Tuesday, July 03, 2018

Forgotten Movies: SUMMER OF '42


Three teenagers haunt the beaches of Nantucket, looking to find girls for a summer romance. Hermie is tapped by a slightly older, married woman for help with chores around the house. He is immediately smitten and gets more than he hoped for when a tragedy befalls her.

Beautiful scenery and music don't compensate for a dull lead in Gary Grimes and a plot with too little forward movement. There must have been a better young actor than he in 1972. O'Neill is okay but on the whole, it felt flat and the scene with the boy buying a condom seemed to last half an hour.

It was better forty plus years ago. Or maybe I was close enough to their age not to notice the flaws.


Anonymous said...

Oh, I remember that film, Patti! Haven't thought about it in a long, long time!

Jeff Meyerson said...

Even 40 plus years ago, I thought it dull, though she was pretty. You're right, Grimes was a lousy lead. This was followed a month later by the far superior RED SKY AT MORNING, also a World War II-set coming of age film, but with Richard Thomas leading an excellent cast. It was based fairly faithfully on the Richard Bradford novel, which I reread a year or so ago and enjoyed as much as I had the first time.

Trust me, it makes SUMMER OF '42 look the empty vessel it mostly is. I can't believe it made enough money to generate a sequel, but it did (it bombed, deservedly). It was nominated for FIVE Academy Awards (incredibly) and won for Michel Legrand's soapy score.

George said...

Like you and Jeff, I thought THE SUMMER OF '42 was a dull affair. The problem starts with the cast. The soundtrack sounds like sludge. The pacing of the film is glacial in parts (like the condom buying scene). This is a movie that deserves to be forgotten.

pattinase (abbott) said...

That might be a new category.

Jeff Meyerson said...

FYI, just checked and Herman Raucher, who wrote the autobiographical script (the book was a novelization that came afterwards) and book, is still alive at 90.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Guess that first love sustained him.