Beach Blanket Bingo (1965)

beach blanket bingo poster 1965 movie
6.0 Overall Score
Story: 4/10
Acting: 6/10
Visuals: 6/10

Mindless fun

Poor plots, acting

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Beach Blanket Bingo 

Studio:  American International Pictures

Genre(s):  Music/Comedy/Romance

Release Date(s):  April 14, 1965

MPAA Rating:  Not Rated

beach blanket bingo frankie avalon kisses annette funicello

All we kids do is party!!!

Bullets (Paul Lynde) has a new marketing campaign for his up-and-coming star Sugar Kane (Linda Evans).  Faking stunts, Sugar Kane is going to be a star…and Dee Dee (Annette Funicello) grows jealous of her when Frankie (Frankie Avalon) is credited with saving Sugar.  Sugar’s exploits spark the interest of Eric Von Zipper (Harvey Lembeck) who intends to “save” Sugar himself with his biker gang.  Meanwhile, Dee Dee and Frankie’s friend Bonehead (Jody McCrea) has fallen for a girl named Lorelei (Marta Kristen) who isn’t a girl at all.

Directed by William Asher, Beach Blanket Bingo is a teen comedy-musical romance.  It is part of the Beach Party films and the fifth in the series followed in Pajama Party in 1964.  It became the most popular film of the series.

beach blanket bingo don rickles buster keaton

Don Rickles and Buster Keaton bring the funny…sort of

Beach movies are like big budget Gidget episodes.  It just seems like they take a Monkees plot and place Frankie and Annette in it…plus their friends.  Beach Blanket Bingo might be the best of these entries, but it also feels like every beach movie.

The plots are almost incidental.  The story just involves a bunch of events strung together with a paper thin plot.  It feels more like a bunch of “antics”.  The story just has Annette and Frankie jealous of each other over and over again…plus, it throws in the weird mermaid plot with Bonehead.

The cast is a cast of a beach movie.  It is the last beach film starring Frankie Avalon though Annette Funicello continued to return.  Linda Evans plays the Sugar Kane though her singing voice was dubbed.  Paul Lynde is the slimy promoter but Harvey Lembeck’s bike gang leader is more over-the-top (and meets a grisly end).  The movie also features appearances by Buster Keaton, columnist Earl Wilson, and Don Rickles…who in a moment of open stand-up jokes almost breaks the fourth wall by referencing the fact that Annette and Frankie aren’t teens.

beach blanket bingo perils of penelope buzzsaw linda evans

It’s the Perils of Penelope!!!

Unlike something like a TV show like Gidget, Beach Blanket Bingo was at least shot on location.  The movie was shot on beaches around Malibu…it is pretty ironic how open and empty they are since now it seems like most of Malibu’s beaches are private residences.

Beach Blanket Bingo is harmless fun, but more of something you’d put on in the background than a sit down entertainment.  Much like an Elvis movie, the film really is about how much you like Frankie and Annette…not about the plot.  If beach movies existed now, they’d probably be subjected to “straight to Netflix” or streaming.  Beach Blanket Bingo was followed by How to Stuff a Wild Bikini (also in 1965) which only featured Frankie Avalon in a supporting role.

Related Links:

How to Stuff a Wild Bikini (1965)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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