Gidget (1959) & Beach Day on TCM

7 Jul

(A different Gidget movie will air on TCM on the first three Sundays in July at noon, starting with Gidget on July 7; also, the entire programming block from 6:30 a.m. through 8:00 p.m. on Monday, July 8 is beach crazy.)

Where the Boys Are HotelMy mother loves these movies. Some of it is generation-appropriate nostalgia. Some of it is what seems to be an inborn love of absolute fluff in her entertainment tastes – she’s going to read this and try to come up with some defense, and I’ll stop fighting it before she wears me down, but she knows I’m right.

I love them, too, but for very different reasons I’m not sure if I can articulate.

I have a fond memory of Mom’s indignance (I think she was ironing) at the gleeful reactions my sister and I were having to Where The Boys Are on our umpteenth viewing of it. We were laughing at the Wrong Parts, mostly the more obvious morality play parts (“Uh-oh – she’s enjoying herself as a sexual being. That means something terrible will happen to her”). And I’ve still gone out of my way to watch this movie more times that even I find plausible.

Gidget (just the first one – Gidget Goes Hawaiian and Gidget Goes to Rome don’t really do it for me, with the exception of Personal Hero Carl Reiner’s work in the former) is much the same to me – I understand its Oh, The Innocence value, but there’s so much deep time capsule value in there.

My mother and I disagree more strongly on the Frankie & Annette’s which, surprisingly, she doesn’t care for. I love them. Bikini Beach (the beginning) and Beach Blanket Bingo are…well, let’s talk about Harvey Lembeck, who’s making fun of a youth culture from fifteen or so years before, sort of (?), and unsuccessfully at that, both in the sense of missing what’s lampoonable and committing the more grievous crime of somehow never ever once being funny while doing it. It’s an amazing perfect record, and I kid you not I Can. Not. Look. Away. And that’s the least of what’s happening in there. Magic.

As to the rest of Monday’s beach day lineup, they’re more fun in a lump like this than they might be individually. Catalina Caper, familiar to MST3K lovers, makes its own charisma-free magic, as does It’s a Bikini World (which I’ve only seen once years ago; I’m going to have to look at that again), Palm Springs Weekend is just unwatchable, and For Those Who Think Young is unknown to me except as a vintage Pepsi slogan (apparently they bankrolled this movie) and a Mad Men episode. I hope it rains Monday.

Maybe someday if you’re really good I’ll explain the beach-movie-concept Tempest my wife and I came up with. It works, it’s terrific, and we only need a little money to make it happen…

Where the Boys Are 03

4 Responses to “Gidget (1959) & Beach Day on TCM”

  1. Cindy Maupin July 8, 2013 at 1:49 pm #

    I love you….even if you don’t like Gidget movies! Mom

  2. Cheryl Norman July 8, 2013 at 2:06 pm #

    Okay, I know your mother and we’re about the same age (I’m actually a year older) but I see your point. I loved Gidget and Where the Boys Are and all the old beach movies, including Ride the Wild Surf which was actually a 101 minute music video for Jan and Dean but had an amazing cast. Wish TCM would show that one!

  3. Amy July 8, 2013 at 2:08 pm #

    E might have to be introduced to these tonight… and I can hear C belting out “Where the Boys Are” (she could totally pull off a Connie Francis voice). Love the blog, Greg.

    • baldmanwithacowlick July 9, 2013 at 4:15 am #

      I think maybe start her with Frankie & Annette. We don’t want her growing up THAT fast.

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