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Gidget (1959)

In the late 1950s, Hollywood discovered a new audience—teenagers. Columbia made its bid for that demographic with this romantic comedy about a young girl (Sandra Dee) who comes of age when she convinces the local beach crowd to teach her to surf. Most of the teen films of that era were little more than light drive-in entertainment, but in addition to the obvious appeal of attractive young people and two pop songs performed by Moondoggie Matthews (James Darren), Gidget has its serious side. Dee is torn between Moondoggie, an earnest college student, and perpetual beach bum The Big Kahuna (Cliff Robertson), who represents a more carefree life. The film boosted all three actors’ careers and spawned two sequels, two TV series and three TV movies. 

d. Paul Wendkos, 96m, Digital