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Photograph of Bruce Brown, director of the movie, "The Endless Summer" released in 1966

Photograph of Bruce Brown, director of the movie, "The Endless Summer" released in 1966

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This black and white photograph is of Bruce Brown shooting a scene from The Endless Summer from the water. Bruce Brown is a California native who began surfing when he was 9. He produced his first film in 1955 while stationed aboard a Navy submarine in Hawaii but it wasn’t for another two years that he really got his start. Dale Velzy, a surfboard shaper and entrepreneur gave Brown a new 16 mm movie camera, paid his way to Hawaii and made Slippery When Wet. This first film had the smooth music and casual and relaxed narration which Brown’s films are known. Two more movies followed in the same vain as the first but in 1961 Brown’s movie, focused on surfer Phil Edwards. Surfing Hollow Days featured the first filmed ride at Pipeline, a famous surfing sport on the North Shore of Hawaii. He put together a compilation film, Waterlogged, for release in 1963 since he was traveling the globe with two actors filming what would become the most iconic surf movie of all time. The Endless Summer movie was written, produced and directed by Bruce Brown. Brown also served as the narrator of this surf ‘diary’ following two young surfers for one summer, around the globe, in search of the “perfect wave.” It was in limited release in 1964 and released worldwide in 1966 grossing $5 million domestically and over $20 million worldwide. Its simplicity was part of it enduring appeal and while naïve and corny to today’s audiences it was an integral part of surf history. It introduced the world to surfing, a nation of bored teens to the idea of travel and created a popularity of surf culture that endures today.
Currently not on view
Object Name
photograph, surfing
date made
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
overall: 8 in x 10 in; 20.32 cm x 25.4 cm
ID Number
nonaccession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of R. Paul Allen
Motion Pictures
Entertainment, Film
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Sport and Leisure
Popular Entertainment
Snow & Surf
Sports & Leisure
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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