Thursday, June 07, 2012

The Best Summer Movies Ever


Four movies stand out in my mind as movies about summer that I really loved: AMERICAN GRAFFITI, THE FLAMINGO KID, GOODBYE COLUMBUS, and JAWS.

Most of these are well known today with the possible exception of THE FLAMINGO KID.

What are your favorites?

43 comments:

George said...

I remember traditional Summer Movies like HARRY POTTER, SPIDERMAN, THE BOURNE IDENTITY.

Anonymous said...

A few more: SUMMER OF 42, MEATBALLS, LAST SUMMER.

I'd probably go with JAWS and AMERICAN GRAFFITI.


Jeff M.

Al Tucher said...

Summer of '42 for me also, although I haven't seen it in many years.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Summer of 42 was gorgeous. I was thinking of movies about summer rather than summer movies, I guess.
I still have nightmares about Last Summer.

Anonymous said...

I know what you mean, Patti. I read the book fairly recently and the movie was pretty faithful to it.

I remember seeing it when it first came out and it had quite an impact on me.


Jeff M.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I don't think I ever saw Barbara Hershey the same way again.

Charles Gramlich said...

Jaws, hands down.

John said...

The only movie I can think of set in the summer that I think really evokes what summer is about is STAND BY ME. No school, being adventurous, spending time with friends... I wathced it a few months ago and unlike some re-viewed movies I still loved every minute of it. It's a timeless, great movie.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Been years since I saw that one.

Ron Scheer said...

This will take you back: A SUMMER PLACE.

Prashant C. Trikannad said...

THE PARENT TRAP, DIRTY DANCING and WILD HOGS. Would ROMAN HOLIDAY qualify?

John DuMond said...

JAWS, AMERICAN GRAFFITI, and STAND BY ME are some of my favorite summer movies.

Copper Jennings said...

STAND BY ME and JAWS are two favorites of mine. I would add DO THE RIGHT THING, and two John Candy flicks: SUMMER RENTAL and THE GREAT OUTDOORS.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Oh, these are great ones. Don't know how I didn't think of DIRTY DANCING and DO THE RIGHT THING especially.
(No one puts Baby in the corner)

pattinase (abbott) said...

I think I must have seen A SUMMER PLACE a dozen times. Oh, what a crush I had on Troy.

Dan_Luft said...

When I was a kid WPIX out of New York used to show 12 ANGRY MEN in the middle of August every year. Maybe not a regular summer movie but it was part of my summers for years.

Deb said...

JAWS was the first movie that I really perceived of as being a "summer" movie--we saw it for the first time just after school got out and must have seen it ten more times during the summer.

Another movie that I've always associated with summer is THE THREE MUSKETEERS (the one with Michael York, Oliver Reed, etc.). Not because it was summer-themed in any way, but because I saw it for the first time (and then for multiple viewing) during the summer of 1974.

It always seems in retrospect that summer movies hung around forever back then and you could see them multiple times as the summer lazed away. Perhaps that's just the nostalgia talking.

pattinase (abbott) said...

!2 Angry Men took place during summer. I remember them sweating in both ways.
I don't think I have ever seen THE THREE MUSKETEERS.

BULL DURHAM would be another movie I associate with summer. And BAD NEWS BEARS.

Erik Donald France said...

Now that you've put that out there, off the bat I can't think of that many in which summer is a central theme or character. Maybe baseball movies (hence the bat), To Kill a Mockingbird, and some other Southern-set dramas -- like just about anything related to Tennessee Williams and/or New Orleans, plus maybe Dazed and Confused.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Summer and Smoke for sure. But all of Williams's more or less. When isn't it hot.

Kieran Shea said...

Anything that I saw at a drive-in when they were still around....

Oh. And ENDLESS SUMMER.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Have never seen Endless Summer but in CA spent countless hours watching surfers. It is mesmerizing. Does that count?

Anonymous said...

I thought of STAND BY ME after I posted too. Jackie had another, more obscure but worthwhile one: ROCKET GIBRALTAR with Burt Lancaster and a terrific supporting cast (Kevin Spacey, Bill Pullman, John Glover, Patricia Clarkson, Frances Conroy, and a very young Macaulay Culkin in a pivotal role).

It was filmed out in the Hamptons.


Jeff M.

Cullen Gallagher said...

Summertime with Katherine Hepburn and Summer by Eric Rohmer jump to mind immediately.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Loved all of these. Summer was such a poignant film with her having no hope until the end and then magic strikes.
Rocket is a great one indeed.

sandra seamans said...

A WALK ON THE MOON for me. Though I loved Summer of '42 and A Summer Place which I watch everytime it comes on.

pattinase (abbott) said...

WALK ON THE MOON is terrific. Love Diane Lane and Schreiber should have made more movies.

Kent Morgan said...

What about Picnic?

Jerry House said...

Am I the only old fart who remembers the Beach Party pictures? Eric von Zipper rules!

pattinase (abbott) said...

Gidget, too.
Body Heat.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Haven't seen PICNIC since I was a kid. It was memorable enough for me to remember a scene or two though.

Todd Mason said...

A WALK ON THE MOON and BODY HEAT certainly are nearly as irresistible as their primary actresses (and goofy old remake of CAT PEOPLE rates here, too, as do, perhaps slightly out of season, the Sayles films LONE STAR and PASSION FISH)...but the film that has lodged in my head as a summer film all these years has been IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT.

Anders Engwall said...

BREAKING AWAY, certainly. AMERICAN GRAFFITI also rates highly, tough the first time I saw it was a bitterly cold winter evening.

Cap'n Bob said...

Sahara with Bogie.

I recall Picnic partly taking place at Halloween, but it started in summer.

American Graffiti might be the best, and I think The Last Picture Show qualifies.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Oh, yes. LAST PICTURE SHOW is a must.
IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT wears very well, doesn't it. Saw it not long ago and was knocked out again. But Portier should have shared the Oscar. BREAKING AWAY is another great choice. That was Peter Yates too, I think.

Anders Engwall said...

A few more:

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S SEX COMEDY (and consequently SMILES OF A SUMMER NIGHT, which clearly inspired it).
SAY ANYTHING
INSOMNIA
ADDAMS FAMILY VALUES (for the summer camp scenes)
Was OVER THE EDGE set in the summer?

Anders Engwall said...

I forgot: PICNIC AT HANGING ROCK

pattinase (abbott) said...

I guess there are a lot set in camps. THE PARENT TRAP for one.

John said...

I was going to say BREAKING AWAY - one of my all time favorite movies but thought it took place *during* a college semester, not after. SAY ANYTHING - excellent choice. Such an iconic film for those of us who were in their 20s in the 80s.

Richard R. said...

ENDLESS SUMMER, a surf film made by Bruce Brown. I saw it in the auditorium at Laguna Beach High School just after it first came out (there wasn't audience for surf films then, on television or theaters) and was stunned by what I saw and heard. Brown narrated it in person. It was the very first surf film to ever be successful commercially - meaning it got into the black, eventually. It's pretty much forgotten these days.

Richard R. said...

No, I wasn't in high school then, I was out of college, but that's where they showed it.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Never saw the movie but spent time watching the surfers in La Jolla last year.

Anonymous said...

The first time we saw American graffiti was un a tiny screening room in Paris .

Jeff m.