There are a Ton of films that fit this week’s theme that Wandering Through The Shelves has chosen and I can’t wait to see what everyone will choose. Here are my 3...
A spinster secretary, played by Katherine Hepburn, has saved for years so she can go on a once in a lifetime vacation to Venice. She stays in a pension with a young couple and another older couple. She decides to eat out at a restaurant in a piazza. Seeing all the loving couples fills her with loneliness until she see a man, with pursed lips, staring at her. She has no clue how to act, so she runs away with a little Italian boy right on her heels. The boy becomes a good friend especially when she falls into the canal. The man pays her a visit and woos her to go out with him even though he is married and has many bambinos (it must be his pursed lips). This is a romantic film directed by David Lean and pursed lips guy is Rossano Brazzi, who was a heartthrob during the 1950s. I am not one for pure romance but this is done with intelligence plus it has some great acting in Hepburn. You also see Venice and the surrounding area which can’t be beat. Poor Hepburn developed a weepy eye after her trip into the canal that stayed with her for the rest of her life.
2. HOW TO STUFF A WILD BIKINI-1965
I have to put in a Avalon and Funicello flick since they were all about summer beach movies. They were wholesome fun with singing, surfing and dancing where you get to see many T & A jiggle on screen. This was actually the last film(until the 1980s) with Frankie and Annette. Frankie Avalon asked for more money so he got...6 minutes of screen time. Annette was pregnant so she is seen in big blouses or behind bowls of fruit. You do have Mickey Rooney and Buster Keaton picking up the slack so that works. These flicks would never be made today because no man is allowed, ever, to run after a girl like Buster does. The jiggles would still be there but maybe women will be with women and men with men. Anyhoo, Frankie is in Tahiti doing Naval Rescue Duty and, probably, doing some girls but, when he hears that his gal back home has a suitor after her, well, how dare she! He gets a Bwana witch doctor (Buster) to work his magic. The Witch Doctor sends a sea nymph to Dee Dee's neck of the woods so her potential suitor will drop Dee Dee like a hot tomale after seeing the new tomale. The issue is that this gal from the sea grabs every man including Erik Von Zipper (Harvey Lembeck) who wants her for himself. He and his numbskull gang do all they can to get this gal. Elizabeth Montgomery makes a cameo at the end of this movie as the witch doctor's daughter. She was currently starring in the TV Show, "Bewitched" so this played up to it. (plus the director of the film was William Asher who was her husband and was a producer and sometime director on "Bewitched."
3. THE SPIRIT IS WILLING-1967
I have not seen this in years but would love to see it again. This film stars Sid Caesar and Vera Miles as parents to a nerdy son, played by Barry Gordon, who all travel during summer break to a home they rented out. Little do they know that 3 ghosts are not happy sharing their place with this family. The only one who can see them is the son who gets into trouble with his parents when the ghosts misbehave. Antics ensue especially when they scuttle the Uncle's boat and the one ghost falls for the uncle. I love the character actors in this film that you have seen in films and TV alike like Jesse White, Mary Wickes and John Astin. I find this one full of fun and hope to get this film on DVD one day. Yes, I said DVD!
I could have picked so many others but these are my 3 for now. Which 3 would you choose?
I am here sittin' in the balcony and sharing a jumbo box of popcorn with you "At the Movies," dear friend! Of your three picks, I only saw #2, the film tutorial How To Stuff A Wild Bikini. I wasn't fond of the films in that famous beach movie series. With their lowbrow humor, unlikable lead characters, clod motorcycle gang characters that are intended to be funny but are merely obnoxious, and actors in their 20s and 30s playing teenagers, those films did not amuse or entertain me. I forgot that Liz Montgomery made a late appearance in Wild Bikini.
Katharine Hepburn is ideal in her role as a spinster in Summertime. I respected her ability as an actress, but did not find her attractive. She was one of these "handsome" women, not my type. An example of my type is "June" from my previous comment. :) I'm a dead ringer for Rossano Brazzi and constantly have to fight 'em off.
