As you may know, a bunch of us Beachwalk Press authors will be posting weekly installments of our free At the Beach stories on our individual websites beginning the week of May 1st. I’ve been finishing up my story and have definitely had the beach on my mind. So this afternoon when I saw the old
Readers, this is a classic 1960’s beach romp movie. Not only do we have Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon “singing and swinging”, but Bob Cummings and Dorothy Malone – two mature stars of the era – provide a nice foil for the younger stars and get their own happily-ever-after ending out of it too.
Here is my gripe about this little piece of surfing fluff: the whole movie is ripe with unexpressed sexuality, and the plot pivots on the time-worn device of making your partner jealous by pretending to be attracted to someone else. Annette – 21 at the time and fresh from the Mousketeers – is of course not allowed to be overtly sexual. We have a bosomy Hungarian sex pot character for that. In fact, the poor Annette character gets stuck singing a saccharin little ballad about how she wished she had treated her man more “nicely” and advises other girls to be gentle and appreciative with their guys. This is ironic, since her character has in fact done nothing wrong, while the Frankie character has meanwhile taken up with the Hungarian sex pot and is no doubt getting his needs taken care of behind those surfboards propped in the sand.
I forced myself to sit through the whole movie and came away with a renewed understanding of some of my girlhood romantic scars. Any impressionable youngster who saw the Beach movies and thought they were “real” – like I did – would likely be headed for a rude awakening in the relationship department later on. Yikes!
I also came away with a new appreciation for art forms that allow for full sexual expression. Isn’t it nice that we now have erotic fiction (and movies, yes) that more closely represents the primal urges of men and women? Not that erotica is everybody’s cup of tea, but at least we now have access to both ends of the spectrum. I’m proud to be at the erotic end, offering a whole different take on a Beach Party with the other Beachwalk Press authors. LOL.
How about you? Do you remember these “innocent” movies and books of bygone days with fondness or disdain? Let me know what you think!
"Let's read something spicy!"