie fan, you will be entertained by all this legendary film has to offer. I would suggest renting it, or perhaps buying it if the price is right. My final rating for this movie is 7 out of 10, and it really deserves it!
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A Cloud on the Sunny Horizon
dougdoepke27 April 2014
No one expects A Streetcar Named Desire (1951) from Frankie and Annette. So anyone catching this celebration of carefree hedonism should know what they're getting from the git-go. All in all, the movie's a time capsule of those pre-Vietnam years when jobs were plentiful, prosperity was on the rise, and the only thing white middle-class teens worried about was a date to the prom. The movie perfectly captures the silly innocence of those teen years. And what better place to celebrate than the land of eternal sunshine and surf: Malibu, California.

But watch out for Timothy Carey's grotesque South Dakota Slim. In retrospect, he's like a forewarning of the Vietnam-Watergate calamities to come— a menacing figure crashing the beach party's beautiful bodies. It was an inspired piece of casting and happenstance. Now, I'm not about to mock the movie's silliness since my own preference runs toward The Three Stooges. At the same time, it looks to this drop-in like the film's probably as good as any of the Beach Party bashes of that long ago sunny era. For many, the movie's got to be a trip down carefree nostalgia lane.
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Would you believe... a Sondheim reference?
royboyjr22 March 2005
I hadn't seen this movie since I was a kid. I always sort of preferred a picture that preceded this one in the series with Bob Cummings as, I think, a Sociologist studying surfers in their natural habitat. Anyway, I recently ran into this one on cable. Fairly early on Eric Von Zipper and The Rats do their number (I don't recall the title) in which - not once, but twice - Von Zipper's lyric says "I am my ideal!" (This develops in the scene that follows into the running gag (or is it a leitmotif?) of Von Zipper calling Kandy Kane his 'idol' - referenced in earlier comments.) Then, in the very next scene, as Von Zipper and the Rats enter the nightclub, he says "Stand aside everyone, I take large steps!" My jaw dropped a bit. Both of these are direct quotes from A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM, which had opened a little over a year earlier on Broadway! Late in Act One Miles Gloriosus, a Roman Soldier (Ron Holgate) announces his entrance by shouting, from offstage: "Stand aside everyone, I take large steps!", which cues the music for his song, which includes the lyric "I am my ideal!" Is William Asher paying homage to Sondheim and Burt Shevelove (who wrote the book for FORUM)? Is it an inside joke? Or is it just plain old-fashioned plagiarism? Anyone?

