Paul Wendkos obituary

Film and TV director made famous by his 'Gidget' surf movies

Despite a long and varied career, in which he made several excellent films noirs, westerns, thrillers and war dramas, and a fair number of superior television movies, it was the wry fate of the film and television director Paul Wendkos, who has died of a lung infection aged 87, that his death was announced widely with the words "Gidget director dies".

The popular teen surf movies – Gidget (1959), Gidget Goes Hawaiian (1961) and Gidget Goes to Rome (1963) – directed by Wendkos, are interesting documents of pre-hippy conservative California youth culture. Gidget, a contraction of girl and midget, is the nickname of a 16-year-old adolescent (played in succession by Sandra Dee, Deborah Walley and Cindy Carol) trying to cope with the problems of growing up, mainly defined by her relationship with her boyfriend, Moondoggie (James Darren).

According to the Variety review of
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

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