Monday, July 11, 2011

Ride the Wild Surf

Tonight TCM celebrated screen idol, Tab Hunters 80th birthday with a showing of one of the true classic "Beach" movies, 1964's, Ride the Wild Surf.

Poster for Ride the Wild Surf (1964)

Tab stars as Steamer Lane, college boy, expert surfer and all around good guy....

Tab Hunter

....who along with his cool young surfing dudes pals, Chase Colton (Peter Brown) and Jody Wallis (Fabian) head out to Oahu's North Shore to surf some of the biggest waves in the world.


Along with some truly excellent surf photography, shot specifically for the film, the boys also find the time for romance with three beautiful women played by Susan Hart, Barbara Eden and Shelley Fabares.

Susan Hart, Shelley Fabares & Barbara Eden

Tab spends his time romancing Hart, who is a great girl, but whose mother hates surfers after her husband deserted her to follow the waves 10 years before.

Meanwhile, Shelley works her best to convince anti-social Fabian to return to college and make something of himself.

I know, I know, Fabian should be in this picture

The real fun though is watching Perter Brown and the always delightfully wacky Barbara Eden, as rich boy Chase falls in love with black belt, accident prone, Augie Poole,leading to all sorts of slapstick fun.

Eden and Brown

While hitting pretty much every cliche of both the Beach Party and Surf movies of the era, Ride the Wild Surf manages to still have a great story, truly likable characters and a more realistic feel then anything Frankie and Annette ever gave us.

And pointy bras, we can't forget to mention those

One other thing I really liked about this film is that the group of rival surfers, played by Roger Smith, Jim Mitchum and John Hays, are certainly not the boys buddies, but are still mostly played as normal guys and not the typical sneering villains of most teen movies, which was such a change from what I've become used to.

Add to this great music by Jan & Dean and Stu Phillips, and really, director Don Taylor comes away with a true classic of its genre.

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