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Surf, Sand, Sun and the Movies
Author: Greg Nelson

The annual rite of Spring Break has arrived. College students across the country are streaming to beaches in search of sunshine and good times. Naturally, Hollywood has been busy capturing these spring break glory days for many years.

The early 1960s produced the first beach movies, with a series of films that included Beach Blanket Bingo in 1965. The movie featured Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello as hip teen idols frolicking on a sun-kissed Malibu beach. Their adventures included a singing starlet kidnapped by a motorcycle gang, sky diving surfers and even a mermaid.

While there were a number of beach party movies, Hollywood also produced a handful of movies focused on spring break in particular. The 1960 film Where the Boys Are starring Delores Hart and George Hamilton still remains one of the quintessential spring break flicks. Set on the sunny beach of Fort Lauderdale, the movie explored the era’s rapidly changing sexual attitudes that went on to define the decade.

The musical romantic comedy, Girl Happy, 1965, starred Elvis Presley and Shelley Fabares, a mobster’s daughter who Presley was being paid to watch over and protect during spring break in Fort Lauderdale.

Yet another spring break movie set in Fort Lauderdale hit the big screen in 1983 – aptly titled, Spring Break. Two nerds, Nelson and Adam book a room at an inexpensive hotel where they meet Stu and O.T. from Brooklyn. The hotel has overbooked the room so the four agree to share the room. From there, it’s a spring break party with everything from wet t-shirt contests and beer drinking to other illicit activities associated with Spring Break – at least until Nelson's step-dad shows up and causes trouble for the group along with a building inspector who threatens to shut down the hotel.

The beach scene shifted from Florida back to California in 1985 with the release of The Sure Thing starring John Cusack, Anthong Edwards and Nicollette Sheridan.

More recently, From Justin To Kelly, 2003, featured two American Idol contestants – first season winner Kelly Clarkson and runner-up Justin Guarini – who met at spring break. Though the film is also set in the spring break mecca of Fort Lauderdale, this comedy musical is considered by many to be among the worst musical films ever made and was a box office flop from the day it opened.

While none of these spring break specific movies can be considered classics, you can be sure that another beach scene will find its way to the silver screen in the near future.

If you have a beach scene or spring break movie you’d like to film, short or webisodes you’d like to film, you can find an instant audience for it online at In fact, your short will even be rated by the rapidly growing audience via the Web site. One of the site’s most popular series to date doesn’t feature the beach, but it does offer girls in bikinis! Zach and the Bikini Girls continues to draw an exceptional audience of followers.

There’s never been a better time to start filming and sharing your own movie shorts. Or to simply log in and start rating your own favorites from amongst an ever expanding list of webisodes from

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