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Surf Party (1964)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Musical | 30 January 1964 (USA)
A young girl travels to California with a couple of friends in order to visit her brother, whom she hasn't seen for some time. After they arrive it doesn't take long for them to get into ... See full summary »


Maury Dexter


Harry Spalding


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Complete credited cast:
Bobby Vinton ... Len Marshal
Patricia Morrow ... Terry Wells
Jackie DeShannon ... Junior Griffith
Ken Miller Ken Miller ... Milo Talbot (as Kenny Miller)
Lory Patrick ... Sylvia Dempster
Richard Crane ... Sgt. Wayne Neal
Martha Stewart ... Pauline Lowell
Jerry Summers Jerry Summers ... Skeet Wells
The Astronauts ... The Astronauts
The Routers ... The Routers
Lloyd Kino Lloyd Kino ... Casey
Mickey Dora ... Surfer
Johnny Fain Johnny Fain ... Surfer
Pam Colbert Pam Colbert ... Surfer
Donna Russell Donna Russell ... Surfer


A young girl travels to California with a couple of friends in order to visit her brother, whom she hasn't seen for some time. After they arrive it doesn't take long for them to get into the swing of things and also to attract the attention of the local police sergeant, who is strictly anti-surfing. Pretty soon there is a falling out between the local surfers and it becomes clear that her brothers reputation is far greater than reality and his lifestyle is not all it appears to be. Written by Kevin Steinhauer <K.Steinhauer@BoM.GOV.AU>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Rare footage of classic groups including The Routers (Michael Z. Gordon, Scott Engel and Rand Viers), The Astronauts and many other surf groups.. See more »


Comedy | Musical


Not Rated | See all certifications »






Release Date:

30 January 1964 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The second of three beach-set teen movies during the early-to-mid sixties produced and directed by Maury Dexter: SURF PARTY came out between THE YOUNG SWINGERS and WILD ON THE BEACH. See more »


As the film opens, the three female leads are driving on a highway in a 1964 Dodge convertible, towing a travel trailer, and there are no other vehicles in front of or behind them. In the next shot, taken from the next lane and in front of the Dodge, there is an early 1960s Studebaker Hawk two-door following behind them. In the following shot, taken from behind the Dodge, the Studebaker has disappeared and there are no other cars following them. See more »


Terry Wells: [During Len and Skeet's fight, voiced off-camera] He's got a head injury. You might kill him.
[Skeet punches Len in the stomach]
See more »


Fire Water
Written by 'By' Dunham and Jimmie Haskell
Performed by The Astronauts
See more »

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User Reviews

Here's sand in your eye...
26 January 2009 | by SanFernandoCurtSee all my reviews

Hey. Let's be honest: How can you NOT like a beach party movie from the mid-'60s? Nobody expects "Last Summer at Marienbad"... It's going to be free and breezy, some forgettable songs, more-forgettable comedy, and comely girls DARING to wear bikinis in a long-ago age when young American females were expected to be more abdominally modest in their attire. "Surf Party" is interesting on a couple of levels. It's one of the first rip-offs of the Frankie/Annette AIP beach-blanket bonanzas; those films, directed by William Asher, had just kicked off the previous year (1963) after Hollywood long toyed with the beach-party genre in romps like "Gidget", "Where the Boys Are" and the wonderfully obscure "Love in a Goldfish Bowl" from 1961. Somehow, though, none of the studios pulled the trigger before American International Pictures released "Beach Party" and thereby established what instantly became a turgidly static formula: Girl and boy meet on the sand, frolic without sex, break up and get back together, through it all sporadically grooving to some c-grade musical acts. (Many of these films relied, unfortunately, on hastily assembled side-men "groups" playing awful, tin-pan-alley stuff.) This one avoids that grating pitfall with legitimate musical talent on hand, although Jackie DeShannon's intractable acting style all-but negates her singing performances.

"Surf Party" is standard fare in that it's a movie aimed at young people but evidently made by middle-aged guys who know little about '60s youth. There's a smirky, bemused treatment of teen-age interests, serving only to freeze the movie in awkward, uninformed detachment - like a birthday-party performer trying to entertain kids by showing them the elements of algebra.

But this is different: "Surf Party" is in black and white - in fact, it may just be the only beach party movie not in Sea-and-Ski color. Worth a look, if only because its probable pre-Kennedy assassination (even pre-Beatles) filming gives it a lost-innocence appeal missing even from later Pepsi-Generation navel bombardments. Bobby Vinton is... well... Bobby Vinton. However, Patricia Morrow is quite watchable, and brings more acting "heft" than these movies generally demand.

Here's a double bill, in case you're sitting around without a life: Pair up "Surf Party" with "Catalina Caper", the late-1967 swan song of the surfin' safari flicks.

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