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Accidental Icon: The Real Gidget Story

13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Accidental Icon: The Real Gidget Story tells the story behind the world famous book and film franchise that brought surfing to the masses. In the summer of '56, Los Angeles teenager Kathy Kohner discovered Malibu, boys and surfing. She had so much fun with Malibu surfing locals who sported handles likes Kahuna, Moondoggie and Tubesteak that she wrote it all down in her diary and showed it to her father, screenwriter Frederick Kohner. The rest is history, with the book becoming a bestseller and inspiring a string of movies and TV series that spanned more than 30 years.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Sally Field, Gregory Harrison, Layne Beachly, Cliff Robertson Jorja Fox (Narrated by)
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: LEVEL 33 ENTERTAINME
  • DVD Release Date: September 27, 2011
  • Run Time: 60 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005966N06
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #21,784 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By DVD Verdict on October 10, 2011
Format: DVD
Dawn Hunt, DVD Verdict --Narrated by Jorja Fox (CSI) and featuring interviews with Sally Field (Brothers and Sisters) and far too many pro surfers to name, Accidental Icon: The Real Gidget Story tells the tale of Kathy Kohner Zuckerman who began surfing in 1956. Nicknamed "Gidget" (a combination of girl and midget) she became an icon whose legacy endures.

The decision to focus on the impact of Gidget over the past five decades was the smartest move the filmmakers made, because the actual story of how Kathy Kohner became Gidget takes less than a minute to tell. Fifteen-year-old Kohner was looking for a way of life and a group of people to fit in with. Going to Malibu and hooking up with the local surf scene was the answer. She became so enamored with the people, what they were doing, and the new lingo (words like "Bitchin!" and "Cowabunga!") she felt it was a story that needed to be told. Kathy started by writing it all down in her journals, one of which she reads from here. But she wanted to go bigger, to share her story with more people, so she went to her father, Academy Award-nominated screenwriter Frederick Kohner (Gidget), who captured the story as she told it to him. The rest is the meat of this documentary.

Accidental Icon is not people gushing over Gidget for an hour. Sure, there's some of that, but these are real people and their stories resonate as such, with Gidget's friends admitting they resented the release of first the book and later the movie because each was one step away from the reality of what it meant (and still means, in many cases) to be a surfer.

Accidental Icon was shot on Mini-DV and includes Super 8 film stock, so the quality isn't the greatest.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Dexter Love on September 28, 2011
Format: DVD
Any fan of the 1960's, surfing, and pop culture history will love this documentary about the original surfer girl - Gidget! From the earliest days of surfing to the hot young ladies who ride the waves today (and get paid for doing so!) this documentary looks at the story of one of the first gals who saw what the boys at the beach were doing and said, "I can do that!" Who knew that the famous book, movies, and tv shows were all based on a little lady from Malibu named Kathy? Lots of great retro beach footage & interviews with legends of the waves, modern day pro surfers, Academy Award winners Sally Field and the late Cliff Robertson, and narrated by Jorja Fox (from CSI). An entertaining and educational DVD the whole family can enjoy!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Carter Hall on April 3, 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
My wife has never been on a surfboard in her life while I have surfed for 47 years. I got this DVD because I am aware of Kathy's environmental work and also interested in the story beyond the movies and tv shows. As a surfer, the movie was engrossing as it featured a who's who of surfers from the early days who all knew "Gidget" and it was interesting to see how this young girl got involved with famous surfers who were instrumental in the sports early days as well as her relationships with those that were on the entertainment side (movies, tv) of the Gidget story. Even more important was the reaction of my wife who enjoyed this equally as much as I did. It's one of those movies that when you realize it's coming to an end wish it would keep on going.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Charlyn on January 2, 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
AMAZING.....Not all people know that there was and is a real Gidget...She is the real deal and is alive and well. Love this Documentary! Everyone that loves Gidget..Surfing or the beach should see this... Its part of this generations History....and generations to come!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Cynthia on December 26, 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I ordered this because I have always loved the Gidget movies and the TV series. This gave the background info on how it all started. Even though I am almost a contemporary of the real Gidget, I was unaware of lots of the cultural aspects of surfing in its inception, so this filled in a lot of holes in my knowledge.
I gave this 5 stars, not because it is something I will watch many, many times--though I certainly will watch it again--but because it was very fun for me to see and remember times gone by, when growing up in America was a different experience than it is now.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By William D Wolford on June 24, 2013
Format: DVD
Documentaries are great ways to learn more about the things that you are interested in. And sometimes documentaries are great ways to learn things that you had no clue about in the first place. For me, this film falls into the latter category. It was fun, informative, and most important gave me an insight on a part of American life I had not learned about before.

Yes, Gidget (Kathy Kohner) was a real person. A nickname combining the words girl midget, Gidget was around fifteen years old when she started hanging around on the beaches of southern California in the fifties. She was feisty, a girl ahead of her time. She learned how to surf on those beaches at a time when girls were just eye candy, and just sat on the beach, watching their surfer boyfriends. She also kept everything that happened on that beach written in her diary. At some point she decided that her story needed to be shared, so she talked her screenplay writing father into penning her story, creating a sensation.

After the book became a best seller, the movies came calling. The first Gidget film was a smash success, but as most of the original surfer bums observed, it was the beginning of the end. What was once almost an exclusive club of serious surfers, became an overnight American sensation. Everyone wanted to try surfing, and the beaches became clogged with "surfing wannabe's".

The string of Gidget movies continued, along with a TV series and at one point a cartoon as well. Women around the world started to identify with Gidget's personality, a girl with lots of determination to do what she loved, no matter the consequences. The fifties male-dominated sport had become an activity for everyone equally.
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