A Summer Place (1959)

Approved  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  18 November 1959 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 2,041 users  
Reviews: 70 user | 18 critic

A self-made businessman rekindles a romance with a former flame while their two teenage children begin a romance of their own with drastic consequences for both couples.



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Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Ken Jorgenson
Molly Jorgenson
Bart Hunter
Johnny Hunter
Constance Ford ...
Helen Jorgenson
Mrs. Emily Hamilton Hamble
Jack Richardson ...
Claude Andrews
Martin Eric ...
Todd Harper, Handyman at Pine Island Inn


The Hunter family has long owned a mansion on Pine Island, a summer resort located off the Maine coast. Bart Hunter's now deceased father was able to open the mansion for free when Bart was younger, but current owner Bart, a drunkard and weak man, must now live there year round for financial survival with his wife Sylvia and their late teen-aged son Johnny, the family who are barely able to eke out a living with the mansion now as a year-round inn which is in an extreme state of disrepair. Bart and Sylvia are in a quietly unhappy marriage due largely to Bart's drinking. The Buffalo-based Jorgensons - husband Ken Jorgenson, his wife Helen Jorgenson and their late teen-aged daughter Molly Jorgenson - have rented rooms at the inn for the summer, while Ken looks for a summer house on the island. Ken lived on the island twenty years ago, he actually a working class lifeguard for Bart's father at that time. Ken is now a self-made millionaire as a research scientist, who had never been back ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance


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Release Date:

18 November 1959 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Die Sommerinsel  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


According to his 1963 memoir "Wanderer", Sterling Hayden reluctantly accepted a co-starring role in the picture for $40,000 (approximately $314,000 in 2012 dollars) when his ex-wife Betty Ann de Noon prevented him from sailing to Scandinavia in his sloop the Wanderer with their four children. Hayden took the part because he was broke due to legal bills related to his three divorces from De Noon and their prolonged child custody battle and because of his cavalier disregard for money. A seasoned sailor, he planned to use the sea voyage, which he planned to film as a documentary, as a vehicle to leave Hollywood behind. He never made the picture and appeared in only one TV show before making Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964) four years later, following through on his plan to ditch Hollywood. See more »


As the yacht approaches Pine Island the Captain announces Pine Island on the port side, but Richard Egan and Sandra Dee come up on deck and stand on the starboard side of the boat. See more »


Ken Jorgenson: I think we're passed the point of pretending what we're not.
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Referenced in Back to the Beach (1987) See more »


Bridal March
from "Lohengrin"
Composed by Richard Wagner
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

The Kids Are All Right
22 December 2010 | by (Toronto, Canada) – See all my reviews

This movie has only one thing on its naughty little mind - sex. There are those who are getting it, those who aren't getting it but want it, and those who aren't getting it and are pretending they don't want it. One character in the latter category bandies words like "slut" and "harlot" about freely, but she didn't fool me. The four adults have managed to screw up their relationships, but the two very cute teenagers, played by Sandra Dee and Troy Donohue, look as if they'll get by okay if they just follow their hearts. I can't pretend that this is a great movie, but I had fun watching it. That's because the dialogue is way over the top and the actors deliver it with relish. In particular, Constance Ford (as Dee's evil, neurotic mom) and Arthur Kennedy (as Donohue's drunken sot of a dad) get all the best verbal poison arrows, and some of them are quite funny (sometimes unintentionally so). At one point Dee asks Donohue straight out: "Have you been bad with other girls?" That's the temper of the screenplay - everybody says precisely what's on their minds. I have to give the film credit for depicting the utter helplessness of adults in trying to manage their children's lives. Richard Egan and Dorothy McGuire (as lovely as ever) try to behave with stoic dignity which is hard to do when you're sneaking out to the boathouse for a midnight rendezvous and maybe a little you-know-what. The Technicolor location photography is very beautiful, with California doubling, I hear, for New England. And I enjoyed the costumes (okay, okay, I also enjoyed what was in them).

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Yiddish has a great word for this movie Dunewalker-620-44376
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to love and be loved. our soul reason for existence. mayanlongcount
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'your dad will beat the daylight out of you, I kind of wish he would' ?? glorybr
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