Wednesday, 25 March 2009



Dir: Paul Wendkos (Gidget Goes Hawaiian, Angel Baby)
Cast: Sandra Dee, James Darren, Cliff Robertson
USA, 1959

Seen: A zillion times, usually with a bowl of popcorn. Before I even saw it I knew about it from my friend Danette who would call me Gidget in art school when I wore my hair long, blonde and in a high ponytail. But I finally saw it for first time around 2000 when my sister Jamie called me and said with excitement "Gidget is on TV!". I've been hooked ever since.

Reason to Review: For The Underrated Blog-a-thon over at Chicago Ex-Patriate

"The Day, the Hour and the moment has arrived"

When I mention to people that Gidget is one of my favourite films of all time, I usually get one of two reactions: a suprized and confused look or a giggle. But I'm not joking. Gidget is planted firmly in my top 5 films, right after Star Wars and before The Professional.

Why, do you ask? I'll tell you why! On the surface, the film starts off feeling like a standard beach movie. A girl with her friends, it's the beginning of summer and time to look out for some boys! It could all go predictably along but it doesn't because Gidget plays by her own rules - something that is pretty freaking awesome for a film with a female protagonist that came out in 1959! There is a lot we can learn from Gidget!

Gidget does not give in. Peer pressure and expectations be damned. They aren't going to nudge out Gidget to do something she doesn't want to. Of course she's perfectly polite about this, and everything else she does which is something we can all keep in mind.

Gidget does not give up! Persistence pays off. I'll quote directly from the film for this one.
Kahuna "Don't you ever give up?"
Gidget "Not when I want something. If you want something bad enough you work for it"
And boy, she does!

Gidget has her own interests and excels at them. Sure they may not always fit along the lines of what girls are 'suppose' to do but she doesn't let that get in her way! Go surfer girl go.

Gidget believes. In herself, in her friends, even in people that others have given up on. Sure, at times it is slanted at a bit of naiveté, but it's also comes from the heart. This in turn inspires those around her.

Along with all these awesome positive traits, the movie is just plain fun. Or, better yet "It's the absolute ultimate!"

Shannon's Overall View:
I love it
I watch it again and again
I recommend it

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© Shannon Ridler, 2009


James Yates said...

Shannon, thanks a ton for your contribution. I like the fact that some people would potentially spin this as a "guilty pleasure," but there's no such thing. Using the same example types, I could easily come up with reasons why I think "Happy Gilmore" is one of the greatest comedies of all time.

I should give this a screening sometime soon. I have very hazy memories of the television show when I was a kid.

Suzie Ridler said...

Love this review! Yes, it's so true, this movie is actually quite progressive in so many ways. My husband was shocked (he had no been indoctrinated until recently).

Good for you for standing up for Gidget and explaining the importance of this film to others. I feel the same way about Babe. Boy do I get laughed at for that one!

Shannon the Movie Moxie said...

It's amazing films that feel 'happy' or even 'comedies' people can swiftly overlook when there really is a lot more to be gained than a few chuckles.

Chuckles are, of course, great fun as well!

Jamie Y - I love Happy Gilmore. I think I fell off the couch and woke people up when I saw it the first time I enjoyed it so much.

DG - Babe is an awesome film! Good on you for defending it! And how had your hubby not seen Gidget? I'm glad that has been resolved.

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