on July 17, 2004
This is definitely one of the best teen movies ever made. Every time I hear the beautiful theme song it takes me back to my own innocent youth. I sincerely hope that Amazon will be offering the movie again, in the DVD format.
on December 14, 2001
Forget the dated dialogue and social mores, the real story is about love and its triumph for a generation who believed in it and all it's impossibilities. Enjoy this beautiful old romance in its sweeping seaside settings and poignant dialogue. The latter often at the cost of being sacharine. But no, the splendid, simple story is there. And it is timeless. Love conquers all. Dorothy McGuire, in her usual restrained performance,generally says it all. Just listen to the delivery of "You have an infinite capacity for hate" to the evil mother on the prowl for dirt and McGuire's self derogatory "I'm sorry I'm not pretty anymore", while all the time peering from the most beautiful face and eyes one has ever to see. The story is simple, the scenery is breathtaking in audacious color and the musical score, and the musical score and the musical score had a generation humming and trotting to the beach.There has been nothing like it since. Watch it and be innocent and full of life again.
on September 17, 2002
This film makes for wonderful Sunday afternoon viewing, filled with romance and a bit sentimaental fluff. The story centers around the "coming of age" of two "kids", who eventually learn of their parents "sordid" past. It turns out that each set of parents had spent their best years in a loveless marriage of convenience, while the girl's father and the boy's mother had been "sweethearts" before they each married the "wrong" spouse. Complete with the obvious "troubles", the lovebirds (all of them!), go off into the sunset of happiness.
The famous "Theme from A Summer Place", written by Hollywood veteran composer Max Steiner, magically envelops the bitter sweet story. Considered "smutt" by some prude reviewers of the day (1960 America was much more goody-goody than it is today), A Summer Place nontheless enchanted generations of romantic movie goers, and now VHS tape owners. This film is a winner in my book!
This super teen movie from 1959 is still a great date movie today. Sandra Dee and Troy Donahue play innocent teens whose parents are having an affair. The kids fall in love, spend some time at the beach, and everything is great...until Sandra gets some bad news from the doctor....
Dee and Donahue were the perfect teenage couple then, and they are still adorable. This film was considered quite racy when it was released; it's more PG today, but still dramatic, intense, and thought-provoking. The stars are such a pleasure to watch; they were so young and beautiful. And could anyone ever forget that gorgeous theme music? It IS the music of young love. This is still a great movie to watch with someone you love...or a bowl of popcorn!
on May 4, 2001
This was most definitely one of the best feel good movies I have ever seen.Two teen agers fall deeply in love over the summer. Unknowing to the kids their mother and daddy were old flames from the past. The mother and daddy leave their mates and marry.This was definitely one of Richard Egan's all time great movies. The young lady(Egan's daughter)comes up pregnant. She and Troy Donahue (his mother is Egan's new wife) marry in the end. This is without question one of the most romantic movies you will ever see. You finish this movie feeling good. I wish they would play it more on the late show. If you have never seen this movie buy the video,you will always be glad you did. A must see.
on June 3, 2004
I have yet to watch the movie, but here is my encounter with its theme music more than **20** years ago, in China!
I first heard the music from my university radio station in the early 1980's. I was attracted to it immediately --- the music (no words) was so beautiful and so touching to the young minds. And the good thing is that the station broadcasted it once every day for a long period of time, as the signing off music. That was very appropriate because the ending of the music is vey gentle, fading gradually, like a wind drifting, drifting, until it disappears in the horizon.
At that time, I didn't know who wrote the music, or which country it came from, I even didn't know its title! And the strange thing is that, after I graduated, never once had I ever heard the music again!
Recently I found I have to try hard to recall the melody. So I took my rescue effort: I sang pieces of the music to a librarian in my local public library, who kindly helped me find the music. Only then did I know that the song is calld "A Summer Place"! and it's a love song!
