Beach Party (DVD) ~ Frankie Avalon (actor) Cover Art

Beach Party (DVD)

Robert Cummings, Dorothy Malone, Frankie Avalon, Annette Funicello, Morey Amsterdam


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Review

Pop star Frankie Avalon and former Mouseketeer Annette Funicello inaugurated the beach movie proper (after Gidget tested the waters) with this celebration of surf, sand, rock & roll music, and, of course, sex. Frankie carries Annette (named Doris in the film) over the threshold of a beach cabin as she whispers "It's just like we're married." "Exactly!" he smiles before tripping over a dozen friends camping out on the floor. Well, not quite, as it turns out in the boys-against-girls contest of one-upmanship and jealous tantrums. Frankie woos the pneumatic Scandinavian Eva Six and Annette flirts with frumpy anthropologist Bob Cummings (wearing a beard that would scare Grizzly Adams). Meanwhile he secretly studies the mating rituals of the beach tribe with his eternally frustrated assistant Dorothy Malone. Harvey Lembeck (from Stalag 17) is the aging juvenile delinquent Eric von Zipper, a spastic motorcycle gang leader, while Morey Amsterdam recites silly beat poetry in a Chinese mask and surf rocker Dick Dale plays bongos and wears a gold earring. Look for bit parts by Beach Boy Brian Wilson (as a surfer) and Peter Falk (as a biker) and a cameo by Vincent Price. This first beach romp is about as sophisticated as a Keystone Kops farce (it ends with a slapstick free-for-all that wouldn't be out place in the silent era), but it's dumb, fluffy fun with lots of hunky boys and pretty bikinied girls shaking their booties and making out. --Sean Axmaker






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