Surf Hollywood: 10 Essential Surf Movies
Hollywood and Surf have an intense relationship that has given cult films and also some monster … Let’s know the 10 most important surf movies that the big screen has given us.
But for the big movie studios the image of boys and girls tanning on the beach, living an endless smiling summer, riding the waves and starring in stories of love, courage, and adventure, is something very attractive with enormous commercial potential. Millions of people dream of that life or imagine in a romantic way everything that surrounds surfing. And that sells tickets, like the general public.
Most surfers associate surf and movies with Point Break (1991), a “radical” adventure in search of freedom and adrenaline sweetened with the inevitable commercial touch, a true revolution that brought surfing to millions of spectators throughout the world. world. But there are other great surf movies produced in Hollywood, even more important. Let’s see a few of the most essential from the beginning of our days.
Few current surfers are old enough to remember Hollywood’s first foray into the budding California surf culture. But Gidget meant a bombshell, broke box offices and really put the surf in the minds of millions of people who had never heard of him. Changed, according to some, surfing forever: to be a sport and minority lifestyle, Gidget attracted the masses and big brands to surfing, in a path with no turning back that continues today.
ENDLESS SUMMER (1964)
Classic all-time Bruce Brown: a pure surf movie that became a commercial success. A travel journal following Robert August and Mike Hynson around the world in search of the perfect wave that captured the essence of surfing like no other movie. After having been launched only for surfers it went to 35 mm for the general public. Performing Endless Summer cost 50,000 dollars and gave a profit of 30 million. Even today the images, the narrative, the music and the poster design are timeless. It is one of the few essential films that every surfer must see and enjoy. Second part also highly recommended in 1994.
BIG WEDNESDAY (The Great Wednesday, 1978)
The Great Wednesday is another surf movie that has become a myth, and perhaps the Hollywood fiction film that best portrays the essence of the surfer’s life. Directed and co-written by John Milius, he was a failure in the cinema and became a cult hit with his singing to friendship and surfing spirit over the setbacks of life. Poetic, epic, is full of moments that are part of the history of this sport.
APOCALYPSE NOW (1979)
Surfing is an element, not the central theme, of Francis Ford Coppola’s mythical film about the Vietnam War. But it is, possibly, the strangest piece of surf taken to celluloid. The classic “I love the smell of napalm in the morning” by Colonel “Charlie Don’t Surf” Kilgore in the middle of a battle to secure a Vietnamese village beach so that his soldiers can surf, is already a myth. And seeing it, we all stay with the character of the surfer and his misadventures in this work of art of world cinema.
NORTH SHORE (1987)
Possibly the coolest romantic surf movie ever made. Rick Kane’s odyssey of wave pool hero in Arizona to compete on the legendary north coast of Hawaii is a fun and interesting material for all surfers. It has cameos from many legends such as Occy, Pagey, Laird, and López. A perfect time capsule to surf the eighties and have a good time. It is also increasingly relevant now that the wave pools are again topical.
SURF NAZIS MUST DIE (1987)
The best / worst B Surf movie in history. Surf Nazis give the impression that it was made with a budget of 100 dollars and a half was spent on drugs and alcohol. The “bands” of surf have a maximum of four members and is absolutely hilarious, groundbreaking and super apocalyptic, a cult film of Troma. The eighties were the era of domestic video and movies of this type could be popular without having to be “good enough” to be in movie theaters. A definitive winner of the category “as bad as it is, it’s good”.
POINT BREAK (1991)
The Impact of Point Break was and is huge, similar to that of Gidget 30 years earlier. Generations of new surfers were caught by this film of surf, crime and search for freedom in the waves. The late Patrick Swayze is perfect as the wonderful villain Bodhi and Keanu Reeves convinced the girls that a plunder can be the ideal surfer boyfriend. It’s a movie to watch with popcorn about bank robbers surfing and stealing to pay for their sliding and leisure life. Keanu learned to surf while filming the movie and still does it. Swayze also made his own skydiving scenes. The second part, or the modern version, remake of the year 2015, made many unconditional fans cry when they saw themselves betrayed.
IN GODS HANDS (In the hands of God, 1998)
Shane Dorian is a respected and admired surfer, a great athlete who continues in the front line, but his performance in this film represented a blow to his reputation. At least in the film the surf scenes are fine and the protagonists did not have to be dubbed. In Gods, Hands failed at the box office and had very bad reviews. Even so, it is interesting to see and with the appearance and surf of Shaun Tomson, Brian Keaulana, Darrick Doerner, Little Brock and Mike Stewart in addition to the protagonist Shane Dorian.
SURF’S UP (2007)
Yes. It is an animated film. Some of the best Hollywood productions are being done in the animation studios and this odyssey of a surfing penguin has had the strength to get Kelly Slater and Rob Machado to participate by putting their voices. It is the typical story of the young stranger who learns to surf with an old surf guru while also learning lessons about love and life. It’s lovely and the first surf movie for kids with enough intelligence to keep adult surfers entertained and happy.
SOUL SURFER (2011)
Bethany Hamilton is the protagonist of the story: her childhood surf in Hawaii, her attack by a shark at age 14 and her return to the sport of waves, competition, and life. An inspiring and real adventure, emotional and luminous, Soul Surfer has touched the senses of millions of spectators and, despite some sometimes forced surf scenes, transmits a beautiful energy.
CHASING MAVERICKS (2012)
6The tragic story of surf legend Jay Moriarty taken to the movies. For some too soft and commercial, for others great and motivating. Anyway, it deserves a while to see it and the big wave scenes are very successful.