6.1/10
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10 user 6 critic

Heißer Sommer (1968)

In this East German teen musical, a group of girls are planning to take their summer vacation together on the Baltic coast. When a loud and obnoxious group of boys intrudes on their holiday... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Chris Doerk ...
Stupsi
Frank Schöbel ...
Kai
Regine Albrecht ...
Brit
Hanns-Michael Schmidt ...
Wolf
Madeleine Lierck ...
Thalia
Urta Bühler ...
Sybille
Camilla Hempel ...
Röschen
Leonore Kaufmann ...
Mädchen
Ursula Soika ...
Bärbel
Hella Ziesing ...
Mädchen
Sylvia von Krshiwoblozki ...
Mädchen
Marlis Räth ...
Himmlische
Angelika Schmidt ...
Himmlische
Norbert Speer ...
Rechtsanwalt
Hans Mietzner ...
Schelle
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Storyline

In this East German teen musical, a group of girls are planning to take their summer vacation together on the Baltic coast. When a loud and obnoxious group of boys intrudes on their holiday, the girls are horrified to learn that the boys have the same vacations plans as them. The two groups quarrel with each other and compete over a number of things, but gradually an attraction starts to form. Written by Jean-Marc Rocher <rocher@fiberbit.net>

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Plot Keywords:

seaside | holiday | song | singing | twen | See All (14) »

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The East German "Grease" (US 2001 DVD release)

Genres:

Comedy | Musical

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Release Date:

20 June 1968 (Hungary)  »

Also Known As:

Hot Summer  »

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2.35 : 1
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Connections

Featured in East Side Story (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Fang Doch Den Sonnenstrahl
Music composed by Gerd Natschinski, Lyrics by Hans-Jürgen Degenhardt
Sung by Frank Schöbel and Gerti Möller
Accompanied by Das Tanzorchester des Berliner Rundfunks conducted by Günter Gollasch
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User Reviews

 
East German Musical that is Interesting, but not Satisfying
7 February 2012 | by (Midwest USA) – See all my reviews

I finally decided to watch this movie because I am highly interested in East German cinema (by DEFA). Most of the GDR's best-known movies are usually set during WWII or its after effects with heavy communist leanings. I have not had time to watch several "Red Westerns" that I own, but dramas such as "Jacob the Liar" and "Naked Among Wolves" were quite masterfully done, so I was eager to watch something different from the good ol' East German studio.

"Hot Summer" just seemed so strange: a teenage musical coming from a Communist country, one not completely known for being "fun" in any way, and I was surprised with this movie. Of what I have read (no, I haven't seen the documentary noted in other reviews), the lead actors in this movie had made several of these "beach musicals," all of which were popular, but banned from distribution by the state. I guess the authorities finally decided to produce a musical, and the restrictions are noticeable within the movie (the "law" student needed to remind the other teens about what is illegal, the co-ops reigning supreme, the equality between women and men with NO outward sex or strong forms of affection).

The movie has to do with a group of boys and girls going to the Baltic for summer break (not quite the Cote d'Azur!). Musical numbers fill and add to the narrative, which includes the story of a boy-crazy girl (Britt) who is being fought over by two of the boys. Other potential relationships are played-down or missing (after all, you need to be controlled, mentally and physically in such a country, so one can only present so much as not to be totally censored for going across the ideologic line).

The movie is set amongst agricultural cooperative and fishing community, of course. The music is quite good (the album was a huge seller in the GDR). The choreography was also excellent. The problem arises from the disjointed story, which is not quite timed right or told clearly (there is barely any real story). I had to replay several parts to understand what was happening. For example, the movie quickly changes from a song and dance musical about boys versus girls to a heavy drama. The mood changes so quickly, I didn't have a chance to truly enjoy the preceding number. After the movie ends, I realized that I wanted more, but, alas, I am watching it through Western eyes, and I have to remind myself it was made in East Germany.

Overall, the movie is more of a novelty, one from the era of a heavy handed government who attempted to make a movie that was far from reality, but maintaining ideological standards. After all, the GDR was not a wonderful utopia. Movies needed to conform to ideology, and individual auteur identity is greatly squelched here. The actors and actresses are quite attractive, but the audience needed those types (much like the USSR needed socialist realist figures), in order to show that "we aren't all that bad!" Historically, it is a fascinating movie!

To me, the best number is the song that really puts down Britt, after she is found to be playing the boys for suckers all along.

One mention: It is unfair to compare this movie to "Grease," and the Avalon/Funicello movies were way to comical and slapstick. This is a different movie, that owes a lot to those types of movies, though. Don't be suckered by the cover.

Not a horrible movie, by far, but not one of the greats from the GDR. The problems are mainly because of censorship and agenda, which restricted personal input and freedom of expression. It is for students of cinema and, perhaps, theatre people looking for ideas through the movie's great music and dance numbers, but not for this casual viewer. The casual viewer would probably want their life back.

6 of 10 for story; 9 of 10 for music and choreography.--------- E.


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