Here’s the movie lineup for the Spring Break Film Festival finale for Friday April 20 co-hosted by Ben Mankiewicz and me accompanied by my mini reviews from my book Hollywood Surf and Beach Movies.

8:00 P.M. Ski Party

After its success with the beach milieu, AIP was the first studio to switch the party from the sandy shores of Malibuto the ski sloops of Sun Valley with Ski Party though the movie concludes back on the beach.  It was a move that paid off nicely although as with Muscle Beach Party, Ski Party is another AIP film that fans are divided upon.  Two average college guys (Frankie Avalon, Dwayne Hickman), who are losers when it comes to the ladies, masquerade as English lasses on a ski trip to discover why their gals (Deborah Walley, Yvonne Craig) dig suave Freddie (Aron Kincaid) and what they really want in a guy.  Complications ensue when the pompous ladies man falls in love with one of the guy’s female incarnation. The first half of the picture unfolds quite briskly with excellent musical numbers performed by Frankie Avalon, James Brown, and Lesley Gore though the second half bogs down a bit with a ludicrous ski jump contest and an overlong chase sequence, standard for these AIP romps. Even still, Ski Party has high production values, is quite funny with a standout performance from Kincaid, James Brown and the Famous Flames peforming one of their biggest hits, and is beautifully photographed on location making it well worth seeing.

Co-starring Robert Q. Lewis, Lesley Gore, Bobbi Shaw, Mike Nader, Steve Rogers, Salli Sachse, Patti Chandler, Luree Holmes, Jo Collins, Christopher Riordan.

10:00 p.m. Winter a-Go-Go

A personal favorite though most critics consider it one of the lesser beach party movies.  Unlike Ski Party and Wild Wild Winter, which incorporated beach scenes into their plots, Winter a-Go-Go heads straight for the slopes and remains there the entire time though there is an obligatory bikini scene.  Jeff (William Wellman, Jr.) inherits a ski resort and with a pack of friends (including James Stacy, Beverly Adams, Tom Nardini) heads off to turn the lodge into a success but trouble ensues when the mortgage holder hires two goons to wreck havoc so he can foreclose.  Of all the beach party films this was this is the closest to being camp with its scantily-clad dancing Winter a-Go-Go girls, to James Stacy singing “Hip Square Dance” in his pajamas to the bitchy barbs thrown out by ambiguous gay guy Roger (Bob Kanter).  Connoisseurs of all things camp should have a ball.

Co-starring Jill Donahue, Anthony Hayes, Duke Hobie, Julie Parrish, Linda Rogers, Nancy Czar, Judy Parker, Buck Holland, Nooney Rickett Four, Joni Lyman, the Reflections.

12:00 a.m. Get Yourself a College Girl

Produced by Sam Katzman, the weirdly titled Get Yourself a College Girl was originally to be called Watusi a-Go-Go to cash in on the dance craze.  But when the film was ready to be released, the Watusi had become passe.  Mary Ann Mobley plays a college coed at a staid girls school whose side job as a songwriter of love songs is exposed causing a scandal. Huh!?! She goes off skiing for Spring Break with her friends Nancy Sinatra and Chris Noel, and her teacher Joan O’Brien. There she is pursued by song publisher Chad Everett the guy who revealed her profession to the school administrators. Like a number of Katzman’s films, it is best remembered for the eclectic array of musical performers including the Dave Clark Five, the Animals, the Standells, and Astrud Gilberto.

Co-starring Fabrizio Mioni, Lori Williams, Christopher Riordan



Comments: 6

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  • John Black

    What a wonderful week this has been, a virtual five-day commercial (in prime time, at least here on the left coast) for Tom’s books. I still have to catch up to some of last night’s intros, and of course tonight’s as well. I have most of the films on DVD.

    I wish that GIRLS ON THE BEACH and BEACH BALL had been remastered in anamorphic widescreen, but I made a hard copy of GIRLS ON THE BEACH anyway, since it’s not on home video. Haven’t watched BEACH BALL yet.

    • Thanks John. Glad you enjoyed it. Yes, I agree about those 2 movies but the fact they aired them was wonderful. I am going to keep those as well. And my intros to them were 2 of the best I thought. They kept a lot in.

  • Tom,

    I enjoyed your interviews with Ben all week long. Great behind the scenes info. Hope TCM has you on again when they have themed programs for a week.



    • Thanks Gary. Glad you enjoyed. Please drop TCM a note on their Facebook page or web site. I would love to go back. It was fun and the TCM crew are great. Tom

  • Michael H

    I gave my DVR a massive workout by recording all of these and watched them over the past several weeks. Very cool that you were able to give this under appreciated genre a spotlight on TCM.
    Way overdue IMO. I was also very pleased that you included the rarely seen Girls On the Beach and Beach Ball. Congrats on a job well done.

    • Thanks for the kind words, Michael. I cannot take credit for the schedule. TCM had already in place when they contacted me, but do know they used my book as a guide I think.

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