I can't believe I never saw The Spirit Is Willing. It certainly is my kind of film, and I especially like several of the cast members including Sid Caesar, the very funny Mary Wickes and lonely Maytag repairman Jesse White. I loved Jesse in the two Ann Sothern TV sitcoms Private Secretary and The Ann Sothern Show, on The Danny Thomas Show and in several other TV series and movies. I wonder if you remember the TV series Topper (1953-55). I watched it regularly as a child, and The Spirit Is Willing reminds me of it. The comedy series starred Leo G. Carroll as Cosmo Topper, a grumpy banker who is the only person who can see and hear ghosts played by Anne Jeffreys and Robt. Sterling.
The first summer break film that comes to my noggin is one of my favorites, Summer of '42, starring 70s "it girl" Jennifer O'Neill. << I was never to see her again. Nor was I ever to learn what became of her. We were different then. Kids were different. It took us longer to understand the things we felt. Life is made up of small comings and goings. And for everything we take with us, there is something that we leave behind. >>
Have a great Thursday and a wonderful weekend, dear friend BB!
Poor Jennifer had her series of heartbreaks and illnesses. She was kicked off her horse and broke her neck and injured her spine. She accidentally shot herself. She was involved with Jon Erik Hexum when he accidentally shot himself. She has been married 9 times! She is up there with Mickey Rooney and Liz Taylor. Kate Hepburn was never the beauty like The wondrous Vivien Leigh but she had those cheekbones. I think she looked her best in the late 30s early 40s. I think you will enjoy this Sid Caesar comedy which is so typical for that time. Topper is a fun film but never watched the series. Have a beautiful Sunday!Delete
Been a long time since I saw the Bikini one.ReplyDelete
Jaws took place during summer break, so I'll go with that one.
I almost went with Jaws which really freaked a lot of people out...including me when I finally saw it.Delete
How have I not heard of How to Stuff a Wild Bikini?? The title alone is amazing.ReplyDelete
It's dumb but all those films are. I love The Ghost and the Invisible Bikini.Delete
I've seen only your 2nd pick. When I was a teen I used to go see any of those beach party pics. But I was living in Indiana at the time and far from any ocean beaches.ReplyDelete
I know there are a lot of films like this I've seen. Hmmm....
Stand By Me I guess would fit this category. That's a great film.
Summer of '42 impacted me a lot when I first saw it in my younger days. Haven't seen it since, but I imagine it would still hold up well.
Grease is a classic that evokes a lot of summertime nostalgia. It's a fun film.
Hope you're having a decent summer.
Tossing It Out
Stand By Me is a popular choice this week and one I have to see one day. I also have to see The Summer of '42. I saw snippets of it but didn't want to watch it when it was already on for an hour. Grease fits perfectly but I still have an issue with the ending when she gives up who she is just to be with him and turns into a slut.Delete
Hmm, no summer break movies spring to mind, but I like Arlee's pick of Stand By Me above.ReplyDelete
I have a love of movies about women who flee their ordinary lives and go somewhere extraordinary, but I'm not sure they take place in the summer time. Out of Africa, Eat, Pray, Love (except for the horrible ending), and Under the Tuscan Sun are favorites.
I love...Love Under The Tuscan Sun. One of my favourites and dream if being in that white dress with the red belt walking where she is. Eat, Pray, Love is ok but..meh. I have tried watching Out of Africa but kept falling asleep and Meryl was just someone I wanted to slap. She annoyed me.Delete
I'm aware of the first 2, but I had not heard of the third. Great picks. (I may have seen the first 2 or not. If I haven't seen the whole thing, I've seen bits of them.)ReplyDelete
With the topic, I thought of Summer School with Mark Harmon. Since that's where I'm sitting right now... (And in a remedial English class to boot! Although, I have a much smaller class.)
