This film is a definite must see. Filled with laughter and fun for the entire family, it is a documentary about three surfers in the mid 1960's who follow the summer around the globe in search of the perfect wave. They create the Endless Summer.
The film's producer, Bruce Brown, and two of his surfing buddies pack up their surfboards and journey across the world to go where surfboards have never been before. They bring along with them their young, carefree "surfer dude" attitudes. Their adventures are exciting and colorful and the scenery is beautiful. They not only encounter endless beautiful waves, but also several natives who are awestruck by these men, so easily excited by their familiar neighborhood waves.
Most of the people they meet have never seen surfboards, but an enduring impression is made that must have spawned new surfing obsessions in the lands they visited. For example, they arrive in a city on the coastline of Africa only to find a huge gathering of natives watching in awe as they "ride" the waves. Not much later, they find themselves surrounded by natives who, in the excitement of it all, have gone to their homes, ripped off any part of the house that looked like a surfboard and are out in the water trying to "catch a wave." This is a very entertaining scene, and one filled with laughter and enjoyment. Although the young men are culturally ignorant and somewhat politically incorrect in their perceptions of the native cultures, the film is generally mild and non-offensive.
The entire film is shot silently and Bruce Brown provides voice-over narration. His witty sense of humor and great passion for surfing provide viewers with a charming look into the world of surfing. If you didn't know just how a surfer thought and dreamt before seeing this film, Brown will leave you with a pretty "gnarly" idea. And you'll never forget the image of the perfect wave that is too long to be shot on one roll of film.
The film not only entertains you in a surfer sort of way, but it contains valuable insights into some of the minds, attitudes, and political views of the sixties. It is refreshing to notice that many of us have come a long way since the making of the film, and it allows us to see the positive effects of understanding and valuing different cultures around the world. Children in particular will be able to see some of the older stereotypes that have been replaced with understanding (it may be wise to have some sort of discussion either throughout or following the film to remind the children of the advances in understanding and relating to other cultures).
As the surfers traverse the coastlines of Hawaii, Africa, Australia, Tahiti, and several other countries, they find not only the beach, but wild animals, friendly and generous tour guides, local surf club members, and a few young female surfers to accompany them on the water. A colorful and exciting film for children and adults, surfers and non-surfers, Endless Summer turns a popular sport into an engaging journey filled with sunsets, wipe-outs, and the world’s most beautiful waves.