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Catalina Caper (1967)

A group of swingin' teens take time out from having fun in the sun to try to foil a group of crooks searching for a stolen scroll.



(screenplay), (original story)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Don Pringle
Arthur Duval
Tad Duval
Fingers O'Toole
Ulla Strömstedt ...
Katrina Corelli (as Ulla Stromstedt)
Jim Begg ...
Sue Casey ...
Anne Duval
Bob Draper (as Mike Blodgett)
Bonnie Lomann ...
Britt Nilsson ...
Donna Russell ...
James Almanzar ...
Lee Deane ...
Dino Lakopolous
Venita Wolf ...
Tina Moss


A beach movie. A scroll is stolen from an art gallery and taken to Catalina Island, where the thieves plan to use it to swindle Lakopolous, a Greek art collector. They plan to show him the real scroll, then deliver a fake. Lakopolous, however, turns out not to be rock-stupid, and tries to steal the scroll himself. Meanwhile, the thieves' son figures out what his folks are up to and cooks up an improbable scheme that will allow him to steal the scroll back and return it. During this, the whole troupe are under surveillance from a mysterious guy who keeps pulling prat falls. All of which is *completely incidental* to the story of the love interest between Don and Katrina, the blonde guy who always has women flocking to him for no perceptible reason, and the "spontaneous" music and dance numbers. Written by Leo L. Schwab <ewhac@best.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The nation's swinginest playground becomes the background for the most audacious crime of the century... with the ocean's floor as a hideaway! See more »





Release Date:

26 April 1967 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Never Steal Anything Wet  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Did You Know?


When the movie was filmed in 1965 the Cascades, the featured band, were three years past their only hit, "Rhythm of the Rain." By the film's release, original members were leaving the group. Not much of a draw for the teen set. See more »


When Don walks up with his friends, Charlie has three girls hanging off of him who are all dancing, yet in the following shot they are all, very suddenly, dead still. See more »


Don: I've never seen so many trying to cover so much with so little.
See more »


Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Magic Sword (1992) See more »


Book of Love
Music & lyrics by Carol Connors & Roger Christian
Performed by Carol Connors
See more »

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User Reviews

Like a lobotomized Disney movie...utterly disposable, but relatively harmless
22 January 2006 | by (Wavy Wheat, Nebraska) – See all my reviews

I'll admit that my feelings about "Catalina Caper" (also known as "Never Steal Anything Wet") are colored by the fact that this was one of the very first MST3K episodes I saw some years ago, and I was so delighted by the cotton candy giddiness and whimsy dispensed by Joel and the Bots that I probably made some sort of Pavlovian/Garcia effect association with that delight and this movie. Maybe not though, since I still think "Lost Continent" is an utter dog.

Anyway, I watched the 'original' version (on the 'back' of the MST3K DVD in their first big collection) just to be fair, and well, it's pretty lame. The plot is just an excuse to string together a series of musical numbers and dancing scenes, and the filmmakers make the big mistake of using Little Richard's contribution 5 minutes in. Even when he's obviously high as a kite and phoning it in, he's still way better than anything else in the film, and it's all downhill from there; every other singer and performance suffers by comparison. It's like having Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band open for Ace Of Bass, Kajagoogoo and Mister Mister. You keep looking at your watch and wondering - will the real star will make another appearance, or was that it for good music in this film? Nope, that was it...

As for the acting performances...oh geez, it's probably not fair to take issue with the performances when the direction and the script obviously forced all these actors to perform as if their frontal lobes had been surgically removed. Casey Adams, who was decent enough in a 2nd-rate-Republic-serial way in "Indestructible Man" is utterly annoying here, and poor Tommy Kirk (whose career was in a death spiral by this point) flounders hopelessly without his Mouseketeer posse. Even the guy who played "Exidor" in "Mork And Mindy" is wasted here, forced to perform one uninspired pratfall after another in an disastrous attempt at comic relief. And anyway, wasn't that what the chubby guy in the Crayola hat was for?? Of course, he wasn't funny either...

But the girls are pretty in their bikinis, and they shake their hinders with enthusiasm. Some of the incidental music is appropriate, and there's plenty of sunshine and sea and beautiful scenery. If you'd never seen a beach party movie with Frankie and Annette, or never watched a Disney juvenile romantic comedy like "The Monkey's Uncle" or "Flubber", you might enjoy the mood and the sentiments. As it is, if you pound several shots and squint a little and don't think about it too hard, "Catalina Caper" goes down reasonably smoothly. I would never watch it again without the MST3K coverage, but at least I didn't want to gouge out my eyes.

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