While summer may not officially begin in the Northern Hemisphere until after the summer solstice on June 21, most people consider the sun-drenched months of May, June, and July to be the summer when it comes to traditional warm weather recreational activities. For many folks — especially students on their annual school break — traditional summertime activities may include a visit to the nearest beach to swim, surf, or simply bask in sun.
However, for people who may not have the time to make it to the beach this summer or for those that only care to enjoy the saltwater and sand in a virtual sense, there are plenty of films with stories that revolve around that geographic area where the land meets the sea. From the silly to the serious, here are seven beach movies that that you can stretch out and watch as many times as you want and still never get a sunburn.
7. Gidget (1959)
This lighthearted film about a ditzy young girl who discovers California’s surf culture and finds true love was widely credited — or blamed, depending on your perspective — for kicking off the teen beach party genre of movies. Gidget spawned several sequels and even more imitators, including another well-known series of beach party movies starring Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello that were released in the 1960s.
While Gidget has plenty of beautiful footage of California’s sun-drenched beaches, the film also features some of the corniest dialogue and silliest spontaneous serenading ever committed to film. Gidget stars Sandra Dee as the title character, crooner James Darren as Moondoggie, and Cliff Robertson as The Kahuna.