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Beach Party (1963) was the first of several beach party films from American International Pictures (AIP) aimed at a teen audience. It was directed by William Asher and written by Lou Rusoff. The main actors included Robert Cummings, Dorothy Malone, Frankie Avalon, and Annette Funicello. This film is often credited with creating the beach party film genre. One of the unique aspects of the AIP beach films is the absence of parents or any other authority figures. This gang of independent, fun-loving teenagers are free to do whatever they want and live on their own terms. This first film includes a romantic sub-plot about two adult characters (Cummings and Malone) that was only repeated once in subsequent films, in 1964's Bikini Beach. An anthropologist, Professor Robert Orwell Sutwell (Robert Cummings) is secretly studying the "wild mating habits" of Southern California teenagers who hang out at the beach and use strange surfing jargon. After he temporarily paralyzes Eric Von Zipper ...
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