We are way back in history now. The film industry of 1965 and the film industry of today are incredibly different. The idea of “summer movies” and “blockbusters” didn’t really exist. Oh, there were movies that made a ton of cash. Two of the highest-grossing movies of all-time, adjusted for inflation, came out in 1965. I’m talking The Sound of Music and Doctor Zhivago. Neither of those came out in May or June, though. Three of the top 10 movies in terms of box office did come out in those summer months, and also some other interesting films.
Actually, May is basically nothing. There aren’t any big movies or classic films. The only noteworthy release is a foreign film called Alphaville. It’s a French New Wave sci-fi film directed by Jean-Luc Godard. I’ve seen it, and it’s decent enough. I don’t think it’s a must see, though. Let’s just get to June.
When you think June, what do you think of first? Is it skiing? Of course it is, which is why Ski Party came out in June of 1965. It’s basically the snow version of the beach party movies that were so popular back then. It even co-stars Frankie Avalon. Alongside him are Dobie Gillis and Batgirl themselves, aka Dwayne Hickman and Yvonne Craig. Oh, also James Brown sings a song. In fact, 1965 was a big year for these kinds of teen films. Beach Blanket Bingo came out that April. How to Stuff a Wild Bikini came out in July. Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine was a November release. If you like to see twentysomethings pretending to be teens partying at the beach, 1965 was your year.
Anyway, back to June. Early in the month saw What’s New, Pussycat? get released. It’s noteworthy because it’s the first produced screenplay for Woody Allen. We can’t really talk about him now. We can talk about Von Ryan’s Express, which is a decent war movie starring Frank Sinatra I first heard of thanks to riffs on Mystery Science Theater 3000. Finally, we have the biggest movie of the bunch. That would be Cat Ballou, a musical comedy Western starring Jane Fonda. Also, Lee Marvin won Best Actor for his work in the movie. While I don’t feel like Cat Ballou has been categorized as a classic, it’s certainly a noteworthy film.
All in all, June 1965 wasn’t a shabby month for movies. I didn’t even mention that a film came out called Willy McBean and his Magic Machine. So maybe in June of 2020 you can throw yourself back to a bygone era and celebrate the summer in the most obvious way: Watching Ski Party.