Gidget is a 1959 Columbia Pictures CinemaScope feature film. It stars Sandra Dee, Cliff Robertson, and James Darren in a story about a teenager's initiation into the California surf culture and her affiliated romance with a young surfer. The screenplay was written by Gabrielle Upton, a nom de plume of Gillian Houghton who was then head writer of the soap opera The Secret Storm. This would be Upton's sole contribution to the Gidget canon. The screenplay was based upon Frederick Kohner's 1957 novel Gidget, the Little Girl with Big Ideas. The film was directed by Paul Wendkos. Gidget was the precursor to the "beach party film" genre and was followed by two sequel films, various television series, several telemovies, and the spoof Psycho Beach Party. Frances Lawrence (Sandra Dee) is about to turn 17 years old and is on her summer break between her junior and senior years of high school. She resists the pressure to go "manhunting" with her girlfriends and laments the days when the girls had fun together without boys. Frances also rejects her parents wishing to fix her up on a date with the son of a friend of the family, Jeffrey Matthews (Darren). On a jaunt to the beach with her bikini-clad girlfriends, flat-chested tomboy Frances meets surfer Moondoggie (James Darren). She quickly becomes infatuated with him, but he shows no romantic interest, however Frances is more attracted to surfing than man hunting.