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Film / Gidget

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Gidget is a 1959 teen comedy movie directed by Paul Wendkos, starring Sandra Dee, James Darren, and Cliff Robertson.

Dee plays a young girl named Frances Lawrence who is initiated into a California surf community. "Gidget" is the name given to her by the surfers, a portmanteau of "girl" and "midget." In Gidget's pursuit of handsome young Moondoggie (Darren) she has many adventures.

Followed by two sequels (with different actresses playing Gidget in each), and subsequently adapted into a 1965–66 TV sitcom starring a young Sally Field.


This movie contains examples of:

  • '50s Hair: This film has lot of it. Gidget's bangs and ponytail, a friend's pixie cut a la Audrey Hepburn, the curled and styled pageboy worn by her mother, the boys' sculpted and brylcremed haircuts, etc.
  • A-Cup Angst: Gidget uses now-discredited exercises to fill out her bustline more.
  • Academic Athlete: Gidget proves to be a great surfer and she was noted to have terrific grades in school.
  • The Cast Show Off: James Darren sings two songs over the course of the movie.
  • Fanservice: The surfer guys are very built and handsome, Gidget's girlfriends and the girls that hang out with the surfers are curvy and gorgeous (even the girls evoke this trope when they go on a "manhunt"), and Gidget would be this if she wasn't underaged.
  • Informed Ability: The opening song describes Gidget as "a regular tomboy". By the standards of the day, maybe, but for then or now, she is still fairly girly.
  • Informed Deformity: A slight example. Although "Gidget" stands for "girl midget," and the title song is all about how the singer is attracted to Gidget despite how short she is, she is not actually much shorter than her girlfriends.
    • Also one of Gidget's traits is A-Cup Angst, whereas she may not be as busty or curvy as the other women, she's rather well-proportioned and not flat (like her actress Sandra Dee was).
  • Operation: Jealousy
  • Pink Is Feminine: A color favored by the tomboyish Gidget.
  • Slip into Something More Comfortable: Kahuna asks Gidget if she wants to do this while they're at the shack.
  • Tomboy with a Girly Streak: Gidget is a tomboy that prefers surfing and sports to "manhunts" yet has no aversion to girly clothes and colors and cares a lot about her bust size.
  • Very Loosely Based on a True Story: Gidget: The Little Girl With Big Ideas is itself based on the surf culture at Malibu in the 1950s as described to the author, Frederick Kohner, by his daughter, Kathy.


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