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HISTORY

Bikini Beach is the third film in American International Pictures’s (AIP) series of low-budget teenage beach musicals directed by William Asher and starring Frankie Avalon and Annette Funciello. On 25 Aug 1962, LAT announced that the picture would be included in AIP’s recent co-production deal with British producers Julian Wintle and Leslie Parkyn, with filming expected to take place in the Costa Brava region of northeastern Spain. By the following spring, however, the deal had changed: the 4 Feb 1963 DV indicated that Wintle and Parkyn would participate in three other pictures for AIP, while Bikini Beach would begin production after Beach Party (1963, see entry), which was shot on locations around Southern California. Beach Party was a box-office success, and the 2 Jan 1964 LAT indicated that AIP had already moved ahead with Muscle Beach Party (see entry), which was among the twenty-five company films scheduled for release in 1964. The 2 Jan 1964 DV estimated that Bikini Beach and its predecessor were budgeted at $800,000 each.
       Various DV casting items throughout the spring of 1964 noted the participation of the following actors: Linda Rogers, Delores Wells, Mary Hughes, Salli Sachse, Linda Opie, Darlene Lucht, Luree Holmes, John Fain, Mickey Dora, Duane King, Mike Nader, Ed Garner, Ned Wynn, Gary Usher, Frank Alesia, and surfer Linda Benson, many of whom also appeared in Muscle Beach Party. Benson also reportedly doubled for Annette Funicello in stunt sequences.
       A 24 Mar 1964 DV obituary for Peter Lorre claimed that the actor was ...

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Bikini Beach is the third film in American International Pictures’s (AIP) series of low-budget teenage beach musicals directed by William Asher and starring Frankie Avalon and Annette Funciello. On 25 Aug 1962, LAT announced that the picture would be included in AIP’s recent co-production deal with British producers Julian Wintle and Leslie Parkyn, with filming expected to take place in the Costa Brava region of northeastern Spain. By the following spring, however, the deal had changed: the 4 Feb 1963 DV indicated that Wintle and Parkyn would participate in three other pictures for AIP, while Bikini Beach would begin production after Beach Party (1963, see entry), which was shot on locations around Southern California. Beach Party was a box-office success, and the 2 Jan 1964 LAT indicated that AIP had already moved ahead with Muscle Beach Party (see entry), which was among the twenty-five company films scheduled for release in 1964. The 2 Jan 1964 DV estimated that Bikini Beach and its predecessor were budgeted at $800,000 each.
       Various DV casting items throughout the spring of 1964 noted the participation of the following actors: Linda Rogers, Delores Wells, Mary Hughes, Salli Sachse, Linda Opie, Darlene Lucht, Luree Holmes, John Fain, Mickey Dora, Duane King, Mike Nader, Ed Garner, Ned Wynn, Gary Usher, Frank Alesia, and surfer Linda Benson, many of whom also appeared in Muscle Beach Party. Benson also reportedly doubled for Annette Funicello in stunt sequences.
       A 24 Mar 1964 DV obituary for Peter Lorre claimed that the actor was set to appear in Bikini Beach, although this may have been in error, as several of the publication’s previous editions indicated that Lorre had been cast in another AIP production, The Graveside Story, later released as The Comedy of Terrors (1964, see entry).
       Principal photography began 20 Apr 1964, according to a Var production chart published two days later. A 28 Feb 1964 DV brief revealed that AIP rented studio facilities at Columbia Pictures’s Gower Street studios in Hollywood, CA, and the Columbia Ranch in Burbank, CA. Bikini Beach was the first AIP production filmed under the company’s new ban on cigarette smoking onscreen. In a statement published in the 8 Apr 1964 DV, AIP founders James H. Nicholson and Samuel Z. Arkoff reasoned that “the majority of moviegoers are 15-25 years of age and our films for young Americans can set an example that smoking need not be a part of everyday life.”
       Items in the 18 Mar 1964 and 23 Sep 1964 Var alleged that The Beach Boys’ singer-songwriter Brian Wilson collaborated on the soundtrack record.
       On 17 Jun 1964,Var announced that a tenth anniversary celebration for AIP would take place 4 Jul 1964 at the World’s Fair in New York City, featuring a production set from Bikini Beach and a live show to promote the film.
       The picture opened 22 Jul 1964 at the Roosevelt Theatre in Chicago, IL, and a 28 Jul 1964 DV box-office chart reported one-week earnings of $19,000. Additional reports in the 5 Aug 1964 and 12 Aug 1964 Var indicated positive reception in other small markets such as Minneapolis, MN; Dallas, TX; Oklahoma City, OK; and San Francisco, CA, before its engagement in Los Angeles, CA, beginning 19 Aug 1964. Despite largely negative reviews, this installment proved the teenaged genre’s continuing success, as the 25 Aug 1964 DV announced a local gross of $268,000 from thirty-two Los Angeles-area houses and drive-ins. A New York City release followed at the Palace and other theaters on 16 Sep 1964, where it played on a double-bill with the AIP horror feature, The Masque of the Red Death (see entry).
       Avalon, Funicello, several members of the supporting cast, and director William Asher returned for the sequels Beach Blanket Bingo and How to Stuff a Wild Bikini (1965, see entries).

