Gidget (1959) Poster



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  • During the summer of her 17th birthday, tomboyish Southern Californian Francie Lawrence (Sandra Dee) falls in love...twice. First, she becomes fascinated with the sport of surfing then with surfer Moondoggie (James Darren), who pulled her out of the water after she became tangled in kelp. While Gidget does well learning to surf, her book-learning has given her no idea how to turn Moondoggie's head until she hears about the bang-up finish to the whole summer...the big luau...and comes up with a plan. Meanwhile, her loving father Russ (Arthur O'Connell) is concocting a plan of his own to set up Francie on a blind date with the son of a friend of the family. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • The original Gidget was created by Frederick Kohner in his 1957 novel Gidget, The Little Girl With Big Ideas. It was based on the accounts of his daughter Kathy (now Kathy Kohner-Zuckerman) of the surf culture of Malibu Point. The novel was adapted for the movie by screenwriter Gabrielle Upton. The popularity of the movie led to two more Gidget movies—Gidget Goes Hawaiian (1961) (1961) and Gidget Goes to Rome (1963) (1963), three made-for-TV Gidget movies—Gidget Grows Up (1969) (1969), Gidget Gets Married (1972) (1972), and Gidget's Summer Reunion (1985) (1985), and two TV series based on Gidget—Gidget (1965) (1965) and The New Gidget (1986) (1986). Edit (Coming Soon)

  • "Gidget" is a portmanteau, that is, a melding of two words—girl and midget to become gidget. It was coined by the surfers to make fun of Francie Lawrence, a girl of small stature. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • That is really James Darren doing the singing. Darren cut several albums as a singer and may be best known to modern audiences as Vic Fontaine from various episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993). Edit (Coming Soon)

  • After picking up Gidget at the police station, Russ is determined to take over her social life from hereon in and forces her to go on a blind date with his friend's son, Jeffrey Matthews. Imagine her surprise when Jeffry Matthews turns out to be Moondoggie as well as his surprise when Francie Lawrence turns out to be Gidget! At first, Gidget is aloof towards him, but her mother reminds her to "be gacious". Moondoggie and Gidget drive to the beach to get a last look before the summer is over and are astonished to see Kahuna (Cliff Robertson) tearing down his beach shack. While Kahuna goes on about how he's going to "follow the sun" and how Moondoggie never had the talent for the life of a beachbum, Gidget finds an employee pass indicating that Kahuna has taken a job as a pilot with Trans-State Airlines. Kahuna finally admits that Gidget has gotten him to thinking, and he's decided to change his life. Giving Gidget a goodbye kiss on the sheek, Kahuna reminds Moondoggie that Gidget "may be pint-sized but she's quite a woman." After Kahuna leaves, Moondoggie tries to explain to Gidget how he feels about her but gives up. "Boy, the bigger they are, the dopier they come", Gidget says and tosses her arms around his neck. In the final scene, Moondoggie asks Gidget to wear his pin, and the two go walking hand-in-hand across the beach. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • Frederick Kohner, a prolific screenwriter with one Academy Award nomination, published seven sequels to this novel: Cher Papa (1959), Gidget Goes Hawaiian (novelization) (1961), Gidget Goes to Rome (novelization) (1963), The Affairs of Gidget (1963), Gidget in Love (1965), Gidget Goes Parisienne (1966) and Gidget Goes New York (1968). Edit (Coming Soon)


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