Another interesting (to me, at least) question: Is this where William Asher first saw/met Paul Lynde? Were the seeds for Uncle Arthur (Who would appear a couple of years later on BEWITCHED) planted in the sand of BEACH BLANKET BINGO??
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Nearing the End
Brian Washington20 March 2003
This is probably one of the best of the "Beach Party" flicks and also marks the beginning of the end. When this film was released, little did anyone know that this would be the next to last appearance for both Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello and that within a year the whole "Beach Party" genre would be finished. So this film can be seen as the last gasp before they waves died down.
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Eric Von Zipper is my Idol
Squonk11 June 1999
Let's make one thing clear, "Beach Blanket Bingo" is certainly not the artistic high-point of this medium called cinema, but that doesn't mean it's not fun! Frankie and Annette are back with all their beach buddies, including one named Bonehead (Goo-Goo or Poo-Poo to his friends). In this one, Frankie decides that sky-diving is the way to Annette's heart. There's also a subplot involving a mermaid love interest for Bonehead. The best reason to watch this film is for Harvey Lembeck as Eric Von Zipper. He's the perfect comedy bad guy. He is my idol (Watch the movie and you'll understand that last line)! Don Rickles is also loads of fun, especially in one scene where it appears he was allowed to improvise.
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with Keaton and Carey, you can't go wrong
wilbrifar7 September 2000
This flick is fun for a variety of reasons, but the biggest attractions are Buster Keaton and the great Timothy Carey as South Dakota Slim. Watch for the brief moment in which Carey reprises his infamous virility dance from "Poor White Trash". And if you don't know what I'm talking about, I suggest you run out and rent "Poor White Trash" right now. But that's another story...
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Silly harmless fluff of a movie...
dwpollar30 July 2007
1st watched 7/30/2006 - 3 out of 10(Dir-William Asher): Silly harmless fluff of a movie with sweethearts Frankie(Frankie Avalon) & Didi(Annette Funicello) and their goofy adventures on the beach with their pals & gals. After the silly title song, the movie starts out being about a new singer promoting an album to the beach-nuts with a faked freefall from an airplane. The do-anything promoter is played by Paul Lynde with his usual sleezeball-style and the singer is a young Linda Evans. Everyone including the before-mentioned couple now wants to skydive and they hook-up with Don Rickles as the head of the skydiving company. Rickles is even able to throw in a mini-standup routine where he puts down everyone in the audience, as is his usual shtick. In a sidestory, the character Bonehead encounters a mermaid which brings a little variety and fun to the storyline. I hate to say it, but that's about it for this movie in a nutshell. A few songs are thrown-in(some better than others), plenty of booty-shaking, and a silent episode with Buster Keaton(playing a kind of Benny Hill-like character) adds to the light-hearted fare. If this is all that you're looking for in a movie, then this one is the perfect movie for you!! Otherwise, stay away.
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Skydiving without a Blanket
wes-connors30 August 2007
Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello get involved with skydiving on the beach - after "Bullets" Paul Lynde uses the sport to promote "Sugar Kane" Linda Evans. Frankie and Annette get into the sport, with Don Rickles' "Big Drop"; and, they try out skydivers Deborah Walley and John Ashley, too. Harvey Lembeck's "Eric Von Zipper" falls for "Sugar". "Bonehead" Jody McCrae meets and falls in love with Mermaid Marta Kirsten. Buster Keaton chases a bikini-clad young woman around.

The music is lightly pleasant - especially when sounding like Brian Wilson's Beach Boys, as in "Cycle Set", for example. Mermaid Kirsten's was the storyline I found the most enchanting. Kirsten the Mermaid was on "Lost in Space" as Judy Robinson. Michael Nader could have had a bigger part. As far as the low points, it's difficult to pick one - there are so many weak elements of "Beach Blanket Bingo" - possibly, it's Eric Von Zipper's solo song.

** Beach Blanket Bingo (4/14/65) William Asher ~ Frankie Avalon, Annette Funicello, Paul Lynde, Marta Kirsten
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Typical 1960's fluff.
BlackJack_B24 August 2005
The era of cinema from 1958-66 saw a lot of what film critics called fluff movies. There was a long line of films from studios that featured teen idols and popular singers. While several became classics like The Beatle's A Hard Day's Night, many became forgotten as outdated light comedy with the occasional hidden adult humor. The entire era for T.V. and film were filled with this kind of stuff that may be funny for children but bore the heck out of adults.

Frankie and Annette made quite a few of these Beach Party movies during the beach fad. Pretty much every one of them is the same story recycled with a few changes. This is just Frankie and Annette and friends having a good time while a B-level pop star uses the kids as a chance to gain publicity to advance her career while another one meets up with mythology come to life. Skydiving is also on the menu.

