Accidental Icon: The Real Gidget Story (2010)

DVD Cover (Level 33 Entertainment)
Biography (Non-Fiction), Documentary, Extreme Sports, Sports
Brian Gillogly Brian Gillogly
Layne Beachley Layne Beachley
James Darren James Darren
Sally Field Sally Field
Jorja Fox Jorja Fox
Gregory Harrison Gregory Harrison

7.6 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Bill Wolford
Added: February 02, 2012
Documentaries are great ways to learn more about the things that you are interested in. And sometimes documentaries are great ways to learn things that you had no clue about in the first place. For me, this film falls into the latter category. It was fun, informative, and most important gave me an insight on a part of American life I had not learned about before.

Yes, Gidget (Kathy Kohner) was a real person. A nickname combining the words girl midget, Gidget was around fifteen years old when she started hanging around on the beaches of southern California in the fifties. She was feisty, a girl ahead of her time. She learned how to surf on those beaches at a time when girls were just eye candy, and just sat on the beach, watching their surfer boyfriends. She also kept everything that happened on that beach written in her diary. At some point she decided that her story needed to be shared, so she talked her screenplay writing father into penning her story, creating a sensation.

After the book became a best seller, the movies came calling. The first Gidget film was a smash success, but as most of the original surfer bums observed, it was the beginning of the end. What was once almost an exclusive club of serious surfers, became an overnight American sensation. Everyone wanted to try surfing, and the beaches became clogged with "surfing wannabe's".

The string of Gidget movies continued, along with a TV series and at one point a cartoon as well. Women around the world started to identify with Gidget's personality, a girl with lots of determination to do what she loved, no matter the consequences. The fifties male-dominated sport had become an activity for everyone equally.

This documentary goes in depth with some of the stars from the movies made (Cliff Robertson, Sally Field, Gregory Harrison, among others). And we also get some input from some of the original surfers from the fifties who give great insight on what it was like having the fifteen year old Gidget hanging around, learning how to surf.

This is a great documentary to pick up for fans of surfing, the Gidget movies, or just to learn more about one of America's greatest historical times. The film looks great, shot in full frame with a great surfer music instrumental soundtrack. The extras on the DVD are based around the surfers in the film, and some extra footage.

Jamie Budge
Rohloff on Rohloff
Extended Ending
Gidget and Rabbit at Duke's

Pick this up for some surfin' sunshine beach love!
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