Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Gidget (1959) Film Review - Sandra Dee

Watched this yesterday afternoon on Turner Classic Movies.

Plot Summary - "Although she's not king-size, her finger is ring-size". Meet Francie (Sandra Dee) - she's petite, she's blonde, she's a tomboy, she's ultra cute, and as her gal pal tells us "let's face it, like most of us, she's pushing seventeen" (hehe) - but Francie finds she no longer fits in with her trio of curvaceous friends when they all go on a beach "man hunt" (well, that hideous baggy swimsuit she's wearing doesn't exactly help). After being left at the beach by the girls (who are off to another beach after being declared "jail bait"), she goes snorkeling and gets rescued via surfboard. Francie's hooked and begs Daddy that night to give her the needed cash to buy herself her own board, a "guarantee for a summer of sheer happiness" says she. Soon on her own water-logged used board and learning to surf, she's dubbed "Gidget" (girl/midget - well, not exactly politically correct) by the boys at the beach, and finds herself falling for handsome college guy/surfer Moondoggie (James Darren) who keeps acting (sort of) like he doesn't want to "get involved". After getting tangled in some kelp underwater during her beach "initiation" into the gang of guys, Gidget gets herself pampered and sung to by Moondoggie in leader Kahuna's beach shack. "The Big Kahuna" (Cliff Robertson) is a thirty-something surf bum who lives on the beach and surfs wearing tattered Hawaiian straw hat while smoking a cigar (yeah, you heard right). Gidget comes up with a plan of attack to get herself invited to a big beach Luau (aka "orgy"), hook hard-to-read Moondoggie, and hopefully get herself "the absolute ultimate", that is, Moondoggie's fraternity pin.

Review - Okay, this film is loads of fun fifties-style and one of my all-time favorites (love those old 60s beach movies, this one is pretty much the original). Sandra Dee is absolutely charming, bubbly and adorable in this, I just love her. The film includes several good songs including the Gidget theme song, plus "Cinderella" performed by a blond boy beach band, and in my one of my favorite scenes in the film, Moondoggie romantically sings "The Next Best Thing to Love" to Gidget. I have seen this film many, many times over the years and I never tire of it. Filmed in Cinemascope - man, do I dig this movie! Rating - 10/10 stars

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