Sandra Dee Movies

Sandra Dee in 1959’s Gidget

Want to know the best Sandra Dee movies?  How about the worst Sandra Dee movies?  Curious about Sandra Dee box office grosses or which Sandra Dee movie picked up the most Oscar® nominations? Need to know which Sandra Dee movie got the best reviews from critics and audiences and which ones got the worst reviews? Well you have come to the right place…. because we have all of that information and much more.

Sandra Dee (1942-2005) was an American actress who became a star in the late 1950s and early 1960s.  From 1959 to 1963 she was voted one of the most popular movie stars by Quigley Publications annual survey.  That included 4 straight years as a Top 10 star.  By the late 1960s, her career had started to decline.  Her last movie appearance was before she turned 30.

Her IMDb page shows 33 acting credits from 1932-1963. This page will rank 21 Sandra Dee movies from Best to Worst in six different sortable columns of information.  Television appearances and movies not released in North America were not included in the rankings.

Bobby Darin, Sandra Dee, Rock Hudson & Gina Lollobrigida in 1961’s Come September

Sandra Dee Movies Can Be Ranked 6 Ways In This Table

The really cool thing about this table is that it is “user-sortable”. Rank the movies anyway you want.

  • Sort Sandra Dee movies by co-stars of her movies
  • Sort Sandra Dee movies by adjusted domestic box office grosses using current movie ticket cost (in millions)
  • Sort Sandra Dee movies by yearly domestic box office rank
  • Sort Sandra Dee movies by how they were received by critics and audiences.  60% rating or higher should indicate a good movie.
  • Sort by how many Oscar® nominations each Sandra Dee movie received.
  • Sort by how many Oscar® wins each Sandra Dee movie received.
  • Sort Sandra Dee movies by Ultimate Movie Ranking (UMR) Score.  UMR puts box office, reviews and awards into a mathematical equation and gives each movie a score.
  • Use the sort and search buttons to make this table very interactive.

Stats and Possibly Interesting Things From The Above Sandra Dee Table

  1. Four Sandra Dee movies crossed the magical $100 million domestic gross mark.  That is a percentage of 19.04% of her movies listed. Imitation of Life (1959) was her biggest box office hit.
  2. An average Sandra Dee movie grosses $126.70 million in adjusted box office gross.
  3. Using’s 60% fresh meter.  14 Sandra Dee movies are rated as good movies…or 66.66% of her movies.  Imitation of Life (1959) was her highest rated movie while A Man Could Get Killed (1966) was her lowest rated movie.
  4. One Sandra Dee movie received at least one Oscar® nomination in any category…..or 4.76% of her movies.
  5. Zero Sandra Dee movies won at least one Oscar® in any category…..or 0.00% of her movies.
  6. An average Ultimate Movie Ranking (UMR) Score is 40.00.  8 Sandra Dee movies scored higher that average….or 38.09% of her movies.  Imitation of Life (1959 )got the the highest UMR Movie Score while A Man Could Get Killed (1966) got the lowest UMR Movie Score.

Lana Turner and Sandra Dee in 1959’s Imitation of Life

Possibly Interesting Facts About Sandra Dee

1. Alexandra Cymboliak Zuck was born in  in Bayonne, New Jersey in 1942.

2. Universal Studios concocted the name ‘Sandra Dee’ for her by shortening her first name and by using her stepfather’s surname initial “D” to sign vouchers.

3.  Sandra Dee earned a Golden Globe Award® as one of the year’s most promising newcomers for her performance in 1958’s Until They Sail.

4.  Sandra Dee’s big break came when producer Ross Hunter, balking at Natalie Wood’s lofty salary demands, decided to use Dee as Lana Turner’s daughter in 1959’s Imitation of Life.

5.  The success of Imitation of Life and Gidget turned Sandra Dee into a household name.

6.  Sandra Dee’s Top Quigley Box Office Rankings:  16th in 1959, 7th in 1960, 6th in 1961, 9th in 1962 and 8th in 1963.

7.  Sandra Dee was married one time and had one son.  Dee and Bobby Darin were married from 1960 to 1967.

8.  In 1994, Sandra Dee’s son, Dodd Mitchell, wrote Dream Lovers: The Magnificent Shattered Lives of Bobby Darin and Sandra Dee.

9.  Sandra Dee is immortalized in the popular song “Look at Me, I’m Sandra Dee” from 1978’s Grease. The song mocked her squeaky-clean image but Dee reportedly said in a statement that she did not mind, and always had a big laugh about it.

10. Check out Sandra Dee’s movie career compared to current and classic stars on our Most 100 Million Dollar Movies of All-Time page.

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15 thoughts on “Sandra Dee Movies

  1. Hello,
    When I was watching American Graffity a lot….there was a line where one of the actresses said to a boy “oh you think I am looking like Sandra Dee ” and of course he said “Yes….
    And now thank you so much Bruce ☺️ Because I know a little more about miss Dee and her films.
    So long

    1. Hey Pierre….glad my Sandra Dee page has been a help to you. She got my attention when I saw her listed on the Top Star polls in the late 1950s and early 1960s…her career was short but very impressive.

  2. 1 STEVE In an August post I commented on your Sandra Dee video and I’ve copied that post from Bruce’s Site Index page to THIS page along with your own interesting feedback on my comments. I’ve come to value your feedbacks almost as much as the videos themselves though few if any of us can personally match your pictorials for actual ENTERTAINMENT value!

