Gidget Goes Hawaiian

Gidget Goes Hawaiian is a 1961 American romantic comedy musical film starring James Darren, Michael Callan and Deborah Walley. Released by Columbia Pictures, the film is a sequel to the 1959 Sandra Dee "beach movie" vehicle Gidget. Dee was under contract to Universal for the rival series film Tammy Tell Me True (1961) and would not be released to Columbia to reprise her hit role.

Gidget Goes Hawaiian
Gidget Goes Hawaiian 1961 poster.jpg
1961 theatrical poster
Directed byPaul Wendkos
Written byRuth Brooks Flippen
Based onFrederick Kohner
(based upon on characters created by)
Produced byJerry Bresler
StarringJames Darren
Michael Callan
Deborah Walley
CinematographyRobert J. Bronner
Edited byWilliam A. Lyon
Music byGeorge Duning
Color processEastmancolor
Jerry Bresler Productions
Distributed byColumbia Pictures
Release date
  • June 2, 1961 (1961-06-02)
Running time
101 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$2.2 million (US rentals)[1]

The sequel expands the archetypal high school teen surfer girl's romance with her college sweetheart Moondoggie. The film is the second of three Gidget films directed by Paul Wendkos. The screenplay was written by Ruth Brooks Flippen based on characters created by Frederick Kohner, who also wrote a novelisation of the film in 1961. Actor James Darren reprised his 1959 role of "Moondoggie", and another veteran of the 1959 film, Joby Baker, makes an appearance. Gidget Goes to Rome follows the film sequentially. Gidget Goes Hawaiian has been released to VHS and DVD.


Francie "Gidget" Lawrence (Deborah Walley) and Jeff "Moondoggie" Matthews (James Darren) have just gotten pinned when Gidget's father announces that they are going to Hawaii for two weeks; the remainder of Moondoggie's summer break. Gidget refuses to go and leave Jeff alone. However, when Jeff encourages Gidget to go to Hawaii, an angry and disappointed Gidget gives him back his pin and tells her folks she has changed her mind.

On the plane en route to Hawaii, Gidget meets Abby Stewart (Vicki Trickett) and her parents, popular dancer Eddie Horner (Michael Callan), and several more boys. In recounting her break-up to Abby, Gidget dramatically describes having gone overboard and "surrendered herself completely," which Abby misinterprets as "she went all the way".

As heart-broken Gidget mopes in her room, her father feels badly and decides to send for Jeff, suggesting that he come to Hawaii to surprise Gidget. Jeff immediately accepts. That night, Abby visits Gidget and invites her to join her and Eddie and the rest of the gang. Gidget declines at first, but her mother persuades her to change her mind. When Gidget makes a big hit with the boys and dances with Eddie, she inadvertently becomes Abby's rival.

Gidget makes an even bigger impression surfing the next day, leading to an unexpected kiss from Eddie just as Jeff arrives. The two argue and finally decide to go their separate ways. That night at dinner, Jeff arrives with Abby (who is unaware that he is Gidget's boyfriend "Moondoggie") and Gidget retaliates by flirting with Eddie. The contest continues through water-skiing and other activities until Abby, fed up and jealous, decides to spread a wanton rumor that Gidget has slept with Eddie and other guys. Abby's mother relays this gossip to Gidget's mother, quickly leading to arguments between the two, between Gidget and her parents, and finally between both married couples. Gidget's father finds himself drinking with Abby's mother in the hotel bar, while Abby's father and Gidget's mother also make peace. The two mismatched couples eventually meet and resolve their respective disputes.

At the Luau that night, Eddie runs into Gidget and confesses he's in love with her. A crestfallen Gidget tells him that she doesn't love him but they agree to be friends. However, Gidget still can't bring herself to go to the Luau since she doesn't know how far Abby's rumor has spread, so she goes for a walk alone on the beach and in a series of musical vignettes, pictures herself as a tramp, a fan dancer, and an unwed mother.

Back at the Luau, Abby tells Jeff about the rumor that Gidget sleeps around, admitting that it's a lie and that Gidget only had one affair with a guy named "Moondoggie". Jeff then realizes how much he cares about Gidget, so he puts Abby in her place by telling her to call him what everyone at home calls him: "Moondoggie". Jeff and Gidget reconcile on the beach and head back to the hotel to straighten everything out with the adults. Through a few mix-ups, Gidget believes her parents are cheating on each other with Abby's parents, and Gidget's parents believe Gidget's gone missing and alert all of her friends, including Abby who deeply regrets the trouble she has caused. Soon, everybody is gathered in Gidget's room, deeply worried and unaware that Gidget is just down the hall in her parents' suite with Jeff waiting for them.

As Gidget kisses Jeff on the couch, her father finally enters and expresses shock, then relief. Gidget tries desperately to cover for each of her parents' apparent indiscretions, but soon all misunderstandings are cleared up. Gidget and Jeff also explain their relationship to Eddie and the rest of the gang. The next day, as punishment for spreading the rumor, the guys drag a terrified Abby into the ocean and place her on Gidget's surfboard. When the surf comes rolling in, Abby frantically clings on for dear life while Gidget and Jeff enjoy riding the waves.


Production notesEdit

From over 150 actresses, Columbia chose Deborah Walley for her screen debut as the new Gidget. Agent Joyce Selznick discovered Walley performing in an off Broadway production of Chekhov's Three Sisters.[2] Director Paul Wendkos established Walley as the new Gidget with some scenes from the first film re-shot using the new cast as flashbacks.

The film was shot on location at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel. Deborah Walley was doubled in surfing by Linda Benson.[3]

Not long after the Lawrence family arrives in Hawaii, Gidget's father, Russ Lawrence, realizes that Gidget is sad because she misses her boyfriend Moondoggie (Jeffrey Mathews). At about 24 minutes into the movie, Lawrence sends a Western Union radiogram to Moondoggie, who is staying with his friend Clay Anderson for the summer. Lawrence's goal is to encourage Moondoggie to come to Hawaii ("Gidget is miserable, please..."). The radiogram is addressed as follows: "Jeffrey Mathews, c/o Andersons, 1000 Linda Flora Dr., Los Angeles". 1000 Linda Flora Dr. was the address of the house in Los Angeles where Ruth Brooks Flippen, who wrote the screenplay for the movie, lived with her husband, actor Jay C. Flippen.[4]


  1. ^ Tom Lisanti, Hollywood Surf and Beach Movies: The First Wave, 1959-1969, McFarland 2005, p61
  2. ^ Lisanti, Tom Hollywood Surf and Beach Movies: The First Wave, 1959-1969 McFarland 2005
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-06-29. Retrieved 2012-06-13.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ "The Movieland Directory - Tour Location: 1000 Linda Flora Dr, Los Angeles, California".

External linksEdit