on June 30, 2002
Cynics would hardly expect much from a movie featuring such fan mag confections as Sandra Dee and Troy Donahue, whose blonde coiffures graced many a Photoplay cover of the day. (Then, there is the friend who cautioned never to trust a film in which the boy is prettier than the girl.) That being said, the film holds up surprisingly well as a super slick piece of 50's soap opera, in which the usually vapid Donahue and the baby-faced Dee remain rather affecting as lovers despite the handicaps. Thankfully, Donahue is called upon to do little more than look earnestly concerned, while Dee pouts and emotes in wide-eyed, photogenic fashion that brought out many an audience handkerchief. Credit should go to producer-writer-director Delmer Daves for almost transcending the material with an earnest plea to humanize love and sex away from the dead hand of our Puritan forebearers. In the uptight 50's, that was no small risk and could even be construed as a commitment to free love and communism. As writer, Daves may not have thought in subversive terms, but his plea was enthusiastically received by teens of the day, who flocked to the film in droves. As producer, Daves had the good sense to bolster his youthful celebrities with a first-rate supporting cast, including the always commanding Constance Ford as the Puritan witch, along with the ever versatile Arthur Kennedy, at his sardonic and smirking best. Also holding up over time--photographer Harry Stradling's glossy transformation of coastal life into a series of blissfully romanticized frames that contribute greatly to the movie's travel brochure atmosphere. Unfortunately, Daves remains an under-rated filmmaker from that era, while A Summer Place proves he could handle the treacly fare just as effectively as the more cowboy kind he was used to. Also of passing interest--anyone wondering how teen culture moved out of the 50's to become that of the free-wheeling 60's should catch this movie for its few hesitant steps, suggesting, I suppose, that it's the Delmer Daves of the world that effect real change, rather than the more lauded and esoteric art house crowd.
on February 5, 2002
Oh my God!!! This movie is soooooo romantic! It is one of my favorites! The plot is about some guests at Pine Island. Like Ken and Helen are married and Sylvia and Bart are married. Ken and Helen are Molly's parents and Sylvia and Bart are Johnny's parents. But, Ken really loves Sylvia and Sylvia loves Ken. And later Molly and Johnny fall in love. At first, my dad thought Johnny might really be Ken's son!!! I love how this movie is all over - not just at Pine Island, but also and the boarding schools, Ken and Sylvia's house (Oh my gosh I want that house!!!), etc. Even though it was made in the 50's its still pretty spicy, even by today's standards. And as a plus, its not too dated! Some of my favorites parts are when the aunt overhears Sylvia and Ken in the attic, when Johnny threatens to kill Helen, when Helen tells everyone Ken and Sylvia are having an affair, and when Helen slaps Molly and she breaks the Christmas tree. This movie is just a classic! And the soundtrack makes you wish you could vacation at Pine Island.....
on November 14, 2000
Two teenagers in love(Sandra Dee and Troy Donahue) strive to be "good" and do the "right thing" by not going "all the way". This slick, colorful Hollywood soap opera about love and heartache among teens and their elders may have dated too much to have significant meaning to some tastes. Still arresting, however, as a look at 1950's lifestyles and values. This was, in its day, a box-office smash, and indeed, the premier teen date movie. The magnificent score by Max Steiner is still hauntingly beautiful, and was also big hit when the film was initially released. Yes, the realistic subject matter of the film itself has been glamorized and Hollywoodized, but it's so well-handled by the cast that it hardly matters. Sandra Dee and Troy Donahue light up the screen as the young lovers. And Dorothy McGuire and Richard Egan are sensational as the older set trying to rekindle the flame. The strong performances by this amazing quartet, and, of course, Max Steiner's enchanting title tune, make this rise far above the ordinary Hollywood fluff.
on August 10, 2000
What can one say about this film. I consider this Delmer Daves' masterpiece. It was the first of four productions that teamed Daves and Troy Donahue (Parrish, Susan Slade and Rome Adventure followed). Troy Donahue was never noted for any great acting prowess, but he did represent the last breed of the innocent clean-cut naive teenager. This was Donahue's strong point and Daves used that persona expertly and effectively to extract the longing for the eternal youthful spirit in all of us. That is why this film is so viewable to this day. To paraphrase Richard Egan's character in the film: Our only purpose is to love and be loved. That is what this film is all about. Visually it is breathtakingly and lushly photographed by Harry Stradling. The dialog is juxtaposed between crisp witty cynicism at times and then beautiful tender passages of poetic expressions of love. The Max Steiner score and love theme have become interwoven into our everyday society as effectively as they mirrored the emotions of the characters in this film. The story at its most basic level is one of adultery and teenage love canvassed on an island on the Maine coast. However, the motivations and the ramifications of the characters' actions run much deeper. The expert cast includes Richard Egan, Dorothy McGuire, Sandra Dee, Constance Ford, Beulah Bondi and the actors' actor Arthur Kennedy. This film was based on the Sloan Wilson novel. This is one of my favorite films. I highly recommend it. The VHS copy is very good.