6.7/10
2,898
43 user 18 critic

Gidget (1959)

Not Rated | | Comedy | 10 April 1959 (USA)
A young girl discovers surfing and love (in that order) during one transitive summer.

Director:

Paul Wendkos

Writers:

Gabrielle Upton (screenplay), Frederick Kohner (novel)
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Sandra Dee ... Francie Lawrence aka Gidget
James Darren ... Jeffrey Matthews aka Moondoggie
Cliff Robertson ... Burt Vail aka The Big Kahuna
Arthur O'Connell ... Russell Lawrence
The Four Preps The Four Preps ... Band at Beach
Mary LaRoche ... Mrs. Dorothy Lawrence
Joby Baker ... Stinky
Tom Laughlin ... Lover Boy
Sue George Sue George ... Betty Louise aka B.L.
Robert Ellis ... Hot Shot
Jo Morrow ... Mary Lou
Yvonne Craig ... Nan
Patti Kane Patti Kane ... Patti
Doug McClure ... Waikiki
Burt Metcalfe Burt Metcalfe ... Lord Byron
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Storyline

Due to an accident while swimming in the sea, Francis meets the surfer Moondoggy. She's fascinated of his sport and starts to hang out with his clique. Although they make fun of her at first, they teach her to surf. Soon she's accepted and given the nickname "Gidget". But it's hard work to become more than a friend to Moondoggy. Written by Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Watch out Brigitte...here comes Gidget! See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 April 1959 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Gidget See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Columbia Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (ColumbiaColor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The title character was based on the author's daughter, Kathy Kohner-Zuckerman, and her adventures growing up in the surf culture at the beach in Malibu during the 1950's. She is still petite, healthy and attractive and lives in Pacific Palisades with her husband. And yes, there was a "Moondoggie", who lives in California and is an artist. See more »

Goofs

Gidget is told a used surf board costs $25.00. She mentions she only has $4.50 left from her allowance, meaning she only needs $20.50 more. However, when she asks her father for some money, she asks for $21.50 instead of only $20.50. See more »

Quotes

Gidget: Well all we need to do for awhile... until Kahuna takes notice is pretend like we're mad for each other.
Moondoggie: On the surface only of course?
Gidget: Oh yeah on the surface only of course.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Leave It to Beaver: Eddie's Sweater (1963) See more »

Soundtracks

The Next Best Thing to Love
Lyrics by Stanley Styne
Music by Fred Karger
Performed by James Darren (uncredited)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

1950s Retro
16 March 2010 | by LechuguillaSee all my reviews

What a time capsule! A film that hearkens back to a cultural era of innocence, "Gidget" screams 1950s, with clothes, lingo, attitudes, and characters that now seem quaint. Gidget (Sandra Dee), that "pint size" sixteen-year-old who lives in Southern California, scampers down to the beach and takes an instant liking to surfing. In the process, she meets a fraternity of youthful, shirtless beach bums. Surfing, fun, and romantic complications ensue.

All fluffy and frothy in the first half, the film's plot and characters reek of bubble-gum shallowness, with dialogue to match. But the plot turns more dramatic in the second half, and characters show at least some degree of depth. Gidget comes across as smart, determined and, given her age, dubiously skilled at psychology, with words that make a big impression on The Big Kahuna (Cliff Robertson), surfers' de facto leader. Ultimately, the film conveys the theme that events and people ... change.

Visuals feature bright, splashy colors and a photogenic cast. Rear-screen projection and cast doubles, for the surfing scenes, look hokey now, but were the norm in those days. Music trends romantic and lively. Naturalistic sound of ocean waves enhances a relaxed, carefree tone.

Although perhaps needed for story balance, plot sequences that involve Gidget's parents seem stodgy, and detract from the main focus on the relationship between Gidget and her beach pals.

Sandra Dee, despite her squeaky voice, gives a performance that was better than I had expected. James Darren and Cliff Robertson add competent support.

If ever there was a film that captures the carefree, innocent life of kids in the 1950s, this is surely it. Undeniably nostalgic to older viewers, and prehistoric to younger viewers, "Gidget" will continue to fascinate, emblematic of an era that will never return.


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