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The Best Beach Movies

Catch a Wave or Better Yet, Catch a Beach Film

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Surfer dudes and beach bunnies, rock 'n roll, and good, clean fun. Beach movies were all the rage in the early 1960s. Sandra Dee and Annette Funicello showed off a little - but not too much - flesh as they fell in love with the likes of James Darren, Frankie Avalon and Troy Donahue. Surfing was big, dancing was all part of a day at the beach, and some memorable - albeit corny - songs made their way onto soundtracks.

"Gidget"

Gidget
© Sony Pictures
It's impossible to think of beach movies without thinking of "Gidget" Sandra Dee is perfect as Gidget (Girl + Midget), the lovable tomboy who learns to surf while all the other girls are learning how to snare boys.

"How to Stuff a Wild Bikini"

How to Stuff a Wild Bikini
© Sony Pictures
And people think George Lucas' "Attack of the Clones" is a bizarre title! Frankie and Annette star in this cute romantic comedy that features bikinis, beach parties, a motorcycle gang, and a little black magic.

"Beach Blanket Bingo"

Beach Blanket Bingo
© MGM
William Asher/Annette Funicello/Frankie Avalon team up in this classic rock 'n roll beach movie, which is actually the prequel to "How to Stuff a Wild Bikini." Critic Leonard Maltin claims this is the best beach party movie ever made.

"Where the Boys Are"

Where the Boys Are
© Warner Bros Pictures
Connie Francis made her big screen debut - and sang the title song - in this beach film with a message. George Hamilton, Yvette Mimieux, Paula Prentiss and Dolores Hart co-star as a group of teenagers who spend their Easter vacation searching for love in Ft. Lauderdale.

"A Summer Place"

A Summer Place
© Warner Home Video
"A Summer Place" is a true classic tale of teenage love and adultery. The feel of the film is close to the feel of a "beach" film, but "A Summer Place" is more serious than most beach movies. Troy Donahue and Sandra Dee are the teens in love, unaware of their parents' infidelity.

"Pajama Party"

Pajama Party
© MGM
Annette Funicello and Tommy Kirk star in this weird, but cute, beach movie. This time around, the beach bunnies and their boyfriends move indoors for a slumber party. In a strange twist (it's a beach party movie so it doesn't need to be realistic) a Martian invades the party, looking for a way to conquer Earth.

"Gidget Goes Hawaiian"

Gidget Goes Hawaiian
© Sony Pictures
This 1961 "Gidget" film features Deborah Walley as the title character, replacing the perky Sandra Dee. Gidget and her family head off for a vacation in the islands, where she surfs, meets boys, and tries to make Moondoggie (James Darren) jealous - your typical beach movie doings.

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