Tammy and the Bachelor

Tammy and the Bachelor a 1957 Summer Release starring Debbie Reynolds is the ultimate bully movie. Seventeen year old Tammy raised down on the river by her bible preaching, moonshiner grandpaw witness a plane crash on the river. Hoping to find saleable salvage from the plane crash down river at the whirlpool they fish out something better: Tammy’s first love Pete pilot of the plane. Leslie Nielson from the 1980’s/1990’s Naked Gun series of movies plays the hunky clueless Pete. When grandpaw (Walter Brennan) gets sent to jail by the revenuers he tells Tammy she should go live (oops, stay) with Pete and his family till he gets out of jail.
Tammy’s psychological backwoods common sense leads to ridicule by the family. However Tammy rises above their pettiness and sarcastic innuendo’s. The fun part of the movie is once again seeing favorite actors: Louise Beavers, Walter Brennan and Fay Wray.
The song Tammy sung by Debbie Reynolds is a ‘can’t get it out of your head’ kind of song. For three weeks between August 25 and September 21 of 1957 the song was Number 1 on the Billboard charts. It was also a Best Oscar nominated song for the year 1957. The kiss with Pete at the end of the movie leaves one with the assumption that Tammy has found her, ‘Til Death Do Us Part, kind of love’!

Bikini Beach

classic hollywood annette funicella bikini beach   Bikini Beach. What can I say? Annette’s look of contempt here in this picture sums it up. After experiencing the whimsy and presence of a storyline in Beach Party I was saddened to see little of either in Bikini Beach. The good parts: decent beachy scenery, Annette holding strong to her virtue and fashion sense, and Jody McCrea (son of Joel McCrea and just as cute). The bad parts: all the rest of it. The presence of a questionable heart breaker musician- Potato Bug- ( also played by Frankie Avalon) vies for Annette’s affection much to Frankie’s dismay. What’s worse is that Frankie at one point actually impersonates Potato Bug in hopes of finding out Annettes true feelings. The inclusion of a traveling Seniors group, the same biker gang and girl with fringy dress (Candy Johnson) as the first one and the token surf and bar-room brawl scenes really made clear they’ll do anything to keep dodging the real issue— Frankie’s inability to propose!

Muscle Beach Party

“You know if there wasn’t music here, this place would be raided!”

Muscle Beach Party follows an Italian Contessa to the Body Builder Stables that pop up on Frankie and Annette’s beach, only to realize that the muscle bound man she had followed there couldn’t hold a candle to the yellow-leather clad Frankie singing in the moonlight? My favorite part? Annette catching them smooching followed by swift slap to Frankie’s face.

The whimsy I so enjoyed in the first Beach Party movie returned in the form of Frankie talking to the viewers, a slimmer Buddy Hackett, Jody McCrea, and Annette sharing her Italian spotlight with the Italian Contessa – because lets face it— almost every other girl in these movies is blonde and half dressed compared to our Miss Funicello.

American International Pictures went on to make 7 of these Beach Films before the craze finally died down.

Interesting tidbits of note:

Annette was inducted into the 1992 class of Disney Legends

Frankie went on to sing as Teen Angel in Grease

And both acted in a series of Skippy Peanut Butter Commercials…..amongst many other spectacular gigs of course.





Pineapple Princess

In the spirit of Beachy Movies, I couldn’t help but sharing this catchy song…(also on the Lilo & Stich Island Favorites CD– a must have for beachy fun).


More Frankie & Annette movie reviews on the way!

Beach Party

Frankie and Annette played teenagers in the American International Pictures surprise success Beach Party, though neither actually were. Interesting how times have changed! These days while we’re usually aging our young stars up, but back the, they aged them down.

With the plan to run away to a beach house on the horizon Dolores(Annette) adds some protection in the form of every girl and guy she knows who can shack up with them on the beach. The potential of “getting close” to Frankie without being married is too great!

Lucky for her, he acts like most guys and decides to make her jealous as punishment. Enter Robert Cummings- sophisticated and stuffy professor. The professor decides to study the sex crazed teens on the beach and overhears Dolores talking about how she needs love. Suddenly Dolores and the professor are in cahoots and Frankie is jealous.

With Annette keeping her virtue as previous Disney star alive and well, demanding marriage before sex, and Frankie showing the guys that love is worth it… everyone is sure for a fun beach party summer treat.


