South Florida Sun-Sentinel (Sunday)
When Fort Lauderdale launched a thousand bikinis: A quiz on ‘Where the Boys Are’
“Where the Boys Are,” the spring break movie that launched a thousand bikinis on Fort Lauderdale beach, is being celebrated on its 60th anniversary with a photography exhibit at the Galleria mall.
The display, which will be up through Jan. 3, offers 40 enlarged, never-before-shown pictures from the 1960 filming, cu rated from the collection of History Fort Lauderdale.
This isn’t dusty “history book” history, but rather a look back at the making of a film Time magazine called “a corny, phony, raucous outburst of fraternityhumor, sorority sex talk and house-mother homilies that nevertheless warms two hours of winter withatravel-posterpanoramaof freshyoung faces, firm young bodies and good old Florida sunshine.”The fun-sun-sex-freedom themes of “Where the Boys Are” continue to define Fort Lauderdale, for better or worse. Let’s just call it a draw.To get you in the mood, here’s a short true-false quiz to seehowmuchyou knowabout thefilm that introducedFort Lauderdale as a magnet for the nation’s sex-crazed co-eds.
We put an emphasis on local stars, including Park land’ s Connie Francis( who sang the hit title song), PalmBeachCounty exGeorge Hamilton and, of course, the ElboRoom.
True or false?
1) “Where the Boys Are” star Connie Franciswas one of the top selling pop singers of the 1960s, with No. 1 hits including
“Everybody’s Somebody’s Fool,” “MyHeartHas aMind of ItsOwn” and “Don’t Break the Heart That Loves You.” True or false: Connie Francis, ofParkland, hasmoreTop
10 hits thanArianaGrande, ofBoca Raton.
2) Dolores Hart played the provocative, self-proclaimed BackseatBingo championMerritt Andrewsin“Where theBoysAre.” (Sample lines: Merritt: “What’s your shoe size?” TV Thompson:
“13” Merritt: “Get in the car!”) Trueor false: Less than three years after the premiereof thefilm, Hart became a nun.
3) “WTBA” star George Hamilton is the only famous sex symbolto attendPalmBeachHigh School.
4) The son of one of Hollywood’s all-time leading men makes his screendebut inthefilm.
5) Hamilton’s leading role as Dracula in the 1979 horror spoof “Love at First Bite” is the most famous bat on any resume among the “WTBA” cast.
6) Hamilton’s co-star in “Love at First Bite,” Richard Benjamin, also has a connection to “Where the Boys Are.”
7) ConnieFrancissaw“WTBA” at its Dec. 21,1960, world-premiere screening, which took place at the Classic Gateway Theatre in Fort Lauderdale.
8) Francis is honored with a sidewalk plaque in the Fort LauderdaleWalk of Fame at A1A and Las Olas Boulevard, the location ofmany scenes in“Where the Boys Are.”
9) The Elbo Room bar was at
A1A and Las Olas when George Hamiltonwas born.
1) False. Grande has 18 Top 10 hits, Francis 15. 2) True. 3) False. BurtReynolds also attendedPalm Beach High School, as did Chris Noel, an actor and popular pin-up famous for her appearances with soldiers inVietnam. 4) True. Sadly the scenes of Sean Flynn, son of Errol Flynn, were edited downto awalk-through showing him in a blueXavierUniversitysweatshirt.
5) False. Frank Gorshin went on to star as the Riddler on the TV series “Batman.” 6) True. Benjamin has been married to Paula Prentiss for nearly 60 years. 7) False. Francis first saw “Where the Boys Are” at the Gateway 20 years later, in 1981, with her son, who had never seen it. 8) True.
9) True. The Elbo Room opened in 1938, the year beforeHamilton was born.