Let’s be clear, this is not a Best Beach Movies list. Nope. Not even close. This list is all about fun. None of these movies will make you use your brain, but when you sit down to watch them, you’ll probably keep a stupid grin plastered on your face. If you’re planning a trip to Maui, these movies will get you in the mood for some fun. Listed alphabetically…
Beach Blanket Bingo (1965)
Starring Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello, “Beach Blanket Bingo” is the fifth of seven in the “Beach Party” series of movies, and the last one to star Frankie Avalon. This one features the beach, duh, singing, dancing and a mermaid(!). Of the seven movies, “Beach Blanket Bingo” is probably the best known and most popular of the series.
Blue Crush (2002)
Think of it as “Rocky” set on Oahu’s North Shore. A young surfer, recovering from a gnarly wipeout must stare down her demons and get back on her board and compete. While the story is predictable, the surf scenes are cool and well shot. “Blue Crush” features appearances by some of the greatest surfers the world has ever seen, including Keala Kennely, Coco Ho, Layne Beachley, Jamie O’Brien and Bruce Irons, to name a few.
Blue Hawaii (1961)
The first of three movies Elvis Presley shot here in Hawaii, the plot revolves around Chadwick Gates’ (Presley) reluctance, after returning to Hawaii following a stint in the Army, to join the family business (a Hawaiian fruit company) and instead finds work as a tour guide. Yep, that’s it. Much of the film is shot on location at Kauai’s famed Coco Palms resort, with additional scenes shot in and around Waikiki.
Often cited as the movie that brought surf culture to the mainstream, “Gidget” stars Sandra Dee as the title character. Her name in the film is actually Frances, but is nicknamed Gidget, a combination of Girl and Midget. Instead of chasing boys, like all of her friends, she focuses on learning how to surf. In the course of learning how to surf, though, she ends up in a bizarre love triangle. “Gidget” is the film that kicked off the “beach” movie craze of the 1960s. Oscar-winning actress Sally Field took over the role of Gidget for the TV series based on the movie.
Point Break (1991)
An FBI officer, the awesomely named Johnny Utah (Keanu Reeves), goes undercover in an attempt to bust a group of surfers led by the also awesomely named Bodhi (Patrick Swayze), who double as bank robbers. “The Fast and the Furious” pretty much took the movie’s storyline and swapped in cars for surf boards. “Point Break” features great action sequences and both really bad and kind of awesome surfing. Director Katheryn Bigelow later went on to win the Best Director Oscar for “The Hurt Locker”.
Right now you’re asking, where’s “Jaws”? Where’s “The Endless Summer”? What about “Splash”? We know. All are better than these five. But hey, it’s our list, and these movies make us giggle and relax and think about how we should be at the beach, not inside watching movies.
What are your favorite beach movies? Leave us a comment below or tell us on Twitter @HIOceanProject and Instagram @hawaiioceanproject