Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine

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Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine
Goldfootbikinimachine.jpg
theatrical release poster
Directed by Norman Taurog
Produced by Samuel Z. Arkoff
James H. Nicholson
Written by Story:
James Hartford
Screenplay:
Robert Kaufman
Elwood Ullman
Starring Vincent Price
Frankie Avalon
Dwayne Hickman
Susan Hart
Jack Mullaney
Music by Les Baxter
Cinematography Sam Leavitt
Edited by Eve Newman
Ronald Sinclair
Release date(s)
  • November 6, 1965 (1965-11-06) (US)
Running time 88 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $1.5 million[1]
Box office $1.9 million (est. US/ Canada rentals)[2]

Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine is a 1965 American International Pictures comedy film directed by Norman Taurog and starring Vincent Price, Frankie Avalon, Dwayne Hickman, Susan Hart and Jack Mullaney and featuring Fred Clark. It is a parody of the then-popular spy film trend, particularly the 1964 James Bond hit Goldfinger, utilizing actors from AIP's beach party and Edgar Allan Poe films.

Despite its low production values, the film has achieved a certain cult status for the appearance of Price and other AIP Beach Party film alumni, its in-jokes and over-the-top sexism, the claymation title sequence designed by Art Clokey, and a title song performed by The Supremes.[3]

Plot[edit]

Price plays the titular mad scientist who, with the questionable assistance of his resurrected flunky Mullaney, builds a gang of female robots who are then dispatched to seduce and rob wealthy men. (Goldfoot's name reflects his and his robots' choice in footwear.) Avalon and Hickman play the bumbling heroes who attempt to thwart Goldfoot's scheme. The film's climax is an extended chase through the streets of San Francisco.

Cast[edit]

Cast notes

  • One of Goldfoot's bikini-clad female robots is played by Deanna Lund, three years before joining the cast of Irwin Allen's science fiction series Land of the Giants.
  • Frankie Avalon and Dwayne Hickman play the same characters they did in the previous year's Ski Party, except that the characters' names were swapped.
  • Annette Funicello makes a brief cameo as a girl locked in medieval stocks. Frankie Avalon lifts her face, then looks at the camera and says, "It can't be!"
  • Harvey Lembeck also makes a cameo appearance as Goldfoot's assistant, Hugo, in the TV special "The Wild Weird World of Dr. Goldfoot".

Production[edit]

Louis M. Heyward, who wrote the script, says the original idea came from James H. Nicholson, who was one of the owners of AIP. Heyward claims Nicholson wanted robots in the film to provide a role for his then-girlfriend Susan Hart, whose acting abilities were limited. Heyward later claims he completely rewrote Robert Kaufmann's script.[4]

The original title was announced as Dr Goldfoot and the Sex Machine, and the film was to star Frankie Avalon and Vincent Price under the direction of William Asher.[5] Asher then dropped out for Norman Taurog and Dwayne Hickman joined the cast. Filming began in late summer 1965, with one of AIP's largest ever budgets.[1]

Vincent Price stated in a 1987 interview with David Del Valle that the original script was a camp musical, comparing it to Little Shop of Horrors. Price stated, "It could have been fun, but they cut all the music out", though he is not clear whether the footage was actually shot or the idea was abandoned during production.

According to Susan Hart:

One of the best scenes I've seen on film was Vincent Prince singing about the bikini machine - it was excellent. And I was told it was taken out because Sam Arkoff thought that Vincent Price looked too fey. But his character was fey! By taking that particular scene out, I believe they took the explanation and the meat out of that picture... It was a really unique explanatory scene and Vincent Price was beautiful in it, right on the money.[6]

The film is notable for its scenic photography of San Francisco, California. The streetcar scene was filmed at the West Portal tunnel.

Susan Hart's hair was done by Jon Peters. Hart recalled that during filming one of the gaffers fell off a catwalk onto the set and was killed by the fall.[7]

Stock footage of battleships from another AIP release, Godziilla vs. The Thing appears during the climax.

Reception[edit]

The film had its premiere at the Golden Gate Theatre in San Francisco, where Nicholson had been a manager.[8]

Sequel[edit]

An AIP Television special that appeared on Shindig! in November 1965 called The Wild Weird World of Dr. Goldfoot hosted by Tommy Kirk featured many songs that may have been cut from the cinema release. The title of the television show may have been inspired by the November 1965 The Incredible World of James Bond designed to give publicity to the upcoming release of Thunderball.

In July 1965 it was announced a sequel would be made the following year called Dr Goldfoot for President, to start filming May 14, 1966 for a September 14 release.[9] Vincent Price returned for the 1966 sequel, Dr. Goldfoot and the Girl Bombs, directed by Mario Bava.

References[edit]

Notes

  1. ^ a b Chris Noel Seeks Break In Jack Jones Musical Dorothy Kilgallen:. The Washington Post, Times Herald (1959-1973) [Washington, D.C] 08 Nov 1965: C9.
  2. ^ "Big Rental Pictures of 1966", Variety, 4 January 1967 p 8
  3. ^ Three Little Girls From Cool Are We, Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 27 Sep 1965: C18.
  4. ^ Tom Weaver, Michael Brunas, John Brunas, "Louis M. Heyward", Science Fiction Stars and Horror Heroes: Interviews with Actors, Directors, Producers and Writers of the 1940s through 1960s, McFarland 1991 p 157-158, 166
  5. ^ MOVIE CALL SHEET: SPIEGEL TO FILM 'SWIMMER' Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 19 Mar 1965: D13.
  6. ^ Tom Weaver, "Susan Hart", Double Feature Creature Attack: A Monster Merger of Two More Volumes of Classic Interviews, McFarland, 2003 p 138
  7. ^ pp. 138-139 Weaver
  8. ^ Irene Can't Wait for 'Heaven Train' Los Angeles Times (September 20, 1965)
  9. ^ "AIP to Discontinue Second Features", Box Ofice 5 July 1965

External links[edit]