Teenager Francie Lawrence (Sandra Dee) is known to her surfing friends as "Gidget" or a "girl midget" (she is kinda on the short side). Unable to compete with the curvaceous bikinied lasses at the local beach, Gidget is assured by her understanding parents (Arthur O'Connell, Mary LaRoche) that boys will eventually pay attention to her. Turns out that Mom's right on the money, as surfers Moondoggie (James Darren) and Kahoona (Cliff Robertson) vie for Gidge's attention during the summer of her 16th birthday. Based on the novel by Frederick Kohner (who based the title character on his own daughter), Gidget was one of the surprise hits of 1959. The film spawned a host of theatrical and TV-movie sequels, not to mention the 1966 TV series starring Sally Field -- and the 1987 sitcom starring Caryn Richman. In addition, Gidget boosted the careers of several stars-to-be, including Yvonne Craig, Doug McClure and Tom Laughlin.
by Hal Erickson synopsis