Catalina Caper

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Catalina Caper
Catalina Caper.jpg
Theatrical poster
Directed by Lee Sholem
Produced by Jack Bartlett
Bond Blackman
Screenplay by Clyde Ware
Story by Sam Pierce
Starring Tommy Kirk
Music by Jerry Long
Cinematography Ted V. Mikels
Edited by Herman Freedman
Executive Pictures Corporation
Distributed by Crown International Pictures
Warner Bros.
Release date
  • 1967 (1967)
Running time
84 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Catalina Caper (also known as Never Steal Anything Wet) is a 1967 comedy musical mystery film starring Tommy Kirk. It is one of the last (if not the last) in the beach party film genre. This entry blends the beach format with a standard crime-caper comedy. It was shot on and around Santa Catalina Island, California.

The film was also featured in the third season (episode 4) of the movie-mocking television show Mystery Science Theater 3000 (MST3K).[1]


An ancient Chinese scroll is stolen from a museum in Los Angeles and teenage Don Pringle (Kirk) arrives on Catalina Island simultaneously. Although approximately half of the film involves swimsuit-clad adolescents dancing on yachts in several different dance montages, Pringle and his friends investigate the scroll's theft and discover that the parents of one of the boys are responsible—also while attempting to woo a mysteriously depressed young woman Katrina Corelli (Ulla Strömstedt) from her vaguely threatening boyfriend Angelo (Lyle Waggoner). After wrestling the scroll away from Angelo and his cohorts, bent on more dangerous results (in an underwater scuba diving action scene), the boys secretly return the scroll to the museum to the relief of the repentant parents.



  • Don Pringle is a friend of Charlie Moss' from college. Don is used to living in a desert environment, and Charlie's decision to bring him to Catalina Island is the first time he's seen the Pacific Ocean. He develops a crush on Katrina.
  • Charlie Moss is a friend of Don's, whom he met in college. A resident of Catalina, Charlie happily takes Don to have fun. Charlie is also a rather popular ladies' man, and has a group of 3 girls fawning over him the moment he returns to the island.
  • Tina Moss is Charlie's sister. Assigned to show Don a good time, she takes him scuba-diving, and develops a crush on Don. Grows jealous about his affections toward Katrina.
  • Katrina Corelli visits Catalina to be with her boyfriend, Angelo. Don meets her on the boat ride over. Something about her also makes her appealing to a number of guys on the island.
  • Angelo is Katrina's boyfriend who is on Catalina under the employ of Borman and Lakopolous. Has a quick temper, and is willing to kill to get the scroll for his employer.
  • Arthur Duval vacations on Catalina with his wife and son. Plans to pass a fake scroll off to Lakopolous.
  • Anne Duval is Arthur's wife. Plans to use her art skills to duplicate the stolen scroll.
  • Tad Duval is Arthur and Anne's son. Suspects that his parents are on Catalina as part of a shady scheme, even though his parents deny it.
  • Larry is the Duvals' henchman. A baseball fanatic who steals the scroll that Arthur and Anne plan to create a duplicate of.
  • Bob Draper is a member of the Catalina Island Harbor Patrol who is caught up in the scheme of the Duval's. Works with Don and Tad to hatch a plan.
  • Fingers O'Toole is a pratfalling agent who tails Larry to Catalina Island, hoping to catch Arthur Duval red-handed with the stolen scroll.
  • Lakopolous is a wealthy foreign man with a thick accent, who is known to collect plenty of rare antiquities. Comes to Catalina to retrieve the scroll from Arthur Duval.
  • Borman is Lakopolous' assistant. Tries to obtain the scroll from Duval without taking payment.

Production notes[edit]


Both Never Steal Anything Wet and Scuba Party were titles planned for the film, before the makers decided on Catalina Caper (see Music section below).[2]

The movie was made by Executive Pictures Corporation, which had been formed by Bond Blackman and Jack Barlett. It started filming in September 1965.[3] Tommy Kirk was signed to a four-picture contract of which this was to be the first. (However he did not wind up making any of the other films.)[4]


Kirk appeared in four other films in the beach party genre: Village of the Giants (1965); two AIP features, Pajama Party (1965) and The Ghost in the Invisible Bikini (1966); and It's a Bikini World (1967). Sue Casey, who plays Anne Duval in this film, was seen earlier as one of the female leads in another beach party film, 1965's The Beach Girls and the Monster.


The composer for this film, Jerry Long, also wrote the music for another beach party film, Wild Wild Winter. The two films are his only onscreen credits.

Long also wrote two songs for the film, "Never Steal Anything Wet," heard over the opening/closing credits and performed by Mary Wells; and "Scuba Party," performed onscreen by Little Richard, who is also credited as a co-writer on the song.

The Cascades perform "There's a New World Just Opening For Me," written by Ray Davies.

Carol Connors performs "Book of Love," which was written by Connors and Roger Christian.

DVD releases[edit]

  • The MST3K version of the film (accompanied by the uncut version, included as a bonus feature) was released by Rhino Home Video as part of the Collection, Volume 1 DVD set, which is now out-of-print as of January 2010. The set was reissued by Shout! Factory with additional features (but without the uncut version of the film) in September 2015.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 'MST3K' Means Fine Television Shales, Tom. The Washington Post (1974–Current file) [Washington, D.C] 27 Nov 1991: B1.
  2. ^ MOVIE CALL SHEET: Miss York in 'Doctor' Role Martin, Betty. Los Angeles Times (1923–Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 10 Aug 1965: c11
  3. ^ MOVIE CALL SWEET: Shaw Rejoins Film Colony Martin, Betty. Los Angeles Times (1923–Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 18 Aug 1965: D10
  4. ^ Franciosa Set for 'Swinger' Martin, Betty. Los Angeles Times (1923–Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 18 Dec 1965: a12

External links[edit]