    2 Well with the possible exception of Joel whose product is usually priceless for some – or at least one! – of our contemporaries and I see that you and WH’s private Guru have been quarrelling.

    3 Actually by coincidence I have just been reading a biography of the marvellous Alexander Archibald Leach and see that he retired at the age of 62 when he was in the midst of unparalleled personal career popularity in the then-prestigious and much-quoted Quigley polls and was at the time producing a seemingly unending string of almost back-to-back big box office hits which Joel’s Disciple’s stats show amounted to an adjusted domestic gross in the 1955-1966 perod of around $2.3 billion with an average healthy gross of $190 million

    4 Frankly my dear, Archie’s dignified exit and realism in bowing out before Old Father Time called time is I feel the proper template for the likes of Ford, Arnie and Sly rather than their seemingly wanting to cling to the young Weissmuller as a role model – and Archie at 64 was in great shape and apparently it is suggested by his biographer still seemed to women more “dashing” than most movie stars today – like for example the rather ordinary looking Harrison For for whom you seem to have such aspirations.

    5 In short regretfully for once I agree with the somewhat self-opinionated Mr Hirschhorn. By the way I see that he has invited you to call him Master – do you too now think of him as that? I DON’T, it goes without saying of course. Still both you andI will always have Cthulhu.

    6 Anyway it would be at least fitting if those wasting-muscle- bound idols and the physically-declining Ford could turn to dignified character parts like the Great Newman in his declining years [eg Nobody’s Fool, Road to Perdition]. It would indeed be really lovely if one of them could emulate the ham action hero movie star that Victor Mature played in the 1966 After the Fox where told by his agent that a new gimmick had been found to keep the career alive Mature ran down the beach laughingly shouting back “I don’t need your gimmick. I’ve discovered one myself. It’s called ACTING!”

    Hi Bob, thanks for the review, rating, comment, trivia, info, censored song lyrics, mention of Cthulhu the unmentionable, observation, comparison, appraisal and evaluation, always appreciated.

    Happy to see the visual presentation has met with your approval.
    I thought Sandra Dee would make an interesting video, presenting a more wholesome screen image than Carroll Baker, and she looks great in a bikini too.

    Making the video has been a learning curve for me too, I’ve only seen two of her films – The Dunwich Horror and A Summer Place. I wouldn’t mind checking out more of her films, the James Stewart and Rock Hudson movies might be fun.

    Max Steiner’s ‘Theme from A Summer Place’ is a big favorite of mine, Percy Faith’s version of the theme was a massive hit, 9 weeks at no.1 in the US charts, which was a record at the time. If you’re not sure if you’ve heard it go to youtube and type in ‘theme from a summer place percy faith version’ it will be very familiar.

    Sandra Dee appeared in three films with John Saxon, Saxon starred in Enter the Dragon with the legendary Bruce Lee and it’s from that film I knew him most. I’ve seen Enter the Dragon well over a hundred times.

    Believe it or not Dee does have a movie scoring 10 out of 10 from my sources [cue gasps and a fainting in the back row] – Imitation of Life. Gidget managed 8 from another source.

    1 HI STEVE. For me your Sandra Dee video is a lovely nostalgic trip down Memory Lane. You’ve illustrated that Sandra made more stand-alone movies than I actually remember so the video has been a learning curve for me as well as a source of enjoyment.

    2 Though popular Sandra never really made the big time among female stars in the way that Doris Day and Shirley MacLaine did and in recent times she has been regarded largely as a throw-back to maidenly purity in the more circumspect times of the likes the Doris, Jane Powell and the young Debbie Reynolds. Indeed Travolta’s 1978 Grease mocked both Doris and Sandra in the same song-
    “Hey look at me I’m Sandra Dee,
    I’m lousy with v*******y……
    And Rock Hudson keep you paws
    Of my silky d*****s
    Hey! Hey! – I’m Doris Day.”

    3 However some of the racy pictorials that you have shown in your video makes me wonder if we all missed something when we watched Sandra’s movies. Anyway down to the business end of my post and of course I was delighted that Cthulhu opened the proceedings albeit with the lowest marks in the video [5.8]
    4 Other POSTERS that I admired were Stranger in My Arms [aka And Ride a Tiger] reminding me vividly of my many trips to Jeff Chandler movies in the 1950s, The Wild and the Innocent co-starring Audie, Tammy, The Reluctant Debutant and Portrait in Black the Quinn movie that enabled Tony to announce to his friends that he had just become a 1950s millionaire [never broke the Big Guy’s magic 100 million barrier though!]

    5 Excellent STILLS were Sandra with George Hamilton, Tony Franciosa, Dee in Jimmy Stewart’s Take Her She’s Mine [consigned to bottom half of double bills over here] with young John Saxon, sadly another likeable actor who never made the Big Time, and motorcycling in a scene with Rock and Bobby Darin that reminded me of the opening scene from the 1953 initially partially banned The Mumbling One

    WH has let us down a bit this time with no Dee page and no coverage that I could immediately find elsewhere on the site of all but 2 of your Top 5. However he gives those two Come September and Imitation of Life your No 3 and 1 respectively reasonable ratings of 74.5% and 80% again respectively. You give Imitation of life 85.7% and although your video was short I learned a lot from it and it was worth 95% to me. Keep up the good work

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