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A Summer Place (1959)

 -  Drama | Romance  -  18 November 1959 (USA)
7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 1,765 users  
Reviews: 66 user | 16 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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Title: A Summer Place (1959)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Richard Egan ...
Ken Jorgenson
...
Sylvia Hunter
...
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
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Storyline

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

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

18 November 1959 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Summer Place  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Max Steiner's main theme for this film is probably his best-known after his "Tara Theme" for "Gone With the Wind." As with "Tara's Theme," it has remained a favorite ever since, with several charting recordings. Percy Faith's version (American Columbia: 1960) went to Number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1960, remaining in that position for 9 weeks, becoming both the Number One Instrumental Hit of the Rock Era and the first instrumental to win the Grammy for Record of the Year. Other charting versions were by Billy Vaughn (Dot: 1960, peaking at #2), the Lettermen (Capitol: 1965, using Mack Discant's lyrics and peaking at #16), and the Ventures (Liberty: 1969, at #83). Faith himself re-recorded it, shortly before his death in 1976, in a disco arrangement entitled "Summer Place '76." See more »

Goofs

Johnny (Troy Donahue) kisses Molly (Sandra Dee) in the garden with his arms wrapped around hers and hers encircling his lower chest. A close-up shows her arms wrapped around his neck. See more »

Quotes

Helen Jorgenson: [inspecting her flimsy, silver Christmas tree] The tree should last at least ten years. Solid plastic.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Beautiful Creatures (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Liebestraum
(uncredited)
Composed by Franz Liszt
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A New Love Born, An Old Love Rekindled
9 October 2009 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

One of the great young love romances ever done on the screen, A Summer Place is the story of two romances, one born and the other rekindled.

Richard Egan and Constance Ford with their daughter Sandra Dee are returning to Pine Island, Maine where years ago before Egan became wealthy as a research chemist he was employed as a lifeguard and where he romanced one of the town beauties. Pine Island is like Kennebunkport, the private reserve of the Bush family. This is the private reserve of several old Yankee families who if they can't trace their ancestors on the Mayflower at least they go back to Puritans who might have found New England more hospitable than Restoration Great Britain.

Egan's rented out several rooms from thinning blue blood Arthur Kennedy and his wife Dorothy McGuire. It was McGuire who Egan loved and lost those many years ago.

Neither Egan and McGuire have found much happiness in their second choice for spouses. Constance Ford, a truly uptight and frigid woman from Buffalo has not kanoodled with Egan for years. You know he's good and ready. As for McGuire's marriage, Kennedy has all the airs of a patrician, but not the money any more. Did he lose it because of his alcohol problem, or is he drinking because the family fortune has gone? It's your choice.

So Egan and McGuire discover each other and Sandra Dee discovers Kennedy and McGuire's son, Troy Donahue. Because of her mother, Dee's led a sheltered life and I'm betting the isolation of Pine Isle with its very few inhabitants hasn't improved Donahue's social skills either. The two kids are sadly a textbook case for sex education.

Feeling betrayed by their parents, all of them when you come right down to it, the young people feel they have only each other. The passion multiplies exponentially.

Right up there with the human cast members in making A Summer Place a big commercial hit for Warner Brothers is Max Steiner's theme, played when Dee and Donahue are together. It's popularity on the radio and jukeboxes sold many a ticket to this film.

Egan and McGuire are also appealing in their way to discover their passions are still the same. The odd spouses out are also turning in fine performances. Arthur Kennedy who was never bad in any film he ever did is both arrogant and yet pitiable as the sad sack alcoholic. The villain of A Summer Place is really Ford, she's made life hell for Egan and Dee. Yet you wonder throughout the film what must have she been like back in the day for Egan to fall for her in the first place and what changed her.

It's Eisenhower era America and the story is dated somewhat, but not all that much. I can see A Summer Place being a candidate for a remake, who would you cast in a remake among today's players?


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