Summer School is perfect! I like that comedy with him(be still my heart) and Kirstie AlleyDelete
I thought I'd seen all the Frankie and Annette movies. Guess I missed this one.ReplyDelete
How are you feeling, my friend? I need an update:)
This one does go under the radar and not as good as the others but still likeable.Delete
Hi Birgit, not heard of any of your films this week, although I would like to see the Katherine Hepburn one, Kate xReplyDelete
Summertime is such a good film and can't beat the locale.Delete
I can't say I've seen any of those movies, but interesting picks for sure. I might check out Summertime though, just because I think I'd like to see Katherine Hepburn in it.ReplyDelete
Kate is great in this and shows so much from a young school girl to a mature woman all wrapped up in one.Delete
Summertime isn't one of my favorite Kate Hepburn films but it is absolutely breathtaking to look at, as is Rossano Brazzi, that final shot of her pulling out on the train is wonderful.ReplyDelete
While it has a great title How to Stuff a Wild Bikini is no Beach Blanket Bingo for Frankie and Annette! It was fine in its inane way but I never return to it as it do to BBB.
The Spirit is Willing is a sweet charmer of a movie definitely from another time. Your right about the supporting cast, it's a great collection of character actors and actresses.
You're right there are limitless ways to go with this. I chose a drama, comedy and an adventure since the theme spans genres.
Last Summer (1969)-Spending the summer unsupervised on Fire Island Sandy (Barbara Hershey), wealthy, spoiled and bored meets fellow teens Dan (Bruce Davison) and Peter (Richard Thomas) on the beach where the three quickly form a tight circle. One day they become acquainted with the awkward and naive Rhoda (Catherine Burns-Oscar nominated for Best Supporting Actress). At first friendly the trio close ranks and Rhoda becomes a figure of sport, teased and humiliated by the group. Distressing and disturbing story of maliciousness, sexual domination and cruelty with a pitch-black ending.
The Flamingo Kid (1984)-Just out of high school Brooklyn teenager Jeffrey Willis (Matt Dillon) unhappy with his modest home, chances into a summer job at the posh Flamingo Club during summer break. Enticed by the heady atmosphere he is taken under the wing of smooth-talking club member Phil Brody (Richard Crenna) who extolls the pursue of the easy buck over the hard work of college much to Jeffrey’s father Arthur (Héctor Elizondo) chagrin. There are some late-summer hard lessons ahead for Jeff though.
The River Wild (1994)-Troubled married couple Gail and Tom Hartman (Meryl Streep & David Strathairn) are taking their son, Roarke (Joseph Mazzello), on a birthday rafting trip down Idaho’s Salmon River during their summer vacation. Misfortune and danger come their way when they are taken hostage by fugitives Wade (Kevin Bacon) and Terry (John C. Reilly) who force Gail, a former raft guide, to help them attempt escape down the treacherous rapids.
Hi Joel! Hope you are having a fun filled summer filled with movie watching. One day it would be great to meet and commiserate all about movies :) Anyway, yes, BBB and Invisible Bikini are much better but I spoke about those 2 before and so I chose this one. I really do love Summertime and laugh when Kate comes out of the hair salon looking exactly the same! Kills me...hahahaa. I was right at that spot where she fell in back in 2009. It is always a thrill to be in a famous spot from a film. (I was also in the spot when Harry Lime is found to be alive). I love The Spirit Is Willing because it is so from the nice 60s comedy. I love those types of comedies(The Ghost & Mr. Chicken).Delete
You’ve made me think of Cliff Richard in Summer Holiday! *Shudders*ReplyDelete
I haven't seen this but no I want to see it...hahahaaDelete
I've seen pieces of How to Stuff a Wild Bikini back in the day. It used to come on TV quite a bit. I just never quite caught it from the beginning or bothered sticking around for much more than 10 or 20 minutes. I probably should one of these days.ReplyDelete
It is not as good as the others but I still find it fun to watch.Delete
I've seen your first two choices and heartily approve of them. Summertime is an excellent movie, and it's not summer without a beach blanket movie. My choices: 1. Jaws (1975) -- shark attacks galore and my date fell out of his seat in the theater, which I pretended not to see. 2. Dirty Dancing (1978) -- nobody puts Baby in a corner. 3. Beach Blanket Bingo (1965) -- Frankie, Annette, and Linda Evans as Sugar Kane.ReplyDelete
That is funny about your date. Was that when Roy Scheider saw the shark and told Robert Shaw, "You're going to need a bigger boat."? It caused mayhem on the beaches that summer. I never could get into Dirty Dancing. I love Patrick Swayze but can't stand Baby...who wants to be called that anyway?? Love BBB but i spoke about that one before. That is a classic.Delete
The idea of "Summer Break" is not one that I really identify with, because I grew up in Santa Monica, California, 17 blocks from the beach so, to me, "Summer Break" was almost 365 days a year. And the high school I attended (and miraculously graduated from) was only about 3 blocks from the beach. So cutting classes to go to the beach was almost expected. We had an "Open Campus", which meant that you could leave school for the Lunch Period. I'd love to know what the statistics regarding pre-Lunch and post-Lunch attendance was.
