Danville, Connecticut at the turn of the century. Young Richard Miller lives in a middle-class neighborhood with his family. He is in love with the girl next-door, Muriel, but her father ... See full summary »
Danville, Connecticut at the turn of the century. Young Richard Miller lives in a middle-class neighborhood with his family. He is in love with the girl next-door, Muriel, but her father isn't too happy with their puppy-love, since Richard always share his revolutionary ideas with her. Written by
One of MGM's biggest flops, and the biggest flop for director Rouben Mamoulian, who had directed the original stage productions of "Oklahoma!", "Carousel", and "Porgy and Bess". In fact, Mamoulian, who exercised complete control over all his films, was blamed so much for the film's failure that MGM had to think twice before hiring him for their 1957 film musical "Silk Stockings". See more »
Both the man and the woman portraying the "American Gothic" couple cast shadows on the background as they step into frame, revealing the house behind them is a painted flat. See more »
Mankind was better off when lived in the Dark Ages. When everybody went around naked!
Well, maybe so. But today it might interfere with your social life.
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There must have been some kind of contest going on in the wardrobe department of this movie to see which male actor they could con into wearing the daftest hat: Rooney, Huston, Morgan - they all get into the act at one point or another. Those titfers might be historically accurate for all I know but, boy, they distract your attention from the storyline when either perched precariously atop some hapless actor's head or pulled snugly over their ears.
The release of Summer Holiday was delayed by two years because MGM suspected it would be a flop - and they were right: it lost around $1.5 million when finally released in '48. It's difficult to see why today. Summer Holiday is a pleasant enough piece of Americana (a musical remake of Ah, Wilderness ), sumptuously filmed in MGM's famously vivid colours and clearly displaying the studio's high production values. While not outstanding, it's certainly no worse than other musicals of that period.
That said, it does lose it's way at times. The sequence in which Rooney is coaxed into becoming drunk by a (literally) scarlet woman is badly misjudged and noticeably at odd with the tone of the rest of the film, and would have been better if played as straight comedy. The performances however, are generally good - although Rooney tends to overact (a regular problem for him), and Walter Huston is by no stretch of the imagination a singer.
If you have a choice, plump for the '35 version (in which Rooney also starred), otherwise this one's worth catching, if only for those hats.
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