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Tab Hunter Turns 80: Ride The Wild Surf, Battle Cry on TCM

Tab Hunter turns 80 today. In his honor, Turner Classic Movies is showing five of his films. The first of the batch, Phil Karlson's Western Gunman's Walk, is on right now. Hunter and The Time Tunnel's James Darren play rancher Van Heflin's sons. Next is Ride the Wild Surf, starring Hunter and teen idol Fabian as a couple of dudes riding waves in Hawaii. Featuring some cool surfing footage and tons of corny dialogue, Ride the Wild Surf is a guilty pleasure. In his highly readable autobiography, Tab Hunter: Confidential, Hunter says his brother Walt — a former surfer — was his inspiration for the role. (Not that Hunter actually had to do any surfing.) He adds that director Don Taylor (Elizabeth Taylor's husband-to-be in Father of the Bride) had to step away for a week due to a death in the family, so Phil Karlson was brought in as a temporary replacement.

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