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CATALINA CAPER (NEVER STEAL ANYTHING WET) (director: Lee Sholem; screenwriter: Clyde Ware/story by Sam Pierce; cinematographer: Ted Mikels; editor: Herman Freedman; music: Jerry Long; cast: Little Richard (Himself), Tommy Kirk (Don Pringle), Brian Cutler (Charlie Moss), Robert Donner (Fingers O’Toole), Del Moore (Arthur Duval), Sue Casey (Anne Duval), Peter Duryea (Tad Duval), Ulla Stromstedt (Katrina), Michael Blodgett (Bob Draper), Lyle Waggoner (Angelo), Jim Begg (Larry Colvis), Lee Deane (Lakopolous), Peter Mamakos (Borman), Verita Wolf (Tina Moss); Runtime: 84; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Bond Blackman/ Jack Bartlett; Warner Bros; 1967)
A dumb cartoonish groovy beach movie involving an art heist.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

A dumb cartoonish groovy beach movie involving an art heist. Lee Sholem (“Tobor the Great”/”The Louisiana Hussy“) is too square to direct such a square teen movie that is pretending to be hip. It’s based on the dull cliched story by Sam Pierce, and the unfunny comedy written by Clyde Ware. Little Richard has a cameo singing Scuba Party. The half-wit lackey, Larry (Jim Begg), steals a Chinese scroll worth half a million dollars from a private LA museum and on a yacht on Catalina Island turns it over to the shady boss Arthur Duval (Del Moore). He schemes to have his wife (Sue Casey) make a duplicate and sell that copy to the crime boss collector Greek millionaire Lakopolous (Lee Deane). The plan is to then return the real scroll to the museum. The swindle plan is as stupid as the movie. Swinger Charlie Moss (Brian Cutler) invites his college classmate from Arizona Don Pringle (Tom Kirk) to stay for the summer on his family yacht in Catalina to chase girls in bikinis and go scuba diving. Spying on the suspicious parties of the art heist is the clumsy Fingers O’Toole (Robert Donner), a determined insurance investigator who is prone to take pratfalls. When Tad (Peter Duryea), Duval’s honest son, learns from the beach boys what’s up, he figures out a way to stop the collector’s henchmen (Lyle Waggoner & Peter Mamakos) from stealing the scroll from his dad and how to keep his dad out of jail. In the meantime Pringle wins the heart of the foreign beauty Katrina (Ulla Stromstedt) from the knife wielding thug she’s engaged to.


Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”