MovieChat Forums > Surf Party (1964) Discussion > Scene featured in 'Brokeback Mountain'!

Scene featured in 'Brokeback Mountain'!

When Ennis (Heath Ledger) and Alma (Michelle Williams) Del Mar are at a drive-in movie, a scene from this movie is shown. It's nice to see such a small (and, apparently, quite corny) title get a little immortality through THE movie of 2005. What a way to go!


Why was this movie selected for Brokeback Mountain? Does anyone have any idea?

"Seriousness is the only refuge of the shallow." - Oscar Wilde


I think the movie was chosen because it shows how dull and sterile Ennis' life is. I mean, does it get any worse than having to take your pregnant wife to a black and white drive-in movie of the quality this one apparently is (Haven't seen it, so I can't really judge it). YOu know Ennis would much rather be in that tent with Jack than in that pick-up truck with Alma!

Brokeback Mountain is the movie of 2005.

Maybe Surf Party will finally be somewhat recognized now. At least it has rubbed shoulders with a great film.


I agree about the contrast.

"Surf Party" seems like the perfect film to attract customers to a drive-in theater in rural Wyoming. An earlier script indicated the film was to be "Hud," but "Surf Party" is much, much lighter and more in tune with what Ennis and his wife might want to see. Thoughts about surfing and partying would brighten up a mundane life for a while.


I found this in my archives, and I thought you might find it interesting...

The Choice of 'Surf Party' as the Clip at the Drive-In
by - CaseyCornelius (Wed Mar 1 2006 22:11:50 )

UPDATED Sat May 27 2006 18:47:17
I don't know if anyone has come up with any suggestions for the significance of Alma and Ennis watching the clip from 'Surf Party' at the drive-in, but here's a stab at it.

The choice of film suggested in the earlier 2003 shooting script was "Hud",which would have created an in-joke as that 1963 film was based on Larry McMurtry's own novel "Horseman Pass By". Probably in order to avoid the potentially distracting and overly self-conscious in-joke the use of "Hud" was abandonded in favor of the "Surf Party" clip.
I can't imagine, given the attention to detail which Ang Lee displays throughout the film, that the seemingly innocuous choice of "Surf Party" was thoughtlessly random or devoid of interpretive significance.

I've posted in several other threads that in every scene showing Ennis's life between the Signal parting following Brokeback right up to the Riverton reunion with Jack there is a subtle visual or aural 'rhyme', souvenir, or reminiscence of the idealized loving relationship with Jack during the Brokeback summer.

The first example is the winter tobbogganing scene with Alma immediately following their wedding scene with its visual correspondences of: the ginger, frolicing in the snow as an allusion to Ennis's 'bracing' snowy morning encounter on Brokeback; his wearing the blue [Jack's symbolic color throughout the film] wool-cap; and his wrestling with Alma after pitching down the snowy slope in the same way we last saw him making rough physical contact with Jack in the 'bloodied shirts/wounding' scene.

The next scene shows Ennis subject to the non-stop talking of his middle-aged asphalt paving work-mate Timmy [an aural link to the loquacious Jack] and the subtle assonance in Timmy's line "I'm gettin' too old to be breakin' my back shoveling asphalt" of "breakin' my back" with "Brokeback".

The next scene is at the drive-in and shows Alma attempting to initiate physical contact with Ennis, who is noticably preoccupied and 'glued' to the movie, by pulling his right arm towards her to feel the new life swelling inside her. The visual reminiscence is with Jack's first physical contact with Ennis in the initial tent/lovemaking where Jack pulls Ennis's same arm over to him in order that he feel Jack's own 'swelling' anatomy [not to put too fine a point on it !!].

The brief excerpt from 'Surf Party' captivating Ennis shows an early morning scene with a young man greeting a young woman exiting a camp-trailer and informing her that it's illegal to camp on the beach. Not too much of a stretch to see a subtle allusion and aural reminiscence to the illegal camp-sites which the boys were forced by Aguirre to man on Brokeback and about which Jack complained incessantly.
Again, it is another tiny 'nagging' reminder for Ennis of the 'truth' of his supressed feeling for and emotional connection with the distant beloved, Jack.

Just a suggestion "for what it's worth".



I think you're thinking of Beach Party.

A person's a person, no matter how small. -- Dr. Seuss