|DON'T MAKE WAVES (director: Alexander Mackendrick; screenwriters: Ira Wallace/George Kingo/Maurice Richlin/from the novel Muscle Beach by Ira Wallace; cinematographer: Philip Lathrop; editors: Rita Roland/Thomas Stanford; music: Vic Mizzi; cast: Tony Curtis (Carlo Cofield), Claudia Cardinale (Laura Califatti), Sharon Tate (Malibu), Robert Webber (Rod Prescott), Joanna Barnes (Diane Prescott), Mort Sahl (Sam Lingonberry), Jim Backus (Himself), David Draper (Harry), Ann Elder (Millie Gunder), Edgar Bergen (Madame Lavinia, astrologist), Douglas Henderson (Henderson); Runtime: 97; MPAA Rating: PG-13; producers: John Calley/Martin Ransohoff; MGM; 1967)|
|"It should have been much funnier."
by Dennis Schwartz
was Brit born filmmaker Alexander Mackendrick's ("Whisky
Galore!"/"Sweet Smell of Success"/"A Highway in
Jamaica") last film before trading in movie making for
teaching about film at the California Institute of the
Arts. It's an amiable, no edge satire on southern
California's beach lifestyle. It's based on the
novel Muscle Beach by Ira Wallace, who writes the weak
script with George Kingo and Maurice Richlin. It
disappointed, as it should have been much funnier. But
its climax scene of a luxurious Malibu house sliding
down a cliff into the Pacific Ocean gives the farce
enough physical comedy to save it from total disaster.
city tourist Carlo Cofield (Tony Curtis)
visiting Malibu meets on the cute the Italian beauty
aspiring actress Laura Califatti (Claudia
Cardinale) when she clumsily nudges his car off
the highway. Losing all his worldly possessions, Laura
responds after a few nudges to invite him to stay
overnight in her Malibu home. But during his stay,
Carlo finds out that Laura for the last 6 years has
been having an affair with the married swimming
pool magnate Rod Prescott (Robert Webber), who
visits and kicks the tourist out. Sleeping on
the beach, the next morning Carlo goes for a dip and
nearly drowns when hit on the noggin with a surfboard.
Carlo is rescued with artificial
respiration by the sexy sky-diver Malibu
(Sharon Tate, her first film role and two years before
slain by the Manson crowd) and is smitten.
likes what he sees on the Left Coast and blackmails
sugar daddy Rod into giving him a job as a swimming
pool salesman, so he can pursue Malibu. Trouble is
Malibu's boyfriend is the body builder Harry (David
Draper), and Carlo plays an ugly trick on the
dim-witted strongman to keep him away from Malibu.
Meanwhile Rod's wife Diane (Joanna Barnes)
spies on her cheating hubby with private detectives
and has plans for dealing with him that include
bringing Carlo into running the business.
The pleasant slapstick comedy manages to poke fun at trendy astrologers, greedy business people, vain muscle boy beach bums, the twisted notions of California romance and the spaced-out characters hanging out at the beach. But just not enough is done to give it some kick as a hip comedy, as it's poorly edited and what should be hip is watered down into middling sitcom stuff. The Byrds sing the theme song.
REVIEWED ON 7/10/2014 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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