After finishing filming on “The Fearless Vampire Killers” actress Sharon Tate returned to the US to start work on her third movie, the sex farce “Don’t Make Waves” which was directed by Alexander Mackendrick (“The Ladykillers”, “The Man In The White Suit”).
The film was based on a Ira Wallach novel from 1959, which was titled “Muscle Beach”. Although the third film that Tate had filmed it was actually released before either “Eye Of The Devil” or “The Fearless Vampire Killers” leading to the opening credits having the words “introducing Sharon Tate” included.
Carlo Cofield (Tony Curtis – “Some Like It Hot”, “Sweet Smell Of Success”) has a bad start to the story. He’s arrived in California from New York with no job, no home and no money aiming for a fresh start. Stopping at the top of a winding hill on a coastal road for his lunch we watches a woman struggling with her artist’s easel and throwing her painting into the sea. When she leaves in her car she manages to accidentally catch Carlo’s car bumper with hers.
Before you know it Carlo’s car has plunged to the bottom of the hill, causing a collision between the woman’s car and a bus, and he watches as his car – and all his possessions – goes up in flames.
Feeling responsible, the woman – Italian Laura Califatti (Claudia Cardinale – “The Professionals”, “Once Upon A Time In The West”) – takes Carlo back to her apartment to exchange insurance details. Unable to find her documents she cooks for Caro and offers him the pull-out bed for the night.
The arrival of Laura’s boyfriend, married Rod Prescott (Robert Webber – “The Dirty Dozen”, “Private Benjamin”), in the middle of the night results in Carlo spending the rest of the night on the beach and waking to a beach full of bodybuilders, surfers and bikini babes.
Following an accidental collision with a surfboard Carlo is knocked out and comes round to a kiss of life from a toned and bronzed skydiver Malibu (Sharon Tate) before Laura arrives to take him back to her apartment to try to sort out the insurance – only to find that Rod, the president of a swimming pool company, just wants to get rid of him without claiming on his company car insurance policy.
Arriving at Rod’s office just as his wife, Diane Prescott (Joanna Barnes – “The Parent Trap”, “Spartacus”), also arrives Carlo is able to blackmail Rod into giving him a job with his company as a salesman.
Carlo arrives back at the beach in time to see Malibu performing an acrobatic routine on a trampoline – largely in slow motion – and discover that she is dating one of the bodybuilders, Harry Hollard (David Draper – “Lord Love A Duck”).
What follows is a sometimes confusing series of events as Carlo is given a clifftop house and a Rolls-Royce car for unclear reasons and offered a management job at the swimming pool company by Mrs. Prescott (who turns out to own the business).
On top of that he tries to get Malibu to perform a skydive into a pool as promotion for the business and also separate her from her Harry and clumsily move in on her himself…
All of which leads to a final showdown between Carlo, Rod, Diane, Malibu and Laura trapped together in Carlo’s house during a torrential rain storm as the film abruptly turns into a mini disaster movie!
This isn’t one of Curtis’s best films, so I think that it’s fair to say that Tate steals the show, despite the obvious charms of Cardinale – the trampoline scene alone is almost worth the price of admission on its own!
Ultimately this is an odd film, with a somewhat abrupt conclusion, but still compelling viewing for some reason! Check it out…