Entertainment Magazine

Classic Beach Movies

By Travelingdivas

HOLLYWOOD—Movie executives had something to smile about over Memorial Day weekend with “The Hangover Part II.” While the movie is getting mixed reviews at the box office, it took in $86.5 million, according to studio estimates. 

“Bridesmaids” had to compete with “The Hangover Part II,” so it took in $16.4 million. Kristen Wiig, who plays Annie the maid of honor, is fantastic as the bitter yet understandable heroine in the can’t-stop-laughing movie. 

Photo courtesy of Columbia Pictures.

The movie brings out friendship, bitterness and the crazy things one can do with jealousy. Rose Byrne as Helen is great as the affluent new friend who threatens to take Annie's place in Lillian's (Maya Rudolph) bridal party.

Summer is the perfect time to go to the movies. But where are the classic beach movies? The Troy Donahue and Sandra Dee classic “A Summer Place" is about islanders who fall in love despite their parents' disapproval. The beautiful coastal setting reminds one of what it was like to be young and in love.

Who could forget the movie “Gidget"? Sandra Dee finds her Moondoggie on the beaches of Malibu. The movie is fun-filled with surfing, and Sandra Dee makes her Moondoggie jealous by flirting with the Big Kahuna. Just as love conquers all, the wholesome sweethearts walk into the sunset together.

Most of the beach movies starred Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello, and most were filmed in Southern California; they surfed and were basically beach bums. 

This year brings us “Soul Surfer” based on the true story of teen surfer Bethany Hamilton, who lost her arm in a shark attack. She found the courage to overcome all odds and become a champion again. 

Decades ago, we had “Jaws” as a summer blockbuster, which was directed by then 20-something Steven Spielberg. The late Roy Scheider plays Martin Brody, a New York police chief who now resides in the community of Amity. The summer tourist season begins, and here comes one unwanted, unwelcome visitor: a great white shark with a big appetite and a toothy smile. Now that would be a great remake, perhaps set in the Gulf of Mexico where there are so many sharks.

One of the better beach movies of the mid-'60s is “Ride the Wild Surf,” starring Fabian, Tab Hunter and Peter Brown. The three California college buddies head to Hawaii to shoot the curl at Big Waimea Bay. The breathtaking shots of the Hawaiian coast are spectacular. While some beach movies have as much substance as cotton candy, some of them such as “Ride the Wild Surf” are worth taking a summer break.

Rose’s Scoop: “The World According to Paris” premiered June 1 on the Oxygen Network, and if you’re a Paris Hilton fan, you’ll love it. If not, you’ll change the channel.

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