Our pic today revisits Bikini Beach (1964) and the first of two cinematic appearances by that pool-cue-slinging ruffian, South Dakota Slim. Here he’s having a hard time staying awake while J.D. (Andy Romano), Puss (Alberta Nelson) and Eric Von Zipper (Harvey Lembeck) discuss the news of the day and The Teenage Werewolf Monster (Val Warren) enjoys a glass of milk.
Blonde and beautiful Ms. Nelson essayed the role of Puss in several of the beach party movies of the 1960s. In fact, she appeared in just about all of them in one role or another. She was also a semi-regular on The Andy Griffith Show for several years. She retired from acting in 1970, and passed away from throat cancer in 2006 at the age of 68.
I was sad to hear of the death earlier today of Andy Griffith at the age of 86. We all remember him from The Andy Griffith Show, of course, but he also made several fine films. My personal favorite of these is A Face in the Crowd (1957), directed by Elia Kazan, who directed Tim in East of Eden (1955). I would not be at all surprised to hear that this film greatly influenced Timothy as he created The World’s Greatest Sinner (1962). The themes are very similar – a charismatic “nobody” suddenly becomes a musical sensation and is courted by the sinister “powers that be” to enter the political arena, becomes drunk with power, and is soon exposed for the fraud he is.
These two films would make a great double bill. Rest well, Andy, and thanks.