|Index||9 reviews in total|
This movie is so bad....it's great!!! A cult classic that's under-appreciated. Raquel Welch in her film debut...the ultra geeky Gary Lewis and the Playboys...a Big Bopper type dude who sings and twists and looks exactly like Bill Clinton...horrible dancing... this movie has it all! Michael Blodgett's character does one of the most embarrassing dances ever - where he slaps his legs while going, "Uhhh!". The big slow-motion fight scene where the two 30 year old teenagers roll on the murky waters of lake Arrowhead looks like something Ed Wood would have rejected. James Stacy put out a good performance and he stands out in a movie full of stiffs. This one is a laugh riot, although unintentional. It's not often that a bad movie can be so entertaining. It's so bad, it makes "Beach Blanket Bingo" seem like "Citizen Cain". Gary Lewis makes William Hung seem like Tony Bennet. If Simon Cowell ever sat through this, he probably wouldn't recover.
Despite the other reviews on this movie, I thought this picture was great. This picture opened in the summer of 1965 starring William Wellman as Rick, James Stacey as Mickey, Quinn O'Hara as Cindy and the debut of Raquel Welch as Jeri. Rick, Mickey and Cindy are on there way to Lake Arrowhead for summer jobs when it comes across the radio that the Pavilion will be closed and that they no longer have work. The kids decide to ask Mr. Johnson if they could run the Pavilion themselves with Mr. Johnson getting half the profits. Therefore, the gang gets things started when Turk decides that he wants Cindy and decides to provide the pavilion with plenty of trouble. Now as far as the debut of Raquel Welch it was a slam-dunk. Her body was enough to make you see through the entire movie. Her Stage scene was out of this world. Based on Raquel Welch alone I have no problem giving the movie 10 weasel stars. If you like watching Raquel Welch you love this movie because this was Raquel Welch first ever movie and all you can from there is a Star was born.
Those user votes gotta be kiddin'! It was a few years back on an idle summer Saturday night that I caught this film on the USA Network cable channel. More happens in the tag line -- "Spread Out the Beach Towels...Grab Your Gals...it's gonna be A SWINGIN' SUMMER!" -- than in the entire film! The most strenuous thing the characters do is lay out those beach towels, and then its just unimaginative bickering along with coupling and uncoupling and recoupling serving as the plot. The only thing worse than the dialogue are the gawky jerky movements exhibited by the actors during the various musical numbers -- that's dancing?!? Anyway, yeah, the Righteous Brothers drop in, but by far the kickiest part of the movie is when Raquel Welch jumps on stage shakin', twistin', turnin' -- it's practically a revelation! In any case, it's more than this dreadful film deserves.
...with the proviso that it's not very good either. A SWINGIN' SUMMER
is a low budget, feel good effort that features a number of notable
musicians of the day doing their thing, while a slimline storyline sees
a bookish girl transformed into a fun-loving beauty. It's a little like
the later teen sex comedies along the lines of MALIBU BEACH, although
much tamer and not as much fun.
Raquel Welch (ONE MILLION YEARS BC) is the star attraction here in her debut feature (she'd acted before, but not been credited for it). Her acting remains iffy, but her looks are certainly memorable. A SWINGING' SUMMER does away with niceties of 'normal' cinema by not bothering with characterisation or a proper script, instead summoning up a party atmosphere throughout.
Some of the music acts are fun, particularly a nice turn from the Righteous Brothers who do their thing right at the climax. The setting is one Lake Arrowhead, and the stand-out set-piece involves two guys slugging it out in one of the most poorly-shot fight scenes ever. Elsewhere there's a whole lot of bad dancing and cheesy acts, and not much in the way of real reasons for viewers to tune in.
The threadbare plot of A Swinging Summer is just an excuse to have some
of the rock and roll performers of 1965 come up and strut their stuff
and use the film to sell some records. It's also quite the promotional
film for the resorts at Lake Arrowhead which I'm guessing was losing a
bit of its crowd to the California beaches.
William Wellman, Jr., James Stacy, and Quinn O'Hara after having some summer jobs shut down on them have this idea to promote their own rock and roll shows and make money for college tuition. After being told by Allan Jones that they have to come up with a big bond type guarantee Quinn O'Hara goes behind Wellman's back and says her rich dad will cough up the dough, but don't tell Wellman as he's quite the alpha male. Upon this lay all the romantic complications for Wellman and O'Hara and the rest of the film.
Which is just an excuse to see The Righteous Brothers, Gary Lewis and the Playboys, Donnie Brooks and a few others long forgotten. At least this film is a record of sorts for them.
Who knows what enticed Allan Jones to do two brief scenes at the beginning of the film. But I wish they could have worked a song in for him as he's far more my taste.
But early Sixties music fans should love A Swinging Summer.
The person who gave this movie a 10 was having some fun. Hey, fair
enough! But really, it would be considered bad by 1964 standards and
the Frankie Avalon, Fabian surf/beach movies of the day. Now its 45
years later and it does have Raquel's 1st credited role (even gets the
"introducing" credit!!) so why not have some fun with it.
James Stacey is top billed and he had a long, but tragic-event type career. Nobody else of the cast will register, but there was Raquel. The old horn rim glasses, hair in a bun trick, til she decided to give a stunned James Stacy an eyeful on stage (like her bikini scenes didn't get his attention --- right!?!?!). She's hot, the movie is bad, but finishes with the Righteous Brothers doing there only real rock song, "Lucille" (they were good even before they got righteous!).
The funniest bit in the movie is that Gary Lewis, geekest rock star ever, and his Playboys, don't get to sing. They managed 4 or 5 pretty big hits, but at this stage only got to do backup playing and instrumentals (which include an accordion - I'm serious!!).
