Ride the Wild Surf (1964)

Laughing Gravy
Balcony Gang, Foist Class
Laughing Gravy
Balcony Gang, Foist Class
Joined: September 1st, 2005, 4:44 am

June 1st, 2018, 4:48 am #1

Ride the Wild Surf (1964) Dir. Don Taylor
A Columbia Picture
101 min. (14 min. without the surfing footage / Color / 1.85:1
DVD: Columbia Pictures

Three surfer boys who romance beach girls even though the guys all couldn't BE any gayer head to Hawaii to "ride the big one" but I don't think that means what they think it means. In any case, Fabian, Tab Hunter, and Peter Brown are our sun-tanned Adonises; Barbara Eden, Shelley Fabares, and Susan Hart are the nice ladies they meet and "woo," ha-ha. James Mitchum is the Big Surfer on the Beach they're all trying to knock off. Jan & Dean are the guys who were s'posed to be in the movie but got canned because their buddy (believe it or not) kidnapped Frank Sinatra, Jr., which sounds like a better plot than this film but they get to sing the theme song (over the closing credits), which was a big hit and better than the movie it was written (by Jan, Brian Wilson, and Roger Christian) for.

Million-dollar Dialog:

Bad-ass surfer assessing the three new boys on the beach: "They couldn't catch a wave in a net."
(Have you ever tried catching a wave in a net? Me, either.)

Narrator: "The Banzai Pipeline was a perfect name, just a nice big hollow tube of water. The curl was high and fast; turn was critical, and if you missed, it swallowed you."

Poor Loser Surfer in the Big Contest: "It's supposed to be a SPORT, not SUICIDE."

As mentioned somewhere above, if I recall, this thing is nearly all footage of Hawaiian surfers; they actually spent several weeks filming them in late 1963 and then wrote a script (if you ever saw this, you can believe it). As a record of surfers from 1963, it's entertaining, if you like that sort of stuff (I do, if there are female surfers, of which there is nary a one). The guys? Dismissed. No interest there in THIS cabana. That leaves the girls; Miss Hart (who'd later marry James Nicholson of American-International Pictures and go make beach movies for THEM) is off the charts; Barbara Eden needs to go put on see-through pants; and Miss Fabares is totes adorbs as a honey (see, I've picked up my share of surf jargon over the years: I'm no gremmie). Shockingly, I'd never seen this, although I've owned the DVD for a dozen years (when I wanted to watch a beach party movie, well, I went with the real thing, you see). Other than the closing theme, there's no rock 'n' roll in the film, no Little Steve Wonder or Lesley Gore singin' at Don Rickles' soda shoppe or nothin' like that. I kinda missed it until I realized that if there were a musical, Fabian would probably sing, and decided they made an excellent creative decision.

The DVD is fine, it has some trailers but none for this movie. If they ever upgrade it to Blu-ray, I might well upgrade, which tells you all you need to know about me (and Shelley Fabares).
"I'm glad that this question came up, because there are so many ways to answer it that one of them is bound to be right." - Robert Benchley