Frankie Avalon, Annette Funicello, John Ashley, Buddy Hackett, Peter Lorre, Morey Amsterdam, Luciana Paluzzi, Jody McCrea, Dick Dale, Candy Johnson, Stevie Wonder, Donna Loren, Peter Lupus, Bob Seven, Larry Scott, Dan Haggerty, Chester "Chet" Yorton, Gordon Case, Steve Merjanian, and Gene Shuey.

Frankie Avalon and Annette FunicelloAnnette Funicello and Peter LupusAnnette Funicello and Peter LupusAnnette Funicello and Peter LupusPeter Lupus

LEFT: One-sheet poster. CENTER A: Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello in a still from the film. CENTER: Annette Funicello, Peter Lupus, and an unidentified bodybuilder in photos to promote Annette's album Muscle Beach Party. RIGHT: Peter Lupus, Steve Merjanian, and Gene Shuey assist Luciana Paluzzi

Peter Lupus, Don Rickles, and Buddy HackettCandy Johnson

Lobby cards from Muscle Beach Party

plot synopsis

Peter Lupus, of TV's Mission: Impossible (who is billed as Rock Stevens), portrays Flex Martian, Mr. Galaxy and the star of Jack Fanny's (Don Rickles) troupe of athletes, which also includes a young Dan Haggerty (TV's Grizzly Adams), Larry Scott, Gene Shuey, and Chester "Chet" Yorton.

Amadee Chabot, Peter Lupus, and Alberta NelsonLuciana Paluzzi and Peter Lupus

Production stills from Muscle Beach Party. LEFT: Amadee Chabot, Peter Lupus, and Alberta Nelson in a scene from the film. CENTER: Luciana Paluzzi admires Peter Lupus. RIGHT: Peter Lupus and Amadee Chabot

Heiress Julie (Luciana Paluzzi) spies Flex flexing on the beach and decides she must have him, so she instructs her business manager (Buddy Hackett) to buy the bodybuilding troupe from Jack Fanny. Meanwhile, the bodybuilders try to run the kids off the beach, because they need more room to flex and pose. But when Julie hears Frankie singing, she arranges a recording contract for him, and in the process she forgets all about Flex.

Candy JohnsonMuscle Beach PartyJody McCrea with Dick Dale, John Ashley, Frankie Avalon, and Annette Funicello

LEFT: All eyes are on Candy Johnson when she shakes it at Muscle Beach. CENTER: Deadhead (Jody McCrea) shows that Mr. Galaxy isn't the only muscle on the beach. RIGHT: The gang, including Jody McCrea, Dick Dale, John Ashley, Frankie Avalon, and Annette Funicello

Peter Lupus's first film role came in Muscle Beach Party; prior to that, Lupus had done some summer stock work, as well as some TV acting jobs. But before the movie was made by American International Pictures, producer Samuel Z. Arkoff told Lupus to come up with a stage name, stating that American audiences liked American-sounding names. Following the production of this film, Lupus did several sword and sandal movies for AIP billed as 'Rock Stevens'.

Luciana Paluzzi and Peter LupusLuciana Paluzzi and Peter LupusPeter Lupus and Buddy Hackett

LEFT and CENTER: Luciana Paluzzi admires Peter Lupus as Flex Martian. RIGHT: Buddy Hackett is intimidated by Flex


Once again, Les Baxter handled the musical score for this beach party entry. Dick Dale and the Del-Tones, Donna Loren, and Stevie Wonder make appearances in the film and do several numbers.

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Frankie & Annette: M-G-M Movie Legends Collection [DVD] DVD
"Surf's up" in this four-disc boxed set saluting AIP's teen comedy series and seaside sweethearts Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello. Anthropologist Bob Cummings uses the pair as part of a study of modern mating habits in the original "Beach Party" (1963), with Morey Amsterdam, Dorothy Malone, and Harvey Lembeck as Eric Von Zipper. Annette has her hands full when the Potato Bug, a British pop star who's Frankie's double, arrives at "Bikini Beach" (1964). Don Rickles and Little Stevie Wonder guest star. Gym owner Rickles wants to take over the kids' surf spot, and heiress Luciana Paluzzi wants to woo Frankie from Annette, in "Muscle Beach Party" (1964). Avalon trades his board for slats and joins Dwayne Hickman, Deborah Walley and James Brown for a "Ski Party" (1965). "Beach Blanket Bingo" (1965) boasts a missing singer, a mermaid, and skydiving surfdogs. Avalon wants to keep pal Hickman away from Funicello while he's on military duty in "How to Stuff a Wild Bikini" (1965), with Buster Keaton. Frankie's a moonshine-running hot rodder competing with racer Fabian for Annette's hand in "Fireball 500" (1966). And Fabian and Funicello burn rubber together in "Thunder Alley" (1967). 12 1/2 hrs. total. Widescreen; Soundtrack: English mono.

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muscle beach party trivia

  • Larry Scott, the first Mr. Olympia, won the title in 1965 and 1966. Scott was also Mr. California (1960) and Mr. America (1962).
  • Gene Shuey was Mr. America in 1960.
  • Chet Yorton was Mr. America in 1966.
  • This is the sole AIP beach party entry without an appearance from Harvey Lembeck.
  • Horror great Peter Lorre has a cameo role in Muscle Beach Party. Sadly, he died just two days before the premiere of the film, in March 1964.
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