Don't you have to watch this after that build up? You might catch it on AMC, I think I found it on VOD. Hey, it's about an 1 and 15 minutes, and if you can fast forward thru some fight and robbery scenes (don't ask!), you'll be done in under an hour. Go for it!
Cheapjack fun-in-the-sun teen opus from United Screen Arts probably had worse acting, directing and cinematography than most television shows from the same era. Two guys and a gal from Los Angeles take a car trip up to Lake Arrowhead for summer jobs, but the plug has been pulled on the village's big music concert; the trio comes up with the cash to put on a show themselves (unwittingly taking money from the girl's wealthy father), featuring happening acts like Gary Lewis, the Rip Chords and the Righteous Brothers. James Stacy brings some low-keyed cool to the witless proceedings, but co-stars William Wellman Jr. and Quinn O'Hara act about as well as they dance (not a compliment). The main reason to see the film isn't the top-billed stars, anyway--that honor would go to Raquel Welch, who gets an "introducing" credit as a kissless sexpot in black-rimmed glasses who quotes Freud. Welch (whose future husband, Patrick Curtis, is listed as the associate producer) didn't possess the show-biz savvy at this point to transcend the third-rate material, but she makes the most of it, and even gets her own song. The music acts add some bounce, but the location is poorly photographed and the 'dramatic' macho one-upmanship seems to come out of nowhere. *1/2 from ****
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
When two young men named "Rick" (William Wellman Jr.) and "Mickey" (James Stacey) find out that their plans for working at Lake Arrowhead during the summer have been canceled they decide to organize festivities there themselves. But to do that they need money and when they can't come up with it Rick's girlfriend, "Cindy" (Quinn O'Hara) decides to secretly bankroll them through her father. Yet even with the money there is a lot of work which keeps Rick and Cindy apart and leads to serious trouble between them. Now rather than reveal any more of this movie and risk spoiling it for those who haven't seen it I will just say that this wasn't one of the better beach movies made during this time-period. There wasn't much comedy and the characters lacked development. Even so Raquel Welch (as "Jeri"), Mary Mitchell ("Shirley") and the afore-mentioned Quinn O'Hara were definitely nice on the eyes and I suppose that should count for something. Accordingly, I rate this movie as just slightly below average.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Beach party movies were popular in America during the early and mid
sixties and "A Swingin' Summer" is typical example of the genre, except
that the action takes place not in a seaside resort but in an inland
one, Lake Arrowhead in California. (A real place).What plot there is
(and in beach party movies the plot is not normally very important)
centres upon two young men, Rick and Mickey (or is it Mick and
Rickey?), and Rick's girlfriend, Cindy, who set up in business as
concert promoters at a lakeside dance pavilion. The main obstacle is
Turk, a local lifeguard, who for some obscure reason takes a dislike to
Rick and Mickey and does his best to sabotage their plans as well as
trying to lure Cindy away from Rick. (When watching the film I assumed
his name was "Dirk", but in the cast-list it is spelled as "Turk". Turk
by name, jerk by nature). A sub-plot deals with Mickey's romance with
another girl, Jeri.
The film is probably best remembered today for giving Raquel Welch her first major role as Jeri and her "introducing"credit. Raquel, of course, was to go on to become a big-name Hollywood star, unlike her co-stars here who were mostly to remain mired in obscurity. (The one exception is perhaps James Stacy who became relatively well known before his career was interrupted when he was seriously injured in a road accident).
I cannot say that her performance here really stands out. Jeri is supposed to be a bookish intellectual- not the sort of role which Raquel would play all that often in her later films- and speaks in a sort of impenetrable pseudo-intellectual jargon which might have been quite funny, in a satirical way, had the role been taken by a more experienced actress who could have delivered the lines with greater conviction, but Raquel makes it all too clear that she is quite aware that she is spouting nonsense. She also has to sing, and her attempts show just why this was something else she did not get called upon to do very much in her subsequent career.
Jeri is supposed to be the sort of girl who hides her good looks behind a severe hairstyle and unflattering glasses, although in this particular case her attempts to conceal her beauty seemed rather half-hearted as she spends most of the film wearing little more than a skimpy bikini. Nevertheless, I was still counting down the minutes until the inevitable scene when Jeri takes her glasses off and lets her hair down to show the world just how gorgeous she is. (Warning! Major cliché ahead!) I couldn't help wondering, however, why a girl who is so short-sighted that she needs to wear glasses in the first place suddenly feels able to dispense with them, without suffering any noticeable deterioration in her eyesight.
Beach party movies were aimed at the teenage audience; all the main characters are supposed to be teenagers, although the actors paying them were all well into their twenties. They relied heavily on the standard mixture of pop music, handsome boys and pretty girls in bikinis. (A number of real pop music acts from the period are featured; some of them such as the Righteous Brothers have remained famous to this day, although others, such as Gary and the Playboys, are today fairly obscure). The genre has not aged well; the version I saw was both literally and metaphorically faded. Literally, in the sense that it was clearly shot in low-quality film and the colours today look very washed- out. In one scene the tones change every time the director cuts from one camera to another; the two cameras were presumably loaded with different types of film.
The film is also faded in the sense that it can arouse little interest today, except perhaps to those who want to know what our parents and grandparents were watching in their teenage days fifty years ago. With its forgettable music, indifferent acting and vacuous plot, "A Swingin' Summer" might suggest that the teenagers of the sixties were far too easily pleased. 3/10
|Plot summary||Ratings||Plot keywords|
|Main details||Your user reviews||Your vote history|