How to Stuff a Wild Bikini

How to Stuff a Wild Bikini is a 1965 Pathécolor beach party film from American International Pictures. The sixth entry in a seven-film series, the movie features Mickey Rooney, Annette Funicello, Dwayne Hickman, Brian Donlevy, and Beverly Adams. The film features brief, uncredited appearances by Frankie Avalon and includes Buster Keaton in one of his last roles.

How to Stuff a Wild Bikini
How to stuff a wild bikini.jpg
Directed byWilliam Asher
Produced bySamuel Z. Arkoff
James H. Nicholson
Written byWilliam Asher
Leo Townsend
StarringAnnette Funicello
Dwayne Hickman
Brian Donlevy
Harvey Lembeck
Buster Keaton
Beverly Adams
Mickey Rooney
Music byLes Baxter
CinematographyFloyd D. Crosby
Edited byEve Newman
American International Pictures
Distributed byAmerican International Pictures
Release date
‹See TfM›
  • July 14, 1965 (1965-07-14)
Running time
90 minutes
CountryUnited States


Frankie (Frankie Avalon) goes to Tahiti on Naval Reserve duty. While cavorting with local girls, Frankie realizes that Dee Dee (Annette Funicello) might be disloyal to him. When Frankie seeks help from a witch doctor (Buster Keaton), the witch doctor sends a sea beauty, Cassandra (Beverly Adams), to lure Ricky (Dwayne Hickman), an advertising exec, away from Dee Dee.

Upon Cassandra's arrival, the beach turns upside down, as all the surfers fall for her, an executive wants to make her a model, and Eric Von Zipper (Harvey Lembeck) and his motorcycle gang add to the trouble.



How to Stuff a Wild Bikini was the last "beach party" film to feature Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello. Avalon appeared on-screen for about six minutes and interacted only very briefly with Funicello. His small role was attributed to the fact that he was filming another AIP production, 1965's Sergeant Deadhead.[2]

Dwayne Hickman played the male lead, a man trying to woo Funicello's character away from her absent boyfriend. Tommy Kirk was originally announced as the male lead[3] but shortly before filming he was arrested for possession of marijuana, so he was dropped and replaced by Hickman. Mickey Rooney agreed to play a supporting role at $5,000 for one week's work in order to pay off some tax debts.[4]

Filming started April 12, 1965, and took 15 days.[5]

It was the only film in the series where John Ashley sang lead male vocals.[6]

Funicello was pregnant during shooting and was shot mostly wearing blousy tunics or with a prop in front of her (e.g., a bowl of popcorn, a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken).[7] She wrote in her memoirs that her pregnancy and Avalon's absence made this one of her least favorite beach party movies.[8]

The film featured the only big screen appearance by The Kingsmen, who performed "Give Her Lovin' ".[7]

Elizabeth Montgomery, who at the time was married to the film's director, William Asher, made a cameo appearance in the closing scenes as the witch doctor's daughter, a woman with her own magical powers. Montgomery was instantly recognizable during this period as the star of the hit TV sitcom Bewitched, also directed by Asher, so this small film role was a parody of her TV role.[7]

The opening credits were done using clay animation done by Art Clokey, the creator of Gumby.[7]


Variety called it a "lightweight affair lacking the breeziness and substance of earlier entries."[9] The critic from the Los Angeles Times called the movie a "breezy number".[10] The New York Times said it was "the answer to a moron's prayer."[11]


How To Stuff A Wild Bikini
Soundtrack album
Released14 July 1965
GenreBeach party
LabelWand 671
ProducerAmerican International
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic     [12]

How To Stuff A Wild Bikini, the soundtrack for the film, was released in 1965. Most of the songs are performed by various cast members, with two numbers by The Kingsmen.[13] The album was released in both mono (WDM 671) and stereo (WDS 671) versions, with the latter being very scarce. The stereo release was reissued on CD by Real Gone Music in July 2014.

Track listingEdit

All songs written by Guy Hemric & Jerry Styner except "Give Her Lovin' " by Lynn Easton. Songs are in slightly different order from the movie.

