Blu-ray Review: GIDGET

GIDGET is based on the novel by Frederick Kohner. The movie was directed by Paul Wendkos from a screenplay by Gabrielle Upton and stars Sandra Dee, James Darren, Cliff Robertson, Arthur O’Connell, Joby Baker, Yvonne Craig and Doug McClure. The scoire is by Morris Stoloff.

The original surfer girl/beach bum movie, adapted from the novel by Frederick Kohner, Gidget (1959) stars Sandra Dee as determined little Frances Lawrence, who falls in love both with surfing and with the characters who populate the local Southern California beach hangout. Of particular interest are the young Moondoggie (James Darren) and the more mature Big Kahuna (Cliff Robertson), a Korean War vet who is the idol of every surfer on the coast for his life of apparently unfettered freedom.

This 1959 teenybopper surfer rom-com follows Francie Lawrence (Sandra Dee), a cute teenager who has her tomboyish ways so she doesn’t really fit in with her beachbound flirty girlfriends who are simply looking for dates. What happens is, she wants to learn how to surf so she starts hanging out with the local boys on the beach and ends up crushing on Moondoggie (James Darren) but the two don’t really click in the beginning. This is where the Big Kahuna (Cliff Robertson) steps up and takes Francie under his wing while she’s slowly learning to catch a wave. Once the surfer boys get more comfortable with their new gal pal hanging around so much, they nickname her “Gidget” but there’s still some friction between the pretty surfer girl and her Moondoggie crush. As the fun summer finally comes to a close, Francie is back home and ends up being introduced to a nice young man her parents want her to meet and his name is Jeffrey Matthews aka Moondoggie. Needless to say, the two get a second chance and this time things work out much better.

The front of the packaging features the artwork you see at the top of the page and the back includes movie details, an image, a few quotes, and list of special features. The reverse sleeve features an image from the movie. The Blu-ray disc also features some artwork that matches the front cover. Inside is a booklet from Twilight Time that includes more images from the movie, some nice words about Gidget by Julie Kirgo and more original artwork on the front and back. You can see the front cover of the booklet down below. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for this high-definition upgrade were really good considering the age of this movie. I didn’t really have any issues with the video and audio. Another great job by the Twilight Time gang!

Bottom line is, Gidget is one of those classic movies that I’ve heard so much about for so many years and I’ve finally gotten the opportunity to check it out and I have to admit that I really enjoyed it. Sandra Dee is also a name I’m familiar with because she’s been mentioned in numerous songs and movies over the years but this was my first introduction to her. The cheesy story for this teenage romantic comedy keeps everything simple and is pretty much a girl meets boy coming-of-age kind of love story – with some surfing added to the mix. Gidget comes from a much simpler time that was full of family values so it isn’t exploding with raunchy make out scenes or crazy action. Instead it focuses more on the likeable characters, their trends and the hip slang used. Catch a wave, daddy-o! Anyway, this fun 50’s movie is one of the ones that helped launch the surfing craze and there would be many more to follow, along with that catchy surfer music from groups like The Beach Boys, Jan and Dean and others. Gidget is now available on Blu-ray and has a limited edition run of just 3,000 units.

Distributor: Twilight Time

Run Time: 95 Minutes

Rated: Not Rated

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition Widescreen (2.35:1) / Color / Region Free

Blu-ray Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 1.0

Subtitles: English SDH

Special Features: The extras include Twilight Time’s trademark isolated music track and the original theatrical trailer.

  • Isolated Music Track
  • Original Theatrical Trailer (02:09)


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