Beach Blanket Bingo (1965)

98 mins | Comedy | 7 April 1965

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HISTORY

Beach Blanket Bingo is the fourth film in American International Pictures’s (AIP) low-budget series of teenage beach movies directed by William Asher and starring Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello, which followed the box-office success of Beach Party (1963, see entry), Muscle Beach Party, and Bikini Beach (1964, see entries). A production announcement appeared in the 22 Jul 1964 Var, which outlined AIP’s ambitious new schedule of twenty-four upcoming projects. According to the 5 Nov 1964 DV, Avalon’s latest contract included ten more films for the company, five of which (including Beach Blanket Bingo) were supposed to include an associate producing credit. The 1 Oct 1964 DV noted that Beach Blanket Bingo marked first picture overseen by AIP’s newly appointed production supervisor Jack Bohrer.
       In addition to Avalon and Funicello, Beach Blanket Bingo saw the return of many supporting players, including Harvey Lembeck, Jody McCrae, and Don Rickles. A 5 Aug 1964 Var article announced the introduction of AIP contract player Susan Hart, but her participation could not be confirmed. Film casting items in the 3 Dec 1964 and 9 Dec 1964 DV also named Linda Benson, Salli Sachse, Linda Merrill, Luree Holmes, Laura Nicholson, Linda Opie Bent, Dessica Giles, Chris Cranston, Judy Lesher, Patti Chandler, Mary Hughes, and Ed Garner, while the 24 Nov 1964 DV included Elsa Lanchester among the cast. Nancy Sinatra was originally signed to play singer “Sugar Kane,” but she was replaced by Linda Evans.
       Principal photography began 30 Nov 1964 in Hollywood, CA. A 13 Dec ...

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Beach Blanket Bingo is the fourth film in American International Pictures’s (AIP) low-budget series of teenage beach movies directed by William Asher and starring Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello, which followed the box-office success of Beach Party (1963, see entry), Muscle Beach Party, and Bikini Beach (1964, see entries). A production announcement appeared in the 22 Jul 1964 Var, which outlined AIP’s ambitious new schedule of twenty-four upcoming projects. According to the 5 Nov 1964 DV, Avalon’s latest contract included ten more films for the company, five of which (including Beach Blanket Bingo) were supposed to include an associate producing credit. The 1 Oct 1964 DV noted that Beach Blanket Bingo marked first picture overseen by AIP’s newly appointed production supervisor Jack Bohrer.
       In addition to Avalon and Funicello, Beach Blanket Bingo saw the return of many supporting players, including Harvey Lembeck, Jody McCrae, and Don Rickles. A 5 Aug 1964 Var article announced the introduction of AIP contract player Susan Hart, but her participation could not be confirmed. Film casting items in the 3 Dec 1964 and 9 Dec 1964 DV also named Linda Benson, Salli Sachse, Linda Merrill, Luree Holmes, Laura Nicholson, Linda Opie Bent, Dessica Giles, Chris Cranston, Judy Lesher, Patti Chandler, Mary Hughes, and Ed Garner, while the 24 Nov 1964 DV included Elsa Lanchester among the cast. Nancy Sinatra was originally signed to play singer “Sugar Kane,” but she was replaced by Linda Evans.
       Principal photography began 30 Nov 1964 in Hollywood, CA. A 13 Dec 1964 NYT article reported that beach exteriors were filmed at the Leo Carrillo State Park north of Malibu. The 18 Aug 1965 Var acknowledged the use of a helmet equipped with a 35m camera provided by Alan Gordon Enterprises, Inc., which stunt diver Bob Buquor used to film the skydiving sequences. A 31 Aug 1965 DV article referring to the rising costs of AIP’s Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine (1965, see entry) suggested that Beach Blanket Bingo was completed for approximately $350,000 on a schedule of just eighteen days.
       In addition to his onscreen cameo appearance, the 2 Dec 1964 Var indicated that Buster Keaton contributed as a “special comedy consultant.” The 10 Nov 1964 LAT listed Earl Barton as the film’s choreographer, but contemporary sources credited Jack Baker.
       According to the 22 Oct 1964 DV, producers sought to capitalize on the recent success of The Beatles and allegedly approached The Rolling Stones, Billy J. Kramer, and Gerry and the Pacemakers as prospective artists for the film’s soundtrack. However, selected songs were performed by The Hondells, an American surf rock band.
       An advertisement in the 22 Mar 1965 LAT announced that the Los Angeles premiere was set to take place 3 Apr 1965 at the Westlake Theatre. The picture opened at thirty city theaters and drive-ins on 7 Apr 1965, and the 13 Apr 1965 DV reported first-week earnings of $140,000. An East Coast engagement began at the Palace and other New York City theaters on 2 Jun 1965 as part of a double-bill with War-Gods of the Deep (see entry).
       A 23 Jun 1965 Var box-office report from Kansas City, MO, listed the release title as Bingo Beach Party.
       The 7 Apr 1965 Var review indicated that end credits contained a title card reading, “Watch for How to Stuff a Wild Bikini,” the follow-up film that was released later that summer.

