|The Beach Boys.|
The focus on The Girls on the Beach is the Beatles--and they never appear in the movie! The premise has a trio of girls trying to raise $10,000 to save their sorority house. After several futile fundraising efforts (e.g., a bake sale, a beauty contest), they meet three guys who--trying to sound impressive--claims to know Paul, John, George, and Ringo. The girls decide that a Beatles concert is a surefire way to save the Alpha Beta House!
It's a silly plot, to be sure, but the cast is likable and the music good. In addition to the Beach Boys, Leslie Gore and the Crickets (who continued after Buddy Holly's death) perform jaunty tunes. Carol Connors dubs for actress Noreen Corcoran on a couple of songs, including the marvelously-titled "We Wanna Marry a Beatle." Connors was formerly lead singer of the Teddy Bears, who scored a huge pop hit with "To Know Him Is To Love Him." Years later, she co-wrote "Gonna Fly Now" from Rocky.
|Kincaid and friends.|
77 Sunset Strip. Less charming than The Girls on the Beach, Beach Ball is best known for its incredible musical line-up: Diana Ross and Supremes, The Four Seasons (who sing "Dawn"), the Righteous Brothers, the Hondells, and the Walker Brothers.
In between the musical numbers, there's a plot about Byrnes trying to get a grant (!) so his band, The Wigglers, won't have to return to their instruments to the music store. The best thing about Beach Ball is that the plot doesn't get in the way of the music. Plus, it's fun watching Byrnes trying to act super cool. When a girl asks him to leave the dance floor so they can chat, he quips: "Don't bug me, baby. I'm in orbit."
Neither of these two Paramount forays into the 1960s surf musicals compares favorably with AIP's Beach Party series (no Annette, no Eric Von Zipper!). Still, they're entertaining in a silly way and, if you're a fan of 1960s rock-and-pop music, it's a rare opportunity to watch some of the decade's biggest acts.