Review of the Movie “Beach Party”

I choose the movie “Beach Party? for my film report. Beach Party was released August 7, 1963. The film was written by Lou Rusoff and directed by William Asher. The music for this film was composed by Les Baxter featuring Dick Dale and the Del tones, Annette Funicello, and Frankie Avalon. The film starred Frankie Avalon as Frankie and Annette Funicello as Dolores. Beach Party is a romantic comedy/ musical that was directed towards teenage audiences. The social norms presented in this film included friendships and romantic relationships coupled with peer pressure and jealousy. This made the movie very relatable for teenagers in the 1960’s.

Annette Funicello stared in the film as Dolores. Annette Funicello was born October 22, 1942 in Utica, New York. Annette got her start in television when she was discovered by Walt Disney and became one of the original Mouseketeers on The Mickey Mouse Club. After The Mickey Mouse Club ended, Annette went on to guest star in other television shows such as “Zorro” and “Make Room for Daddy”. Afterwards, Annette starred in several movies including “The Shaggy Dog” (1959), “Babes in Toyland” (1961), and “Beach Party” (1963). Due to her incredible singing voice, Annette was pressured into starting a singing career. She released several singles including “Dream Boy” (1961) and “What’s a Girl To Do” (1967). On September 14, 1993 Annette received her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Annette published her autobiography in 1994 called “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes: My Story”. She tells the story of how she got discovered by Walt Disney and what life was like being an actress. She also wrote about her diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis and how it effected her life. Annette passed away from complications of Multiple Sclerosis on April 8, 2013 in Bakersfield, California.

“Beach Party” is set on a beach during the summer in the early 1960’s. The music in this film is connected to the material learned in units two and three on early Rock and Roll and Surf music. Rock and Roll and Surf music were very popular among teenagers and young adults during the 1960’s. The music in this film was part of the storyline, it was upbeat and featured songs that made people want to dance. The characters in the film were not portrayed as musical artists, they were portrayed as normal teenagers enjoying summer vacation at the beach with friends. The songs that the characters sang blended into the storyline and featured songs about surfing, dancing, and love. The overall role of the music in this film was to portray feelings of summer love and fun with friends.

An important scene in the film took place at the restaurant/ night club. Frankie Avalon’s character wanted to make his girlfriend Dolores jealous so he asked another girl to dance with him. As sounds of the electric guitar and drums filled the air, Frankie began singing “Don’t Stop Now”. While Frankie was singing, he began dancing with multiple girls as his girlfriend watched in anger. Soon, everyone in the club started dancing while Dolores sat alone. This is an important scene in the film because it sets the musical tone for the film and shows how peer pressure can effect personal relationships.

This film review was helpful in learning about music in the 1960’s era. Additionally, this film featured Dick Dale who was a guitarist that would go on to shape Rock And Roll and Surf music in the years to come.

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