IMDb > A Day at the Beach (1972)

A Day at the Beach (1972) More at IMDbPro »


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Release Date:
May 1970 (UK) See more »
Bernie, a self-destructive alcoholic, is given watch over his niece Winnie. He tests the patience of the various people he knows and Winnie is often left on her own. | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
In my opinion a masterpiece See more (9 total) »


  (in credits order)
Mark Burns ... Bernie

Beatie Edney ... Winnie (as Beatrice Edney)
Fiona Lewis ... Melissa

Maurice Roëves ... Nicholas

Jack MacGowran ... The Collector
Joanna Dunham ... Tonie

Peter Sellers ... The Salesman (as A. Queen)
Graham Stark ... Pipi

Eva Dahlbeck ... Cafe Proprietress
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Lily Bacberg ... Barmaid
Benny Bundgaard ... Delivery Man
Lise Dietrich ... Louis' Girlfriend
June Eelli ... Gypsy Woman
Grith Fjeldmose ... Passer-by
John Franklyn ... Shopkeeper (as John Franklin)
Arthur Jensen ... Caretaker
Bertel Lauring ... Louis
Marie Masters
Sisse Reingaard ... Daughter of Cafe Proprietres
Cle Soegard ... Man at Dodgem Cars

Directed by
Simon Hesera 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Heere Heeresma  novel
Roman Polanski 

Produced by
Gene Gutowski .... producer
Charles Orme .... Paramount Production Executive
Roman Polanski .... producer
Original Music by
Mort Shuman 
Cinematography by
Gilbert Taylor 
Film Editing by
Alistair McIntire 
Art Direction by
Timothy Bryan 
William Hutchinson  (as Bill Hutchinson)
Production Management
Barrie Melrose .... unit production manager
Sound Department
Gerry Humphreys .... sound re-recording mixer
Kaj Gram Larsen .... sound mixer
Richard Hymns .... assistant editor (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Bernard Ford .... camera operator
Jimmy Leavens .... key grip
Other crew
Rosemary Marks .... production coordinator
Helen Whitson .... continuity

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
USA:93 min
Color (Eastmancolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

This was going to be Roman Polanski's next directorial effort. However, the murder of his wife Sharon Tate at the hands of the Manson Family caused him to pass on the director's chair.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in The Unknown Peter Sellers (2000) (TV)See more »


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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful.
In my opinion a masterpiece, 11 February 2008
Author: manuel-pestalozzi from Zurich, Switzerland

As someone who usually does not like movies soliciting compassion for alcoholics or drug addicts I was surprised how much I liked A Day at the Beach. The title's promise is fulfilled in the best way possible. A young, intelligent alcoholic takes his little niece to a small seaport for a day. The man is most of the time looking for booze or ingesting it, occasionally rendering verbal outbursts which often sound very lucid. The girl is left to her own devices most of the time but fiercely loyal to her uncle.

From the technical side the movie is virtually faultless. Foreground and background are always in very sharp focus, except for two brief episodes with POV shots of the very drunk main character. The drabness of the place (it is always raining or overcast) is occasionally contrasted by bright, vivid colors. It looks all very controlled and there can be no doubt that a true master is behind this picture. The cast is brilliant down to every secondary character. I found Peter Seller's contribution as a fairy unnecessary and superfluous, though.

I watched the DVD release from Odeon Entertainment. There is an informative booklet about the movie, but Roman Polanski's involvement in the actual shooting is not clear. According to the booklet Polanski left the film while the final editing was in progress. Doesn't this mean that the effectively directed the movie? I would not be surprised if this were the case, in my opinion it very much looks like a Polanski movie. Its stunning how timeless his work is!

A Day at the Beach would never have attracted a mass audience, and from the look of it (and the choice of actors) it probably was never meant to be a blockbuster. But everybody who can stand this difficult and rather depressing subject matter (men preferring drugs to other humans) this is a rewarding and aesthetically satisfying movie. It's great that they made it available on DVD.

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