Barefoot Adventure (1960)
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First, the bad. Yes, the film does have its flaws. There's not much order to it. We're here. We're there. We're back again. So, while limited to California and Hawaii, there are too many locations to really keep track of. And there's not really a narrative to follow, or people to get to know (unless you're already familiar with them). And there are some silly skits, but the narration does comment that maybe their acting isn't the best. So maybe it's not a documentary in the strictest sense. For (some of) these reasons, it's noticeably inferior to The Endless Summer.
And yet, it still has all the same beauty and awe of surfing, a similar friendly narration style (I saw the 1990 version with new narration due to loss of the original narration ... but I imagine the new perspective only helps the film), and there are some fun non-surfing scenes including the skits. I'm sure fans of the sport itself get more out of it than fans of film in general, but it's enjoyable for all. Some viewers don't like the music, but I thought it was a good fit.
Where else are you going to see surfing someone else's body down a natural water slide? What other surf documentary blows up a car? (I assuming this is the only one, having seen only two others...) And, naturally, what you're seeing is one of the earliest surf documentaries that are still shown on cable TV (TCM for me), so you're seeing a sport early in its popularity, and you're seeing locations before they changed to what they are today, and you're seeing some skilled young surfers who will show up six years later, still young surfers. Even the filmmaker was only in his early 20s at the time. I'm kind of amazed the film got made at all.
Although some have rated this film low, I find it hard to believe anyone would regret spending an hour and a quarter watching this film.
Just hard to nitpick on relaxing, enjoyable flicks like this. Just eternally fun to watch when you have time to waste. I'm a jazz nut, into artists like Eric Dolphy and Cannonball Adderly, and the soundtrack to this film fits right in. Love it! Highly recommend this film to any serious lover of movies, and of course to all surf nuts!
Thanks Bruce and all the surfers for such a classic surf movie. Makes me wish I could travel back in time to those days and buy one of the $80 airline tickets to Oahu.