Bud Browne Presents

Bud Browne. Photo: Jack Eden
Greg MacGillivray films Bill Hamilton

Service in the Sun came out in early 1957 and gave the Australians just the smallest onscreen taste of modern surfing. A second and far more generous dose of surf cinema arrived later in the year, when California’s Bud Browne sailed over with not one but two of his signature feature-length films: The Big Surf and Surfing in Hawaii. These were the first movies of their kind to be shown in Australia, and Bob Evans, one of the lucky surfers to score a Malibu board from the visiting American surf...

Firecrackers exploded in the aisles. Bottlecaps zipped through the air. High-decibel beer-belches rang out. A motorcyclist might blow in through the side door, ride up one aisle and down the other, then gun back out the way he came. Friday night at the surf movies.