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GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
1 Oct 1964
p. 1
Daily Variety
22 Oct 1964
p. 2
Daily Variety
5 Nov 1964
p. 2
Daily Variety
24 Nov 1964
p. 14
Daily Variety
3 Dec 1964
p. 4
Daily Variety
4 Dec 1964
p. 8
Daily Variety
9 Dec 1964
p. 4
Daily Variety
13 Apr 1965
p. 3
Daily Variety
31 Aug 1965
p. 4
Los Angeles Times
10 Nov 1964
Section D, p. 13
Los Angeles Times
22 Mar 1965
Section C, p. 23
Los Angeles Times
1 Apr 1965
Section C, p. 12
Los Angeles Times
9 Apr 1965
Section D, p. 20
New York Times
13 Dec 1964
Section X, p. 9
New York Times
3 Jun 1965
p. 24
Variety
22 Jul 1964
p. 7
Variety
22 Jul 1964
p. 12
Variety
5 Aug 1964
p. 24
Variety
2 Dec 1964
p. 24
Variety
7 Apr 1965
p. 6
Variety
23 Jun 1965
p. 10
Variety
18 Aug 1965
p. 20
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Co-prod
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
Fred Feitshans
Film ed
Film ed
COSTUMES
MUSIC
Mus supv
SOUND
DANCE
Choreog
SOURCES
SONGS
Selected songs, words and music by Jerry Styner and Guy Hemric; performed by The Hondells.
PERFORMED BY
SONGWRITER/COMPOSER
DETAILS
Release Date:
7 April 1965
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles premiere: 3 Apr 1965; Los Angeles opening: 7 Apr 1965; New York opening: 2 Jun 1965
Production Date:
began 30 Nov 1964
Copyright Info
Claimant
Date
Copyright Number
American International Pictures
14 April 1965
LP30614
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Pathé
Widescreen/ratio
Panavision
Duration(in mins):
98
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

Frankie and Dee Dee and their beach friends watch a parachute jump concocted by press agent Bullets as a publicity stunt for singer Sugar Kane. The group become interested in skydiving and arrange to take lessons at Big Drop's school. Later, at a party given for Sugar Kane, Bonnie flirts with Frankie, sending Dee Dee into a jealous rage, but the quarreling is interrupted when Eric Von Zipper's Rat Pack motorcycle gang crashes the party. Meanwhile, Bonehead, one of the surfer group, is saved from drowning by Lorelei, a beautiful mermaid, and he falls in love with her. Believing that Bullets has devised another publicity stunt, Sugar Kane allows herself to be kidnaped by Von Zipper; but the surfers lead a wild chase to save her with the aid of Lorelei and Bonehead. As Lorelei returns to the sea, Bonehead finds solace with Sugar Kane, and Frankie and Dee Dee resolve their ...

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Frankie and Dee Dee and their beach friends watch a parachute jump concocted by press agent Bullets as a publicity stunt for singer Sugar Kane. The group become interested in skydiving and arrange to take lessons at Big Drop's school. Later, at a party given for Sugar Kane, Bonnie flirts with Frankie, sending Dee Dee into a jealous rage, but the quarreling is interrupted when Eric Von Zipper's Rat Pack motorcycle gang crashes the party. Meanwhile, Bonehead, one of the surfer group, is saved from drowning by Lorelei, a beautiful mermaid, and he falls in love with her. Believing that Bullets has devised another publicity stunt, Sugar Kane allows herself to be kidnaped by Von Zipper; but the surfers lead a wild chase to save her with the aid of Lorelei and Bonehead. As Lorelei returns to the sea, Bonehead finds solace with Sugar Kane, and Frankie and Dee Dee resolve their differences.

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Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.