1."How To Stuff A Wild Bikini"Cast2:04
2."That's What I Call A Healthy Girl"Cast1:56
3."If It's Gonna Happen"Lou Ann Simms[14]2:00
4."How About Us"Mickey Rooney & Girls2:00
5."The Boy Next Door"Harvey Lembeck & Cast1:55
6."After The Party"Cast2:12
7."Better Be Ready"Annette Funicello[15]1:55
8."Follow Your Leader"Harvey Lembeck & Cast[16]1:34
9."The Perfect Boy"Annette & Girls2:30
10."Madison Avenue"Mickey Rooney & Brian Donlevy2:15
11."Give Her Lovin' "The Kingsmen[17]1:44
12."How To Stuff A Wild Bikini"The Kingsmen[18]1:53

Production creditsEdit

  • Producer: American International
  • Publisher: DiJon Music
  • Liner notes: Joe Bogart and Frank Costa (WMCA Music Department)

DVD releaseEdit

In 2001, How to Stuff a Wild Bikini was released by MGM on Region 1 DVD.[19] Since its initial DVD release, the film has been included in two box sets, Frankie & Annette MGM Movie Legends Collection and Midnite Movies Double Feature, along with selected Beach Party films.[20][21]

Olive Films released a Blu-Ray of How to Stuff a Wild Bikini on June 25, 2019.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Lamont, John (1990). "The John Ashley Filmography". Trash Compactor (Volume 2 No. 5 ed.). p. 26.
  2. ^ Lisanti, Thomas Hollywood Surf and Beach Movies: The First Wave, 1959–1969 McFarland
  3. ^ Betty Martin (Apr 10, 1965). "MOVIE CALL SHEET: 'ROUGE' HEADS FOR BROADWAY". Los Angeles Times. p. 19.
  4. ^ Richard Harland Smith. "How to Stuff a Wild Bikini". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved 3 January 2013.
  5. ^ Martin, Betty (Apr 17, 1965). "An Article on 2 April says Kirk was still cast at that date – MOVIE CALL SHEET: Tony Franciosa Set for Suspense Film". Los Angeles Times. p. B9.
  6. ^ Vagg, Stephen (December 2019). "A Hell of a Life: The Nine Lives of John Ashley". Diabolique Magazine.[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ a b c d Eder, Bruce. "How to Stuff a Wild Bikini". AllMovie. Retrieved 2007-12-19.[permanent dead link]
  8. ^ Funicello, Annette; Bashe, Patricia Romanowski (1994). A dream is a wish your heart makes: my story. Hyperion. p. 143.
  9. ^ "1965 Review". Variety.
  10. ^ John L. (Aug 6, 1965). "'Bikini' a Breezy Number Scott". Los Angeles Times. p. C10.
  11. ^ "The Screen: 'Wild Bikini' Appearing in Neighborhoods". New York Times. Jan 12, 1967. p. 48.
  12. ^ "How To Stuff A Wild Bikini". AllMusic. Retrieved February 17, 2014.
  13. ^ The LP was issued with a sticker at the top of the record jacket with text, "The Kingsmen In Their First Motion Picture Soundtrack Album".
  14. ^ Actually Lu Ann Simms, a well known 50s singer and performer on The Arthur Godfrey Show. In the film, "If It's Gonna Happen" is sung by four female cast members with Lu Ann Simms doing voiceover for Irene Tsu. Her original test dub for the song was included on the album instead of the movie version, and was subsequently released as a single on Wand 196 in 1965 with b-side "After The Party", another song from the movie.
  15. ^ The Kingsmen back up Annette (visually) in the movie. Lynn Easton, the group's lead singer, has a line of dialogue introducing the song.
  16. ^ Another song, "I Am My Ideal", is performed by Harvey Lembeck and cast in the movie but is not included on the soundtrack.
  17. ^ Released as a single on Wand 189 in 1965 as a b-side to "Little Annie Fanny".
  18. ^ This track is not performed in the movie. The song has never been released in any other format other than the original soundtrack release and the 2014 CD reissue.
  19. ^ How to Stuff a Wild Bikini DVD release info
  20. ^ Frankie & Annette MGM Movie Legends Collection DVD release info
  21. ^ Beach Blanket Bingo/How to Stuff a Wild Bikini (Midnite Movies Double Feature) DVD release info

External linksEdit