The Endless SummerDirector: Bruce Brown, Robert August, Mike Hynson, Terence Bullen
While Bruce Brown had been making films about surfing since the late 1950s, The Endless Summer was his first film to receive a nationwide release; it was also the first serious cinematic look at the sport to click with a mass audience. In his narration, Brown muses that if someone had enough time and money, they could literally follow the summer around the globe, and so Brown and two of his surfing buddies, Robert August and Mike Henson, decide to do just that. With their surfboards as luggage, August and Henson travel from one coastline to the next, trying the waves in Hawaii, Africa, Australia, Tahiti, and a number of other nations where most folks had never even seen a surfboard before. Along the way, August and Henson learn a lot about people around the world, and grow up a bit while they search for the elusive perfect wave. The Endless Summer also features a great suf-rock score by The Sandals.
- Release Date:
- Original Release:
- Monterey Video
- Region Code:
- [Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
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Cast & Crew
|Terence Bullen||South African Guide|
|"Tally Ho" Blears||Participant|
|R. Paul Allen||Cinematographer|
|John Blakeley||Score Composer|
|Gaston Georis||Score Composer|
|Walter Georis||Score Composer|
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Did Bruce Brown's movie Endless Summer change my life? I'll let you decide. I first saw Endless Summer at a theator in a small New Jersey shore resort town called Avalon. The year was 1967 and I was an 11-year-old boy from Philadelphia enjoying a rare ocean hiatus. Although the movie climaxed at Hawaii and the gargantuan waves of Pipeline and Waiimia Bay, the scenes in South Africa facinated me the most. Here they found the perfect wave at Cape St. Francis and met the film's most intriguing charector during a trek to Durban and beaches so dangerous that a shark attack posed a 50/50 possibility. From that August 1967 afternoon until high school graduation at least one surfing poster would adorn my bedroom wall. I would read books about exotic surf spots and listen to sixties era surf music. Unfortunately, Philadelphia's Schuylkill and Delaware rivers weren't exactly surfing meccas and Summer lasted about ten short weeks. Later as a soldier in the US Army, I would lull myself to sleep in miserable field conditions by mentally playing the music from the Endless Summer and envision Pipline like breakers. During my studies at Temple University I met some wealthy South Africans and intrigued them with knowledge that I had gained from the Endless Summer. I so intrigued them that they invited me to tour the country free of charge. What a break (no pun intended)! The year was now 1982 and the first thing that I did was retrace Bruce Brown's steps. I remember the endless (pun intended)summer walk over sheep pastures and the fabled sand dunes to the Cape St.Francis shore. What a disapointment! A strong Easterly wind had blown the waves into a rough chop. Moreover, a ski boat channel was dug right through the break, cutting the legendary ride in half. From there I travelled to Durban and found some gorgeous, warm water waves. Durban's beaches were protected by shark murdering nets. The locals laughed at the notion of a shark attack being an even odds possibility at an unprotected beach. Shark attacks actually happen less than once a year and are news worth events. After living in Philadelphia for three more years, the local PBS station broadcasted the Endless Summer. That gave me the itch to return to South Africa. Ruturn I did. I purchased a home directly overlooking the World famous Cave Rock surf spot, just a few miles South of Durban, and spent the next ten-years of my life falling asleep to the cadance of surf. Times changed on me. Surfers were no longer a hospitible, laidback subculture spiritually in tune with the ocean. They were now aggresive and competetive with the sole objective to tear their wave to shreds. No longer a subculture, the modern surfer considered themselves an elite society. Dick Dale and the Beach Boys were now hard rock and techno. Upmarket condos and development now shroud the sheep pastures and sand dunes of Cape St. Francis. In some ways Endless Summer is not a documentary at all but a fantasy akin to the Frankie and Annette movies. Nevertheless, Endless Summer presents an ideal. Its lifestyle will not return anymore than the A's will return to Shibe Park. If the purpose of cinema is to give its viewers an escape or an alternative reality, than Endless Summer achieves that end to perfection-- greater perfection than the curl at Cape St. Francis an entire generation past.
Bruce Brown's innovative camera angles and witty commentary sets the even, serene tone of the film. The film which obviously centers around surfing, is a picturesque window into a world of fascination and beauty as the two main characters (Robert August and Mike Hynson) traverse the world and surf at many exotic locales. This film explained surfing and the beach as a lifestyle and a passion, an artform and an experience. It also shed a new, accurrate light on the social climate of surfing, something "Beach Blanket Bingo" type films seemed to exaggerate to a point of insanity. This timeless classic aided the surfing revolution with the mention of the shortboard and single-handedly has inspired generation after generation to hit the coastlines in search of liquid bliss. Surf nut or not, this film will make you one...
this is the first in depth look at surfing, its a great film for any surfers collection. It takes on an adventure around the world in search of the perfect wave. Some of the spots were untouched by anyone untill this film.
If you're not a surfer, you might not think that 1 hour and 32 minutes of nothing but surfing with a voice over would be this interesting. But Bruce Brown's laid back narration, with his particular brand of low key humor carries this movie all the way through. It's relaxing, but exciting at the same time. The surfing is pleasing to watch, even if you've never surfed, and the boys have various adventures along the way, but none that take them away from surfing for very long. My Dad took me to see Endless Summer when I was about ten years old, and we both liked it. Then recently it was on Turner Classic Movies, and my 13 year old daughter caught a glimpse of it and got hooked. She had been afraid of the sea, having been stung by jellyfish and knocked down by waves nearly twice her height, but this movie has her stoked and hankering to go surfing. Looks like it was shot in 16 mm with no sound. But the cinematography is good, and of course, sound was added. It's like watching a high-budget home movie with humorous narration, dubbed in ocean and incidental sound, and an interesting and varied musical soundtrack. Bruce Brown's voice is relaxing and interesting to listen to, reminds me of Bob Cummings.
This movie is the most awesome movie I have ever seen. It about these dudes who travel around the world and surf. They are the first ones to surf at a lot of the places they stop, so they are like pioneers of surfing. They also teach these natives how to surf. It is 1 hour and 32 minutes of non-stop longboard action. It is a must have for anyone. You must buy this video. It even comes in DVD. The soundtrack is awesome too, but not as good as the movie. I like the movie more.
The Endless Summer is unquestionably the best surf film ever created. Period. No other film has combined storytelling and great footage so exquisitely. Definitly a classic, one that should be watched by everyone, surfer and non-surfer alike.