Summer of '42 (1971)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Romance  |  9 April 1971 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 4,758 users  
Reviews: 77 user | 15 critic

During his summer vacation on Nantucket Island in 1942, a youth eagerly awaiting his first sexual encounter finds himself developing an innocent love for a young woman awaiting news on her soldier husband's fate in WWII.



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Won 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Oliver Conant ...
Katherine Allentuck ...
Christopher Norris ...
Lou Frizzell ...


Silent as a painting, the movie shows us day-dreamer Hermie and his friends Oscy and Benjie spending the summer of '42 on an US island with their parents - rather unaffected by WWII. While Oscy's main worries are the when and how of getting laid, Hermie honestly falls in love with the older Dorothy, who's married to an army pilot. When her husband returns to the front, Hermie shyly approaches her. Written by Bob Dawson <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


In everyone's life there's a "Summer of '42" See more »


Comedy | Drama | Romance


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

9 April 1971 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Verano del 42  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$1,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


According to Stanley Kubrick's wife Christiane Kubrick, this was one of Stanley Kubrick's favorite films. See more »


A modern bridge and vehicles can be seen outside the drugstore window near the greeting cards rack. It is also seen when Hermie and Oscy are conversing outside the drugstore. See more »


[first lines]
Narrator: [voice-over] When I was 15 and my family came to the island for the summer, there weren't as many houses or people as they are now. The geography of the island and the singularity of the sea were far more noticeable then. And if a guy wasn't to die of loneliness, this family made certain that other families from his neighborhood contributed other kids to the island. Present with me in the summer of '42 were Oscy, my best friend. And Benji, my next best friend. We called ourselves ...
See more »


References The Wagons Roll at Night (1941) See more »


Theme from Summer of '42
(The Summer Knows)
Composed by Michel Legrand
played several times throughout the film
See more »

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User Reviews

Summer of 42, a Timeless Classic of true Love
20 March 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I saw this film with my dad at the long-gone Surf Theater on 74th Street and Collins Avenue on Miami Beach as a sneak preview. The theater was packed and I was 13 years old and three girls in their early 20s sat next to us, and I was a little red-faced about the movie. But, what a truly beautiful and romantic film. I always thought that my "first" love would be like the Summer of 42. Unfortunately in my case it wasn't. I joined the Army and had my "first" experience with a B-girl(bar-girl) overseas. It wasn't until I was 25 that I think I really had the "love feelings" that were shown in this timeless classic. A great film with outstanding performances by all involved. Really a shame that Gary Grimes and Jerry Houser never achieved the super stardom they deserved. And Jennier O'Neal was so beautiful. She was all-natural, so fresh, so down-to-earth. The Summer of 42 is great.

32 of 36 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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