Wild on the Beach

Wild on the Beach
Directed by Maury Dexter
Produced by Maury Dexter
Written by Harry Spalding (screenplay)
Hank Tani (story)
Starring Frankie Randall
Sherry Jackson
Gayle Caldwell
Jackie Miller
Music by Jimmie Haskell
Cinematography Jacques R. Marquette
Edited by Jodie Copelan
Lippert Productions Ltd.
Distributed by Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
Release dates
August 25, 1965 (1965-08-25)[1]
Running time
77 min
Country USA
Language English

Wild on the Beach is a 1965 beach party film directed by Maury Dexter. It is notable for the musical acts showcased onscreen, being the film debut of Sonny & Cher in particular. In addition, it is distinguished as being one of the few films in the genre to be filmed in black and white.

Although some sources[2][3][4] state that the film was also released under the title Beach House Party, to date no prints or posters have surfaced with such a title.


Co-ed Lee Sullivan (Sherry Jackson), a student at an unnamed California college, inherits a house on the beach from her late uncle. She wants to use the building as boarding house for girls, thus both alleviating the student housing shortage and financing her education.

Meanwhile, Adam Miller (Frankie Randall), plans to turn the beach house into a boys' boardinghouse, claiming that he received permission to do so while Lee's uncle was still alive. Adam secretly files first for an off-campus housing permit, and the boys take up residence in the house. Lee also receives a permit, and naturally, problems develop when both male and female students decide to co-habitate - this administrative mix-up also makes for much ducking and dodging of the university authorities.

In spite of being at odds with each other, a romance blossoms between Lee and Adam.


Production notes

After making 1963's The Young Swingers and 1964's Surf Party, this was director/producer Maury Dexter’s third teen flick - and second effort to imitate AIP’s Beach Party formula. AIP would later hire Dexter to direct Maryjane and The Miniskirt Mob.[5]

While promoted as a standard beach party film with posters showing most of the female stars in bikinis and a title song with the lyrics, "...only two steps down to the nearest wave, and surf's up every night!", no one in the cast actually wears swimsuits in the film, nor do any of them do anything on the beach - except walk on it - fully clothed. In fact, Frankie Randall, the male lead, wears a windbreaker on top of his shirt for most of the film.

Although little surfing is shown in the film apart from a few random insert shots of extras on surfboards, the "surfing coordinator" for Wild on the Beach was Phil Sauer, who had also worked on AIP’s Muscle Beach Party and Bikini Beach (both 1964); Beach Blanket Bingo and How to Stuff a Wild Bikini (both 1965); as well as Columbia’s Ride the Wild Surf (1964).

This was also the second time Dexter used the Boulder, Colorado-based surf band The Astronauts.[6]


Critical response

"The third (and last) of Maury Dexter’s Beach Party rip-offs, Wild on the Beach is so third-rate and low-budget that an unintentional sense of 'realism' creeps into it." [8]

See also


  1. http://www.afi.com/members/catalog/DetailView.aspx?s=&Movie=19567
  2. "Beach House Party (1965)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  3. "Wild on the Beach(1965)". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  4. Dirks, Tim. "Film History of the 1960s". Filmsite.org. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  5. Maury Dexter at the Internet Movie Database
  6. The Astronauts at the Internet Movie Database
  7. McParland, Stephen J. (1992). It's Party Time: A Musical Appreciation of the Beach Party Film Genre. John Blair. p. 72. ISBN 978-0960188024.
  8. Chidester, Brian; Priore, Domenic (2008). Pop Surf Culture: Music, Design, Film, and Fashion from the Bohemian Surf Boom. Santa Monica Press. p. 168. ISBN 978-1595800350.
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