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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Beach Party (1963)

A nerdy anthropologist (Robert Cummings) is studying the sex lives of the California teen beach culture by spying on them and recording their conversations. But he inadvertently becomes involved when one of the beach kids (Annette Funicello) uses him to make her boyfriend (Frankie Avalon) jealous. The success of WHERE THE BOYS ARE three years earlier paved the way for this shallow sand and surf franchise. It was a teen age fantasy, no parents to bug you and surf all day and dance all night. It was all wholesome fun, however. These were squeaky clean kids and even when they cohabitate, it's boys on one side, girls on the other. Even the leather clad motorcycle gang is harmless. Soon, of course, the sixties counterculture would change all that and the BEACH PARTY movies made way for stuff like THE TRIP and PSYCH OUT. It's all silly fun in the sun and one either has a taste (usually based on nostalgia) for it or one doesn't. Directed by William Asher. With Dorothy Malone (wasted) as Cummings' girl Friday, Vincent Price, Morey Amsterdam, Harvey Lembeck, Eva Six, John Ashley, Jody McCrea, Yvette Vickers and that twisting whirling dervish, Candy Johnson.

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