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The Surf Movie : the exciting history of the surf movie

Date: 1972-1980
Overall: 379 x 240 mm, 0.009 kg
Medium: Printed ink on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Purchased with USA Bicentennial Gift funds
Classification:Posters and postcards
Object Name: Poster
Object No: 00017308
Place Manufactured:United States

User Terms

    This poster was produced for 'The Surf Movie' during the 1980s. Narrated by Bud Browne, Greg McGillivray and Jim Freeman, the film explored the history of the surf movie genre, looking back at films produced by Browne and the McGillivray-Freeman partnership. The central motif of the poster is a photograph of three women dressed in early 20th century bathing costumes. Information about the film is detailed below.
    SignificanceThis movie poster is an important example of promotional material used during this period. 'The Surf Movie' illustrates the role of surfing in popular culture.
    HistoryBy the 1970s surfing films had shifted from 1960s Hollywood beach party musicals produced for the broader community, to the 'soul-surfing' exploration of counterculture lifestyles. During this era films were either created in a documentary style, which targeted the surfing enthusiast, or as a fictional feature film with the focus on the reality of surfing.

    Bud Browne was the first filmmaker to show surf movies commercially. Born in Boston, Browne learnt to surf in the 1930s while studying at the University of Southern California. In the 1940s he began to film surfers during a holiday in Hawaii, and in 1953 produced his first film, 'Hawaiian Surfing Movie'. Other films by Browne included 'Hawaiian Holiday' (1954), 'Hawaiian Surf Movie' (1955), 'Trek to Makaha' (1956), 'The Big Surf' (1957), 'Surf Down Under' (1958), 'Cat on a Hot Foam Board' (1959), 'Surf Happy' (1960), 'Spinning Boards' (1961), 'Cavalcade of Surf' (1962), 'Gun Ho!' (1963), 'Locked In!' (1964), 'You'll Dance in Tahiti' (1967) and 'Going Surfin' (1973).

    Browne films generally followed a simple formula that involved loosely strung-together montages of surfing action in California and Hawaii, intertwined with comedic moments and on-the-road vignettes. Costing less than $US5,000 on average, the films were relatively inexpensive to make, and the publicity was fairly rudimentary, consisting of nailing up hand-made posters on telegraph poles. At the beginning of the 1970s, Browne began working with Greg MacGillivray and Jim Freeman, who had joined together to form MacGillivray-Freeman Films. McGillivray and Freeman used film that had been shot by Browne in a number of the movies that they produced during this period.
    Additional Titles

    Web title: 'The Surf Movie'

    Primary title: The Surf Movie : the exciting history of the surf movie

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