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Its a Bikini World

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Director  Stephanie Rothman
Music director  Mike Curb
Duration  
Language  English
4.6/10 IMDb

Genre  Comedy
Produced by  Charles S. Swartz
Country  United States
Its a Bikini World movie poster

Release date  April 14, 1967 (1967-04-14)
Writer  Charles S. Swartz, Stephanie Rothman
Cast  Deborah Walley (Delilah Dawes), Tommy Kirk (Mike / Herbert Samson), Bobby Pickett (Woody (as Bob Pickett)), Suzie Kaye (Pebbles)
Similar movies  The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Dr. No, The House Bunny, Funny Face, The Bridges of Madison County, Amélie

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It's a Bikini World is an American musical comedy film released in 1967 starring Tommy Kirk, Deborah Walley and Bobby "Boris" Pickett. The film features cameos by the music groups The Gentrys, The Animals, Pat & Lolly Vegas, The Castaways and R&B girl group The Toys. Featuring a pro-feminist plotline, it is the only film in the beach party genre to be directed by a woman (Stephanie Rothman).

Contents

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This film, along with Catalina Caper (which also starred Tommy Kirk), is among the last beach party films. The mainstay of the once-popular genre was the series of films by American International Pictures (AIP), starting with the surprise hit Beach Party in 1963 and ending with The Ghost in the Invisible Bikini (a box-office flop) in 1966.

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Although AIP picked up distribution, it was not an AIP film. It was actually produced and originally distributed by Trans American Films under the title The Girl in Daddy's Bikini. A new 35mm print with this title was screened at the American Cinematheque in Hollywood on August 1, 2009.

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Plot

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Young surfer Mike Samson (Tommy Kirk), the local beach jock, is quite the ladies' man until he meets Delilah Dawes (Deborah Walley). At first, he tries to add her to his harem, but she rejects him because she finds him chauvinistic and shallow, so he disguises himself as a nerdy twin brother, "Herbert".

It's a Bikini World GONNA PUT ME IN THE MOVIES ITS A BIKINI WORLD

In the meantime, publisher Harvey Pulp (Jack Bernardi) plans to start a new magazine called "Teen Scream". He joins forces with "Daddy" (Sid Haig), car, surfboard, and skateboard customizer — and owner of local music club The Dungeon — to publicize the venture. Pulp and Daddy organize a series of contests, and Delilah competes against "Mike" with the encouragement of "Herbert" in various events, and loses each time. However, Mike finds that he is falling in love with her. Eventually, Delilah finds out about the deception. Soon the two compete in a final race, using various vehicles.

Cast

  • Deborah Walley as Delilah Dawes
  • Tommy Kirk as Mike / Herbert Samson
  • Bobby "Boris" Pickett as Woody (as Bob Pickett)
  • Suzie Kaye as Pebbles
  • Jack Bernardi as Harvey Pulp
  • William O'Connell as McSnigg
  • Jim Begg as Boy
  • Lori Williams as Girl
  • Pat McGee as Cindy
  • Sid Haig as Daddy
  • The Animals as Themselves - Rock Group
  • The Toys as Themselves - Rock Group
  • The Gentrys as Themselves - Rock Group
  • The Castaways as Themselves - Rock Group
  • Production

    It's a Bikini World was partly financed by Roger Corman, who hired his protégé, Stephanie Rothman, to direct, and her husband Charles S. Swartz to produce; they co-wrote the script. Rothman later stated her rationale for the script:

    Girls in beach pictures were usually very passive. The idea that she would assume her athletic prowess could be as good as his was very alien. We wanted a story in which the two characters each had a very strong sense of self-esteem: the boy not wanting to admit that the girl could be as worthy as he, the girl not willing to let him believe that he was better than her.

    The movie was originally entitled The Girl in Daddy's Bikini.

    It was shot in the winter of 1965, but not released until spring of 1967. That the film was shot off-season (when the beaches were less crowded, which was typical for beach party films) is noticeable from the foliage and the Hollywood Boulevard Christmas decorations appearing onscreen.

    Trans American made an effort to copy AIP's style. Both Kirk and Walley had appeared in previous AIP films, Kirk in Pajama Party and Walley in both Beach Blanket Bingo and Ski Party, and they had just starred together in The Ghost in the Invisible Bikini. Bobby Pickett's character, Woody, with his goofy hats and dim wit, is a riff on the character Deadhead/Bonehead that Jody McCrea portrayed in several of the AIP beach party films; Sid Haig's character, Daddy, with his Kustom Kulture design merchandise empire, is a take-off on Ed "Big Daddy" Roth, whose designs were tied to the AIP films as well. For example, Roth's trademark hat — aka Hillbilly Crash Helmet — was worn by McCrea in a couple of AIP films, and Roth's Surfite custom car appears in AIP's Beach Blanket Bingo.

    The role of Woody was originally offered to Aron Kincaid, who turned it down.

    Shooting took around two weeks at a number of locations, including Malibu Beach and a theatre in the Palisades. The location used for Daddy's "Dungeon" in the film is the notorious Hollywood Boulevard club The Haunted House, notable for its bizarre stage in the shape of a mouth of a giant fanged monster. The club also appears as the setting for Ted V. Mikels' go-go exploitation film, Girl in Gold Boots, released a year later in 1968.

    Surfboards used in the film were provided by Hobie.

    Music

    The Animals perform their hit "We Gotta Get out of This Place," and teen garage punks the Castaways perform their hit "Liar, Liar." The Toys perform "Attack," the Gentrys perform "Spread It On Thick", and Pat & Lolly Vegas perform "Walk On (Right Out of My Life)."

    The soundtrack is by Mike Curb and features an early Moog synthesizer cut. The kinetic surf instrumental used over the opening and closing credits, and as a signature throughout the film, is by Bob Summers.

    Release

    The film was released in the spring of 1967, finding limited release in the big cities and mostly playing Southern drive-ins.

    Tommy Kirk later said he was embarrassed by the movie. "It was... basically the end of my career, one of the worst pieces of shit that I've ever been in in my life. I can't believe that I could be so stupid. Poor Deborah Walley, poor me."

    References

    It's a Bikini World Wikipedia
    Its a Bikini World IMDb Its a Bikini World themoviedb.org