The movie isn't bad and pretty much everyone comes out as likable: Frankie, Didi, Bonehead, and Havey Lembeck's painful go as Erich Von Zipper; an English-mangling German biker. Paul Lynde plays himself practically and actually is pretty good. Buster Keaton, however, is a tragedy. The greatest silent film star from the U.S. is reduced to playing a dirty old man. Don Rickles was cracking the same tired material in 1965 that he uses today. Still, the women look great, the guys actually look like they belong, and the songs are decent. If you've seen one Beach Party movie you've seen them all, but if you haven't seen one before, might as well be this one.
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Enjoyable romp on the beach in part four of a fine film series
keesha455 June 2007
While it's been years since I've seen many of the films from this beach party genre and I only caught part of it in a recent TCM airing, I saw enough to be favorably impressed and to give it an unqualified thumbs up. The scenes with Buster Keaton were really stupendous and it was great to see him in several scenes and not just a one-shot cameo. The Don Rickles insult bit in his club was priceless, the singing wasn't outstanding but wasn't bad either, and the slapstick was a nice throwback to the old Mack Sennett comedies that you scarcely see today. Frankie and Annette made seven beach party flicks together not counting an NBC pilot which aired in 1978. Their last teaming in 1987 was more of a nostalgia trip than a real story and they played different characters than they had in the American International studio's series they made in the 1960's. They appeared in six films in the 60's, with just one (1964's PAJAMA PARTY) wherein they played characters different from their better known five-film series with the Von Zipper gang,Deadhead, etc., for AIP. As such, this series continued a great tradition of movies with continuing settings and stock characters, that hearken back to the good old days of Andy Hardy, Dr. Kildare, the Thin Man and Tarzan. Even more recent times has seen the trend of continuing characters in familiar settings going forward in the James Bond, Rocky, and Batman stories, just to name a few, besides lesser vehicles like the National Lampoon and Police Academy series in the 80's and 90's. In Hollywood, nothing succeeds like success, so the sequel will always be with us and some will go on and on. It will be interesting to see if the new Nancy Drew film will spawn a series of sequels as it did two generations ago. If it's successful the first time around, don't bet against it. Dale Roloff
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Last one on the blanket is a rotten egg!
mdm-1122 May 2005
Fun in the sun doesn't get much better than this! After years of watching, I could never grow tired of Annette and Frankie doing their little girl-friend/boy-friend thing while frequently interrupted by infectious surf music.

The actors deserve our respect for not only agreeing to work for peanuts, but also for filming during the chilly days of November so the film could be released the following spring, all so the American public could enjoy watching these kids' seemingly happy summer vacations. This was never meant to be a serious project to impress the Motion Picture Academy, just plain Summer fun with great 60s California Sound, just prior to the sudden impact of "Flower Power", Mama's & Papas, etc.

"Beach Blanket Bingo" also features the talented singer Donna Loren in a bit part as herself. Beach Blanket Bingo is the name of the game!
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Possibly the best of the "Beach Party" series
SGriffin-619 October 2000
This was the fourth official entry in American-International's "Beach Party" series (ie., having both Frankie Avalon *and* Annette Funicello in the cast), and shows the series at full steam, knowing exactly what works and how to play all the pieces. The score is perfect early-60s pop (with everyone singing in full reverb), and the various comedians (Paul Lynde, Don Rickles and Buster Keaton) are allowed to play off their strengths.

By this point, the series is beginning to look for new areas to explore (having already dealt with surfing, water skiing, body building, etc., in earlier entries), so that's why this "beach" film seems to be so focused on sky diving. In fact, the shift away from the beach scene to the hippie scene in the late 60s would spell the end of the series only a year or so later.

Beyond the sky diving, the film actually extends some of the supporting characters beyond the limited schtick they had been given previously. Stock villain Eric von Zipper (Harvey Lembeck) is given tons more screen time--and even gets his own musical number for the first time! And Bonehead (Joel McCrea, Jr.) not only gets his own subplot, but his story veers the film into a sort of bittersweet romance--something most people would never expect to see attempted in the broad farce that structures these films...much less pulled off!

