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Movies in The Grand Strand“Turn on! Stay loose! Make out!” Thus trumpeted the ads for 1967’s “Don’t Make Waves,” a wacky comedy about Los Angeles and the SoCal beach culture starring Tony Curtis and Claudia Cardinale. So why are we mentioning this forgotten swinging ‘60s artifact in a roundup of Grand Strand movies? Because some scenes were shot in Myrtle Beach (although the movie was primarily filmed in and around Malibu). While we don’t necessarily recommend hunting down a copy just to compare the beach footage, you might want to give a listen to the title song—performed by one of the coolest American rock bands of that decade, the Byrds—on YouTube.

Not only filmed on location but actually taking place in Myrtle Beach, “Shag” (released in 1989 but set in 1963) is about a posse of teenage girlfriends—played by ‘80s starlets Phoebe Cates, Bridget Fonda and Annabeth Gish—who head to town for a post-graduation weekend of partying, dancing, boy chasing and total good times. Of course relationships change and life lessons ensue (think “American Graffiti” with a sun and sand setting).

True to the title, there are scenes in which characters do the shag. Although it never conquered mainstream pop culture, shag dancing was a huge regional craze in the Southeast, and South Carolina in particular. This foot-shuffling, knee-bending, hip-twisting series of dance steps was enthusiastically performed to “beach music” (namely classic R&B or '50s- and '60s-style rock 'n' roll). “Shag” also boasts spot-on period details, from the hairdos to the clothes to the cars to the slang.

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The Grand Strand, SC

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