The Endless Summer

This is a great documentary by Bruce Brown on surfing. I live in Tennessee and there are no beaches in sight but this 1966 documentary held my attention all the way through. Brown narrates this and keeps it tight and the pacing is good.

If you like surfing or not it doesn’t matter. This documentary will hold your interest as Brown goes around the world with surfers looking for the perfect wave. Brown filmed in Senegal, Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti, Hawaii, and California. The characters that surrounded the sport in that era are worth watching.

Bruce put up $50, 000 of his own money to make the film and it ended up making 30 million.

He would follow up with Endless Summer part II in 1994. I’ve watched both but I like1964 film better because of the people who followed the sport at the time. The 94 version has better camera action but I like the characters more in this one.

A few years later Bruce would work with Steve McQueen and make the documentary “On Any Sunday”  about the impact of motorcycles in our culture.

Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

27 thoughts on “The Endless Summer”

  1. I stumbled across this a few years ago- I think it was on Turner Movie Classics- I hadn’t planned on watching it but after I started watching it- and watched until the end- then got it out of the library and watched it over again. I have never surfed- heck I can’t even swim but this was an enjoyable doc- and perfect for summer! Great selection.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sorry for the late reply. I was wondering if you had watched this one and the motorcycle one when I wrote it. I don’t know if it’s the way Brown handles both or if it is the characters he unearths in both documentaries. I’m not into surfing or motorcycles yet I was glued to both.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I thought I was going down memory lane with A Hard Day’s Night, but this one – this is truly my most beloved documentary memory/experience. It was in 1985 (I was seven years old) when my dad played this for me, and if I could encapsulate my reasons for adoring this movie, it would be for the following three reasons (in order of impact): 3. The music. To this day, I recall the surf music melodies (especially when I, myself, am at the ocean), but I remember more the African music while the local tribes come in with long rows and fish to feed their people. Such energy! 2. The innocence. So many of those beaches are now overpopulated, war-stricken, or polluted. 1966 was the epic time to introduce America to Africa in such an astonishing and fun way. And that leads me to 1. Bruce Brown. Seriously, I thought his sense of humor was ahead of its time in 1985. Did people think he was blasphemous in 1966? I mean, he doesn’t go too far, but without his likable and relatable humor (the long surf ride in the beginning where a pro surfer could “eat an entire ham sandwich”), we non-surfers wouldn’t be as engaged. It’s a brilliant film. Truly. I think it isn’t mentioned enough in Top 100 Doc lists. Great post. Great memory!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Surfing doesn’t do much for me, except perhaps seconding Jim’s suggestion about watching the gals. Could be an ok movie though…I really like the poster above.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Back when we had cable many moons ago my younger son watched it loved it and watched it over and over again. I think I saw it once and liked it. Didn’t realize Bruce directed this and also On Any Sunday, which is another priceless bit of cinema.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m here. After they installed the stent I can’t really keep much down… 24/7 nausea. I can’t even work from home…sorry I haven’t been in touch…I can barely look at the screen.
        No pain but nausea took it’s place

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Oh no. What’s the stent for? I thought the doctor went in to take out the big stones? I hope they get this sorted out soon. So sorry you are nauseous 24/7 😦


      3. Hey freefallin’ … never realized you were related to him. Anyway, probably speak for many here saying it’s getting a bit concerning so long with no news about Max… any updates on him?

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Hey Dave…. Sorry I haven’t talked much. I went to the ER Friday again but feel better now….the nausea is under control at least… Next week I should be getting better.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Max, I heard about your illness and surgery. I’m so sorry. I hope you are doing better. You know I live in Nashville and have friends in Pegram–your neck of the woods. If there’s anything I can do, email me. Seriously.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes I have been able to do that but I don’t want to eat anything and haven’t since Saturday.
        I’m calling back now to see what is going on… 1-3 days I’ve read where you can be nauseous but this is the 4th day.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Hey Max- was just checking in to say hope you’re doing ok, seeing the messages above doesn’t sound like, but hope that you are being looked after well and get back to hospital if things get worse! Take care, hopeyou’re back on your feet real soon.


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