Palm Springs Weekend

As Spring Break time winds down throughout the country we reflect on the 1963 West Coast version of fun in the sun with the Troy Donahue, Stephanie Powers Warner Brothers film Palm Springs Weekend.
The 1963 movie Palm Springs Weekend starred some of the last of the Warner Brothers contract players. Most were popular television alumni that were undoubtedly promised a movie in their contract. A few of the alumni featured: Troy Donahue – Surfside Six, Robert Conrad – Hawaiian Eye, Ty Hardin – Bronco, and Connie Stevens – Hawaiian Eye. The studio’s also had a habit of trying to get their contract players record deals, the most successful from this movie was Connie Stevens.
It is always fun watching child actor Billy Mumy who specialized in playing a parent of the 60’s worst nightmare of a child whether on Twilight Zone, feature movies or Lost in Space.
Character actor Carole Cook as his mother and Jack Weston as the middle age coach pursuing Cook the manager of the motel give the perspective that the adults also need a spring break. The motel taken over by college kids/and wannabe college kids are given strict rules for the establishment from Cook. ‘No cross pollination’ a rule she and Weston find more difficult to live by than the kids. Cook and Weston were also paired in another favorite Warner Brothers movie: The Incredible Mr. Limpet (1964).

Where the Boys Are

Courtship and Marriage class would never be the same after Dolores Hart’s character Merritt mentions the words Dr. Kinsey and making the statement should college girls play house before marriage? When questioned by the much older lady professor what her answer would be. Merritt answers a profound yes. Before clarifying her answer Merritt is swiftly sent to the Dean’s office. The Dean (female) thinks highly intelligent but academically challenged Merritt ‘might be overly concerned with the problems of sex’ suggesting Merritt take the ten days of Spring Break to contemplate her college career.
Where better to contemplate life and try to study to bring your grades up than Ft. Lauderdale, Florida with 20,000 other students on break. Sun, surf, suds and whether to or not to ‘go all the way’ is the question that this 1960 Joseph Pasternak production makes. Of course making that decision more difficult for Merritt is the suave rich college senior Ryder Smith played by George Hamilton. Yvette Mimieux flawlessly plays Merritt’s naïve impressionable classmate hoping to meet some fine upstanding young men from Harvard or Yale.
Joeseph Pasternak again works his magic by the first time pairing of 5’10” Paula Prentiss with 6’5” Jim Hutton. Pasternak also had a habit of recognizing hidden talent and hired popular singer Connie Francis who did not want to be an actress only wanted to sing to play the comedic relief. Connie is spot on and her song writer, lyricist friends Neil Sedaka and Howard Greenfield come up with the words and music for the title song that once you start humming can’t get it out of your head.
Where the Boys Are: was the groundbreaker for all of the other beach, break and bikini movies of the 1960’s.

Spring Break

Nothing says Spring Break like Elvis and random girls in bikinis. If you’ve been snowed in too long and can’t wait to escape to the sunshine Girl Happy can help you get through the next few weeks. This is my favorite Spring Break movie and my favorite Elvis flick. The Location: Ft. Lauderdale, The Songs: Addicting, The Girl: Shelley Fabares, The Guy: Elvis (of course).
Elvis and backup singers are trying to get out of Chicago and succeed by landing a gig that involves watching the boss’s daughter… while she’s on spring break. Luckily, she’s a nerdy girl, that is until she takes off her cover up.
In a sentence, “How are we gonna keep guys away from that!” Full of slapstick humor, a one track mind Italian exchange student, a stripper, a bombshell, a crazed father and well-meaning friends, this film is sure to have you booking your flight south asap. What I like most about this film though is the Elvis/Shelley chemistry… absolutely lovely. Known as “his favorite leading lady”, Shelly starred in Spinout and Clambake. The latter was a turning point both in Elvis’ personal and professional life, so it’s always interesting to see how they interact in that one as well– and it also includes beaches, and bikinis.
Happy Spring Break!