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GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
4 Feb 1963
p. 4
Daily Variety
2 Jan 1964
p. 3
Daily Variety
28 Feb 1964
p. 17
Daily Variety
24 Mar 1964
p. 18
Daily Variety
8 Apr 1964
p. 1
Daily Variety
9 Apr 1964
p. 4
Daily Variety
16 Apr 1964
p. 4
Daily Variety
20 Apr 1964
p. 4
Daily Variety
14 May 1964
p. 11
Daily Variety
28 Jul 1964
p. 4
Daily Variety
25 Aug 1964
p. 3
Los Angeles Times
25 Aug 1962
Section A, p. 8
Los Angeles Times
2 Jan 1964
Section C, p. 11
Los Angeles Times
15 Aug 1964
Section B, p. 5
Los Angeles Times
21 Aug 1964
Section C, p. 10
New York Times
17 Sep 1964
p. 52
Variety
22 Apr 1964
p. 98
Variety
18 Mar 1964
p. 48
Variety
17 Jun 1964
p. 18
Variety
5 Aug 1964
p. 5
Variety
12 Aug 1964
p. 5
Variety
23 Sep 1964
p. 83
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
2nd unit dir
Asst dir
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir & prod des
FILM EDITOR
Fred Feitshans
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
COSTUMES
MUSIC
Mus score
Mus coordinator
SOUND
Sd ed
Music ed
Asst music ed
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec photog eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
DANCE
Choreog
MAKEUP
Hairstyles
PRODUCTION MISC
Joe Wonder
Prod supv
Prod asst
Tech adv
Constr coordinator
SOURCES
SONGS
"Bikini Beach," "Love's a Secret Weapon," "Gimme Your Love," "How About That!," "This Time It's Love," "Happy Feeling (Dance and Shout)" and "Because You're You," words and music by Guy Hemric and Jerry Styner; "Bikini Drag" and "Record Run," words and music by Gary Usher and Roger Christian and "Got You Where I Want You," words and music by Jack Merrill and Red Gilson.
SONGWRITERS/COMPOSERS
+
DETAILS
Release Date:
22 July 1964
Premiere Information:
Chicago opening: 22 Jul 1964; Los Angeles opening: 19 Aug 1964; New York opening: 16 Sep 1964
Production Date:
began 20 Apr 1964
Copyright Info
Claimant
Date
Copyright Number
Alta Vista Productions
22 July 1964
LP29248
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
PathéColor
Duration(in mins):
100
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

Frankie, Dee Dee, and their surfing friends arrive at Bikini Beach for a vacation and meet The Potato Bug, a British recording star also vacationing there. Newspaper publisher Huntington Honeywagon, who is trying to obtain the beach for a senior citizens' retirement community, menaces the youngsters' beach fun, claiming that they have sunk to animal level. (Honeywagon uses his pet chimpanzee, Clyde, to demonstrate his point.) The youngsters have allies in Vivien Clements, a teacher, and Big Drag, operator of a teenagers' hangout. The Potato Bug is interested in drag racing, and when Frankie expresses a similar interest, Dee Dee, out of spite, flirts with the Britisher. Eric Von Zipper and his motorcycle gang join Honeywagon's campaign against the surfers. Meanwhile, under Vivien's influence, Honeywagon begins to change his opinion of the youngsters. When Frankie and The Potato Bug plan to compete in a drag race, Von Zipper sabotages what he thinks is the Britisher's car, hoping that Frankie will be blamed. The sabotaged car is Frankie's, and he barely escapes when the car crashes after the race ends in a dead heat. Von Zipper is found out, and he and his gang are defeated in a fight at Big Drag's place and are sent away. The Potato Bug leaves, Frankie and Dee Dee are reconciled, and Vivien and Honeywagon become ...

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Frankie, Dee Dee, and their surfing friends arrive at Bikini Beach for a vacation and meet The Potato Bug, a British recording star also vacationing there. Newspaper publisher Huntington Honeywagon, who is trying to obtain the beach for a senior citizens' retirement community, menaces the youngsters' beach fun, claiming that they have sunk to animal level. (Honeywagon uses his pet chimpanzee, Clyde, to demonstrate his point.) The youngsters have allies in Vivien Clements, a teacher, and Big Drag, operator of a teenagers' hangout. The Potato Bug is interested in drag racing, and when Frankie expresses a similar interest, Dee Dee, out of spite, flirts with the Britisher. Eric Von Zipper and his motorcycle gang join Honeywagon's campaign against the surfers. Meanwhile, under Vivien's influence, Honeywagon begins to change his opinion of the youngsters. When Frankie and The Potato Bug plan to compete in a drag race, Von Zipper sabotages what he thinks is the Britisher's car, hoping that Frankie will be blamed. The sabotaged car is Frankie's, and he barely escapes when the car crashes after the race ends in a dead heat. Von Zipper is found out, and he and his gang are defeated in a fight at Big Drag's place and are sent away. The Potato Bug leaves, Frankie and Dee Dee are reconciled, and Vivien and Honeywagon become friends.

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

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