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The Best Beach Movies

Catch a Wave or Better Yet, Catch a Beach Film


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.


© 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
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
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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