Beach Party (1963): First Film in Popular Series, Starring Avalon and Punicello

Bob Cummings plays a professor of anthropology, who uses his telescope (and curious imagination) to study the “wild” mating habits of teenagers Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello, only to realize that they are no so “bad.”

However, Cummings’ secretary Dorothy Malone wishes that her boss would get his mind off bikinis and surfers.

Complications occur when Eric Von Zipper (Harvey Lembeck) tries to abduct Annette.

In the introduction, Lambeck does a dopey imitation of Brando’s biker in The 1953 Wild One.

You can spot Vincent Price and Elizabeth Montgomery in cameo appearances.

The silly plot consists of slapstick comedy, romance, and songs (most of which blend), which explains why this movie became high camp in the 1970s.

This was the first film in what became a popular series in the 1960s.  A sequel, Muscle Beach Party, followed.


Running time: 101 Minutes

Directed by William Asher

Released in theaters: August 7, 1963

DVD: September 5, 2000