Review: ‘Muscle Beach Party’

This is American International's followup to Beach Party, its click of a year earlier. The novelty of surfing has worn off, leaving in its wake little more than a conventional teenage-geared romantic farce with songs.

This is American International’s followup to Beach Party, its click of a year earlier. The novelty of surfing has worn off, leaving in its wake little more than a conventional teenage-geared romantic farce with songs.

The clash of three factions at a beach site sets off the romantic, comedic and musical fireworks. At one end is a group of youthful surfers. At another is a band of Atlasian musclemen. Catalyst is a wealthy, fickle contessa. Whenever the story bogs down, which it does quite often, someone runs into camera range and yells ‘surf up!’

Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello top the cast and do most of the singing. The film introduces Little Stevie Wonder, a lad who can really wail. Peter Lorre puts in an unbilled appearance.

Muscle Beach Party

Production

American International. Director William Asher; Producer James H. Nicholson, Robert Dillon; Screenplay Robert Dillon; Camera Harold Wellman; Editor Eve Newman; Music Les Baxter; Art Director Lucius O. Croxton

Crew

(Color) Widescreen. Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1964. Running time: 94 MIN.

With

Frankie Avalon Annette Funicello Luciana Paluzzi John Ashley Don Rickles Jody McCrea

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