"Beach Blanket Bingo" is no masterpiece--but, of its kind, its pretty great!
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Very silly but lots of fun
preppy-324 October 2001
Frankie, Annette and the the gang frolic on the beach--various plots include a beautiful girl singer Sugar Kane (Linda Evans!!!) being kidnapped by Eric von Zipper (Harvey Lembeck) and the gang trying to save her; a mermaid Lorelei (Marta Kristen) falling for Bonehead (Jody McCrea) and Annette proving to Frankie that girls can skydive as well as boys. As you can tell, this movie is not dealing with reality...but it's fast, funny, very colorful (if you see a good print like I did), very campy, and also has Paul Lynde (hilarious) and Don Rickles (pretty bad...but the material just isn't there for him). The songs are actually pretty good and the dialogue is (I assume) purposedly laughable. Frankie and Annette and the other teens can't act (or sing, or dance) but they all look great in bathing suits and there's buff guys and gorgeous girls for everybody to enjoy. The only low points: Lembeck is stupid and unfunny as von Zipper, the movie really falls apart at the end with a real speeded-up car chase and poor Buster Keaton is reduced to chasing girls around. Still it was a lot of fun! You have to see it on a wide screen and bright color to really enjoy it. Otherwise, it isn't worth it.
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Beach Blanket Bingo was a slightly better Frankie-Annette movie than Bikini Beach
tavm28 August 2008
Having previously seen Bikini Beach and found it very silly, I partly dreaded wondering if Beach Blanket Bingo was going to be the exact same way. While there are plenty of similarities, there were some differences that I appreciated like seeing Annette actually deciding to go skydiving with Frankie instead of trying to talk him out of it like she tried to in BB when it was about drag racing and also that Frankie, while initially not wanting Dee Dee (Annette's character) to do such a dangerous stunt, liked her even more when she did. Also, Jody McCrea's Bonehead-who was too stupid for my tastes in BB-is quite touching here with his romance with the mermaid Lorelei (Marta Kristen). I especially found funny the way he measured her body for a dress and the way she said, "Do it again!" There's also some amusing physical bits from Buster Keaton, some witty lines from Paul Lynde, another nice song from Donna Loren, a couple of good duets from Frankie and Annette, a pretty good solo from Frankie (though I wonder why Annette didn't have one this time around), and a charming number from Harvey Lembeck as Eric Von Zipper with his rat gang. Lembeck himself is hit-or-miss with his shtick though Timothy Carey provides some hilarity as occasional nemeses, South Dakota Slim. Then there's Linda Evans as singer Sugar Kane (did writer/director William Asher intentionally steal that name from Marilyn Monroe's character in Some Like it Hot?). Her innocent sexiness comes through in each of her scenes especially when she gets "kidnapped" by Von Zipper and says "Marvey" when he teaches her to play pool (Puss and Boots also provide some amusement when they make fun of her). And her mouthing the singing of Robin Ward sure fooled me! That said, Beach Blanket Bingo is only slightly better than Bikini Beach as once again, Don Rickles seems wasted here even when he's allowed to do a brief insult act in front of Frankie and the gang. Deborah Walley faking a rape was also pretty tastless here. And the speeded-up chase at the end is only slightly more amusing here due to Keaton and some water gags done on Lembeck. And I wish the Bonehead/Lorelei romance had ended like Splash but I guess that wasn't to be since Bonehead would appear in another sequel. All that said, I enjoyed Beach Blanket Bingo a little more than Bikini Beach and seeing Buster and dancer Bobbi Shaw at the end with some other girls doing their moves marked a very cute way to end this silly A.I.P. beach movie musical...
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Beach Blanket Extras
Lhartman68 March 2007
The best part of about this movie is trying to spot the extras- surf legend cum American Icon Miki Dora does the surf stunts and stunt doubles for Frankie Avalon. Odd because these movies put an end to his dominance of the Malibu surf as hordes of surfer wannabes flooded to the beach, inspired, in large part, by these movies. Another extra is Beach Boy supreme, Brian Wilson. Another oddity because the movie plugs the contrived band, the Hondells, while Wilson, hot off the number one song in the world in I Get Around and charting high with Help Me Rhonda, mulls in the background in crowd scenes. The non-casted girl extras were, in fact, the real surfer girls who roamed the SoCal beach scene at the time- including the original and "real" Gidget- and were featured more prominently in the shots than the male extras because- they looked great in bikinis. Mike Nader- primal surfer and buddy of Dora's- incredibly wound up co-starring with Linda Evans, 20 years later, in Dynasty. So, despite the thinness of storyline(s), Beach Blanket Bingo is very entertaining- though maybe not as the director intended.
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