2000-2011 Best Oscar Songs

In 2001 the Academy, saw the writing on the wall. It was a new Century another new decade and a newly created category; Best Animated Feature. One thing is for certain animated movies are here to stay. There is no longer a studio system to keep actors busy. Animated features seem to fill the bill. Animated features keep working actors working.
Best songs for the decade introduced two rap songs, Lose Yourself by Eminem and It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp by Jordan Houston, Cedric Coleman, Paul Beauregard.
Innovation, modernization, new technologies it all began in 20th century Hollywood and is carried on into the 21st century Hollywood. What goes around comes around and movies definitely have returned back to where they began. Sex, drugs, music, forbidden topics and Silent movies (Best Picture of the Year 2011 The Artist).
2000-2011 Best Songs
2000 Things Have Changed from the movie Wonder Boys Scott Rudin/Curtis Hanson Production Paramount and Mutual Film Company. Music and lyrics by Bob Dylan.
2001 If I Didn’t Have You from Monsters Inc Walt Disney Pictures/Pixar Animation Studios Production, Buena Vista. Music and Lyrics by Randy Newman.
2002 Lose Yourself from the film 8 Mile Universal Pictures and Imagine Entertainment Production, Universal. Music by Eminem, Jeff Bass and Luis Resto. Lyrics by Eminem
2003 Into the West from The Return of the King-Fran Walsh Howard Shore, Annie Lennox
2004 Al Otro Lado Del Rio from The Motorcycle Diaries – Jorge Drexler
2005 It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp from the movie Hustle & Flow – Jordan Houston, Cedric Coleman, Paul Beauregard
2006 I Need to Wake Up from An Inconvenient Truth – Melissa Etheridge
2007 Falling Slowly from Once – Glen Hansard, Markéta Irglová
2008 Jai Ho from Slumdog Millionaire – A.R. Rahman Music-Gulzar Lyrics
2009 The Weary Kind from Crazy Heart – Ryan Bingham, T Bone Burnett
2010 We Belong Together from Toy Story 3 – Randy Newman
2011 Man or Muppet from The Muppets – Bret McKenzie
2000-2011 Best Pictures
2000- Gladiator
2001- A Beautiful Mind
2003-Lord of the Rings:Return of the King
2004-Million Dollar Baby
2006-The Departed
2007- No Country for Old Men
2008- Slumdog Millionaire
2009-Hurt Locker
2010-Kings Speech
2011-The Artist

1989~1999 Best Oscar Songs

Hmmm definitely a new decade, seven of the ten Best Songs chosen for Oscars are songs from animated film. Beauty and the Beast was nominated for Best picture in 1991. There were eighteen other nominations mostly for song or musical score. Best Score for a musical or comedy went to five animated movies. At the beginning of the decade there were only a couple of well-known actors or actresses voices appearing in these movies, by the end of the decade there was a plethora of them. The Academy presented a Special Achievement Award to John Lasseter for his inspired leadership of the Pixar Toy Story team, resulting in the first feature-length computer animated film.
Animated films that received nominations or took home the Oscar: 1989 -The Little Mermaid, 1991-Beauty and the Beast, 1992 -Aladdin,1994-The Lion King, 1995- Pocahontas, 1995-Toy Story, 1996-Hunchback of Notre Dame, 1996-James and the Giant Peach, 1997-Hercules, 1997-Anastasia,1998-A Bug’s Life, 1998-Mulan, 1998-Prince of Egypt, 1999-Tarzan and Toy Story 2.
1989-1999 Best Songs
1989 Under the Sea from The Little Mermaid Walt Disney Pictures with Silver Screen Partners IV, Buena Vista. Music by Alan Menken Lyrics by Howard Ashman.
1990 Sooner or Later from the film Dick Tracy Touchstone Pictures Buena Vista Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
1991 Beauty and the Beast from the film Beauty and the Beast Walt Disney Pictures, Buena Vista. Music by Alan Menken Lyrics by Howard Ashman
1992 A Whole New World from the film Aladdin Walt Disney Pictures, Buena Vista. Music by Alan Menken Lyrics by Tim Rice
1993 Streets of Philadelphia from the movie Philadelphia TriStar. Music and Lyrics by Bruce Springsteen.
1994 Can You Feel the Love Tonight from the movie Lion King Disney Buena Vista. Music by Elton John Lyrics by Tim Rice
1995 Colors of the Wind from the film Pocahontas Disney Buena Vista. Music by Alan Menken lyrics by Stephen Schwartz.
1996 You Must Love Me from the movie Evita Hollywood Pictures/Cinergi Pictures Buena Vista Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Lyrics by Tim Rice.
1997 My Heart Will Go On from the movie Titanic Lightstorm entertainment 20th Century fox and Paramount. Music by James Horner Lyrics by Will Jennings.
1998 When You Believe from The Prince of Egypt Dream Works SKG Production Dream Works. Music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz
1999 You’ll Be in My Heart from the film Tarzan Walt Disney Pictures Production Buena Vista Music and Lyrics by Phil Collins.

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