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Summer of '42
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Reviews & Ratings for
Summer of '42 More at IMDbPro »

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13 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

The summer knows

8/10
Author: johno-21 from United States
27 February 2006

I saw this movie in the theater during it's initial release and several times on TV since then but it's been many years since I've seen it last and would like to see it again. This is a classic coming of age movie. A great story and script with a wonderful cast. Gary Grimes, Jerry Houser and Oliver Conant as the the three teenage boys and Jennifer O'Neil as the war bride. Robert Mulligan certainly had a diverse directorial career with such varied memorable films as To Kill A Mockingbird, The Great Imposter, The Man in the Moon and The Other and quite a few forgettable films as well. He certainly made a memorable one with Summer of 42. Mulligan brought Harper Lee's words to life in his wonderful adaptation of her novel in Mockingbird and he brings Herman Raucher's screenplay to life in 42. Two examples of very personal semi-autobiographical remembrances of growing up successfully brought to the big screen. Michel Legrand's music couldn't be any more perfect for this film. I was the exact age of the boys depicted in this movie when it was released so I could relate to this and the ethereal beauty as represented by O'Neil. Maybe today I would classify this under guilty pleasure like something on the Lifetime channel but movie has stayed with me over time and I would like to see it again on the big screen. I would recommend this and give it a 8.5 on a scale of 10.

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15 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

A heartwarming coming of age film that is timeless.

10/10
Author: Robert from North Canton, Ohio
12 August 2002

No boy who suffers the pangs of adolescence should go unarmed into young manhood without the comfort and the solace that this film provides. If for no other reason, see the film only to establish every mixed up emotion and confusion was for all accounts, normal. This film will also hold a special place in my heart. I saw if first at 17. Then again at 35, and once more at 45. I daresay I shall watch it again at 55, 65 and 80 as long as my eyes hold out and can shed a romantic tear for the love of Hermie and Dorothy.

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9 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

well done

Author: Ajtlawyer from Richland, WA
19 November 2003

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Probably every teenage male has wished he had an experience with an older woman like Hermie has with his beloved Dorothy in this movie. The film's look and mood are totally authentic and there is the juxtaposition of the boys' care-free summer life while, thousands of miles away World War II is raging. The war's influence is throughout the movie---Hermie's brother is an Army Ranger overseas, Hermie has a chart of military aircraft silhouettes in his bedroom and of course Dorothy's husband is at war and she is devastated when she learns of his death Here's a trivia item---take a close look at the actor that Dorothy (Jennifer O'Neill) is saying good bye to at dock side. Recognize him? It's Harrison Ford.

A great coming of age story of boys caught between childhood and adulthood, desperate for anything exciting and aching to act on their sexual feelings but terrified of taking that step.

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9 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

I just saw this movie again after almost 30 years and wow the memories it brought back.

9/10
Author: Havan_IronOak from NYC/FL
16 February 2002

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Caution May contain Spoilers

I don't recall how I found out about this film back then, but I recall walking all the way across campus to see it (almost three miles.) It was somehow important that I see it, and see it alone where I wouldn't be recognized. At the time I had not yet had sex and it was almost as big a mystery to me as it was to the boys in the film. My then small-town raised, innocent self would've paid good money to see what was in that book they found…

So many of the scenes from this movie still ring true and have become part of my personal iconology. Hermie manfully struggling under the weight of Dorothy's groceries as they walk home, Hermie trying to buy rubbers from the local druggist, Hermie trying to seem so grown up taking his coffee black and burning himself in the process, Dorothy and Hermie dancing after she has received that fateful news.

As I rewatched this film, all these years later, I was struck again by the scene at the end. Hermie is standing by that fence, a powerful symbol of boundaries, that which separates one place from another. We see how sex, and events have changed him. He is now a sadder and wiser, somehow older, soul. We hear Oscy droning on about his troubles with Marylyn. We feel Hermie's sense of commingled joy and pain and we truly realize the difference between trivial lust and life altering love.

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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

A sensitive and poignant film that you will never forget

10/10
Author: richievee
24 November 2008

I first saw this movie during its initial release, in 1971, while I was serving in the U.S. Army at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. It affected me to such an extent that I (a "tough guy" G.I., mind you) left the theater in tears and had to walk along the train tracks of Fayetteville, North Carolina, for half an hour before I finally regained my composure. It is a poignant film, wonderfully written, acted, directed, and photographed. The interplay among the Terrible Trio (Hermie, Oscy, Benjie) is quite funny indeed, and most men will relate to the boys' curiosity about sex. But the scenes between Hermie and Dorothy raise this film into an exalted realm of the cinema, capturing the human spirit with rare insight. Among bittersweet, nostalgic, coming-of-age movies, only this one and the brilliant (but sadly neglected) "A Summer Story" strike me as achieving such a remarkable level of honesty. The sequence after the War Department telegram arrives is, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful, sweet, sensitive scenes ever to be filmed. To those of you who accuse the bereaved Dorothy of committing statutory rape, of being a pedophile, and other such stupidly nonsensical allegations, I say take your politically correct crap and stick it up your... (Sorry, I got carried away there.) It's just that I resent dirty-minded morons who try to ruin a sweet, poignant scene by calling it something that it is not. Dorothy is no predator. She certainly has not been lying in wait for Hermie. She is shattered by the news, she has turned to the bottle for solace, and Hermie only happens along, offering physical comfort and a husband-figure in her time of need. I find nothing at all offensive about it. In fact, it is a lovely scene that is handled by director Robert Mulligan with great taste and sensitivity. It could hardly even be described as sexual. Please make it a point to see this film. You will never forget it.

