It’s no secret that the Hollywood Comet loves musicals. In 2010, I revealed I had seen 400 movie musicals over the course of eight years. Now that number is over 500. To celebrate and share this musical love, here is my weekly feature about musicals.
This week’s musical: “Beach Ball” –Musical #517
Studio: Paramount Pictures
Director: Lennie Weinrib
Starring: Chris Noel, Edd Byrnes, Aron Kincaid, James Wellman, Robert Logan, Mikki Jamison, Don Edmonds, Brenda Benet, Gail Gilmore, Anna Lavele Themselves: The Four Seasons, The Supremes, The Righteous Brothers, The Hondells, The Walker Brothers, The Nashville Teens
Plot: The band the Wigglers is trying to keep their instruments from being repossessed. In order to pay for them, Dick (Byrnes) tries to get an ethnic music studies grant from the college he dropped out of from grant committee member Susan (Noel). When Susan finds out she has been had, she tears up the check. But then feeling some remorse, Susan and the other pretty committee members shed their studious looks, going undercover as pretty beach bunnies to help them get the grant.
-Chris Noel’s first starring role.
-Chris Noel said she did not care for Edd Byrnes because he was “egotistical” and kept putting his tongue in her mouth during the kissing scenes, which she didn’t care for, according to the book “Fantasy Femmes of Sixties Cinema” by Tom Lisanti.
-Come to the Beach Ball with Me performed by the Supremes
-Surfer Boy performed by the Supremes -Dawn (Go Away) performed by the Four Seasons
-Baby, What You Want Me to Do performed by The Righteous Brothers
With the success of Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello beach films, other studios tried to follow American International Pictures’ lead and make similar teenage beach movies. Paramount Pictures’ attempt is “Beach Ball,” which is one of the better carbon copy beach films. It’s very similar to “Beach Blanket Bingo,” complete with car racing, sky diving, musical acts and surfing. However, what sets “Beach Ball” apart from any of the other beach films is it’s fantastic music line-up which includes Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, the Righteous Brothers and The Supremes. While The Supremes sing the title song for “Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine,” this is their only beach film appearance. All of the beach films are pretty silly and a little tiresome at times, but they somehow are charming and suck you in. If you are looking for beach films outside of the American International Pictures films, give “Beach Ball” a try. It’s not award winning, but you will definitely hear some great music.