I only saw the movie once, and don't remember it as being anything memorable, but the movie 'A SUMMER PLACE' certainly gave us one of the most beautiful melodies of all time in 'THEME FROM A SUMMER PLACE' by The Percy Faith Orchestra.
My two favorites in this genre (which, as I said, isn't really a real genre to my 365-Day-Summer mindset) would probably be...
'THE ENDLESS SUMMER' by Bruce Brown (1965)
'THE ENDLESS SUMMER II' by Bruce Brown (1994)
The first is a genuine surfing "Cult Classic", and the second is criminally underrated. Also, the musical soundtrack for 'The Endless Summer II' by guitar virtuoso Gary Hoey rocks harder than most Hard Rock bands ever even dreamed of rocking!! Without a doubt, one of the best - and probably "THE" best - Hard Rock music movie soundtracks ever recorded!!
Many years ago, when I had a really great home music sound system and wanted to impress people with it, I would put on the CD soundtrack to 'THE ENDLESS SUMMER II' and... crank it "up to eleven".
'Lifeguard To The Stars'
If I was that close to the beach I would be cutting classes all the time too. I only had the Welland canal..big whoop. I love the theme from A Summer Place but have yet to see the film. I have not seen your other 2 picks either but they seem to fit for sure.Delete
I haven't seen any of them- but loved hearing about them. Thanks for sharing these summertime movies. :)ReplyDelete
Glad you liked the readDelete
Thanks for the suggestions. The worse TV gets, the more I turn to old movies.ReplyDelete
I am the same because, frankly, I can't watch those Harlequin flicks that suck out my brain cells. I also can't ever watch any of those "real" housewives who could float with the rest of the plastic garbage that is in the ocean.Delete
No surprise here. I have never heard of or seen any of these films. I didn't even know there were more Beach Party films, since I never saw either of the main characters in film. I still enjoyed reading about them, though.ReplyDelete
hahahaaa. One day, you will see a movie I pick. You have in the past and one day, you will in the future. Have a fabulous week ahead.Delete
Kathryn Hepburn rocked, didn't she?ReplyDelete
Take special care.
Haha - that Summer Bikini flick is corny, sappy, clean, silly fun. I enjoyed watching this snippet. I used to love all the Funicello beach jaunts.ReplyDelete
Your summaries of all the films you pick are very thorough and entertaining, even though many of the films are/were unknown to me.
I haven't seen any of your picks. Summertime does sound compelling despite being a romantic movie.ReplyDelete
The Spirit Is Willing sounds like fun:)ReplyDelete
YOU have a great, pain free day.
I was wondering if you get PBS in Canada and if you are watching Unforgotten? I know you watched it last year, so am curious what you think of it this year.ReplyDelete
Stand by Me, for so many reasons. It's not just any summer but the last one before adolescence kicked in to full gear.ReplyDelete
Grease comes to mind. Granted, the story is really about the fallout from summer but I think it counts.
Say Anything... - the first summer after graduation