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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

This film is not about true love... it's about human emotion, how we all go through some things in life that follow with us forever!

10/10
Author: ptitchien from Montreal, Canada
26 July 2005

I just finished viewing this film... all I can say is that this story is so beautiful and so haunting at the same time, as if it happened and so it may have. For everything we get in life, a part of us we lose forever! Someone said this film is about true love, to me... This film is not about true love... it's about human emotion, how we all go through some things in life that follow with us forever! What amazes me about this film is that narration at the beginning of the film truly is felt once the movie is over. This is truly cinematic emotion. ....For no person I've ever known has ever done more to make me feel more sure, more insecure, more important, and less significant.

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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

A Wonderful Movie

10/10
Author: budoinst@aol.com from Malabar, FL
12 February 2005

I was 25 when I first saw this movie with a group of friends. We all left the theater with a sense of "we have been there". The movie was wonderful, exact in feelings of the day, humorous, sad, and bewildering. It was a true case of boys vis a vis girls at the time.

To this day, I still believe it to be one of the best ten movies I have ever seen.

The sense of emotions and feelings of all types and manner was beautifully captured for all times and generations. "Hermie" was seen again in "Red Sky at Morning", but never quite in the same light of emotion.

For those who wish true capture of a far and distant time, this is the movie to see it from.

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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

One of my favorite movies of all time!!!!

Author: lessthan-2
26 February 2001

I loved this movie! Its plot is still new and fresh even if it was released thirty years ago. It was released fourteen years before I was born and the plot isn't the least bit old. It still would appeal to teens today. If you read the script you might think the plot would have made it the "American Pie" of the seventies (racy for the time it was released) but the movie isn't executed the way American pie is at all. The dialogue is smart and the cinematography is amazing. If this movie was executed in any other way it wouldn't have worked but, everything came together so well at the end it left you feeling like you had spent two hours getting to know people instead of spending two hours watching a movie. The writing was amazing as well. The author managed to figure out a way to make each character speak the way someone their age would speak but also make them sound intelligent. THIS MOVIE IS WONDERFUL!!!

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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Wonderful film.

10/10
Author: Lionel M. from Akron, OH, USA
5 December 2000

This is a wonderful film. Gary Grimes played the geeky and sensitive Hermie rather well. He reminded me of a very young Anthony Perkins. Jerry Houser and Oliver Courant did rather fine as Hermie's friends, Oscy and Benji. Oscy was tough while Benji was a coward. A rather nice contrast. Hermie was in the middle of the tough-weak spectrum. He was not afraid of girls like Benji was and yet he was not crude like Oscy.

I thought Jennifer O'Neill was dazzling in this film. Her pretty blue eyes, bright white smile, and dark brown hair lit up against the gritty and pastel scenery of the film. I liked how her character was nice to young Hermie. While watching the film, I wanted Dorothy and Hermie to "get together."

Michael Legrand's Oscar-winning musical score gave the film its nostalgic feel. I loved how gritty and pastel the film was. The forties were a gritty and pastel time, the picture should reflect that. And it did.

I recommend this film to anyone who likes a nice quiet drama with simple characters and simple plots. I give this film a 10/10.

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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Summer of nostalgia

10/10
Author: bama1111 (bama1111@aol.com) from United States
3 August 2000

One of the best "coming of age" movies, ever. The three teen musketeers, the horny guy, the geek and the sensitive guy. Even though I was 27 when I first saw this movie I could identify with Hermie, played by Gary Grimes... and what boy, or man, could not be in love with the beautiful Dorothy as played by Jennifer O'Neill. I never try to look deep into images on the screen but, given the setting of World War II I did wonder about the significance, if any, of Jennifer O'Neill dressed in the white pants and blue sweater holding the red flowers. The scene in the drugstore has to be one of the funniest on film especially if you have your own bumbling experience as a point of reference. And then there's the beautiful music, by Michel LeGrand. This movie is, at times, funny, poignant, nostalgic and, finally, bittersweet. Having seen it numerous times over the years, I would recommend it very highly, especially to guys who grew up prior to the 70's.

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