Back to the Beach, the eighties nod to the beach flicks of the sixties, turned 35 this week. For the milestone, UPROXX interviewed the movie's director, Lyndall Hobbs. She talked about what it was like to work with stars Frankie Avalon, Annette Funicello, and the rest of the eclectic cast, including Pee-wee Herman who performed The Trashmen's earworm "Surfin' Bird."
You said you were a fan of Pee-wee Herman. Do you just call Paul Reubens and say, "Hey, do you want to be in this?" He had just done Pee-wee's Big Adventure…
You know what? He was completely thrilled to do it. It was one night of shooting. There are not a lot of words. He did mime, but he didn't have to mime a lot of words. No, he was totally into it. There was never a problem, really, getting anyone. I can't think of anyone we tried to get that we couldn't. They saw that it was a cute, fun, witty script. That side of things was great. When I turned it into a musical, I didn't get any extra time or budget. So the fact that I brought it in on time and on budget was pretty great, but everybody worked like dogs and it wasn't an easy shoot. It was really beyond exhausting and grueling, but we got that. It happened. And lots of long nights shooting.
Here's Pee-wee's scene in all its frenetic glory:
Thumbnail image: Paul Reubens as Pee-Wee Herman in "Back to the Beach"