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

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6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Incredible Music , Nostalgic Innocence

10/10
Author: sushe1 from United States
25 June 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This movie was haunting. The music combined with a realistic display of what life used to be stays with you if you loved it as I did.

I had never considered Dorothy a child molester but technically speaking, she was. There is a difference: this was 1942 and she had no evil feelings about Hermie; Dorothy had been drinking and crying having just received the note telling of her husband's death. She was not "herself" ; she seemed to be in a trance barely knowing her surroundings in her despair. I believe she felt , at that moment, compelled to pretend that Hermie was her husband; she almost made herself believe it. Wanting so badly to feel his presence once again she created a magical experience no man could ever forget. One that no man would ever wish to forget.

Shall we condemn acts that are done while the person is in deep suffering? We all know that Hermie was not harmed by what Dorothy did with him.

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6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Absolutely great coming of age movie.

Author: Michael O'Keefe from Muskogee OK
14 June 2000

Three young boys spend their summers on a vacation spot on the New England coast. They share their tribulations and fascinations while partaking of the lazy summers. The summer of '42, they discover sex and exchange yearnings. One of the boys finds a book, with pictures no less. Now their desires are really getting fired up.

One of the boys, Hermie, played by Gary Grimes, has to deal with a strong infatuation with a young wife staying in a house on the beach. The finale is tender and bittersweet. My favorite scene is the drug store scene. It is a real hoot; trying to buy "protection" along with needless items as a decoy.

The other two boys are played by Jerry Houser and Oliver Conant. The object of Hermie's infatuation is the alluring Jennifer O'Neill. She plays the part so effortlessly and so easily the object of any young boy's dream.

This is an enjoyable human drama about daydreams,sexual awareness and coming of age. Beautiful music supplied by Michel Legrand.



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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

In a Shingled House by the Seashore

9/10
Author: wes-connors from Los Angeles
6 September 2010

Cute fifteen-year-old Gary Grimes (as "Hermie") spends the "Summer of '42" playing on New England's sand dunes, with pals Jerry Houser (as "Oscy") and Oliver Conant (as "Benjie"). Naturally, the lads' discourse revolves around sex, especially after they acquire a manual on the topic. Horny Mr. Houser is ready for action, and carries a "rubber" in his shorts. Nerdy and boyish, Mr. Conant is waiting for a future summer. The story focuses on sensitive Mr. Grimes, who becomes infatuated with beautiful Jennifer O'Neill (as Dorothy). When her husband goes off to serve in World War II, Ms. O'Neill allows an innocent friendship to develop with young Grimes. He helps O'Neill carry groceries and lift boxes, but is interested in something else…

Cue the billowing curtains…

This "coming of age" drama is beautifully produced and, despite the very definitive setting, surpasses its nostalgic tone by successfully conveying the timeless emotions associated with teenage sexual awakenings. The scene featuring young Grimes' "Hermie" buying his first condom says it all. And, an "Oscy" advised me and many other boys, through the generations... I can still hear him... The story, based on writer Herman "Hermie" Raucher's own "Summer of '42" experience, is idealized but eloquent. It would not have worked without the obviously smart casting of the teenagers. Robert Mulligan's direction, Robert Surtees' photography, and Michel Legrand's soundtrack music are all gorgeous. So are the legs.

********* Summer of '42 (4/9/71) Robert Mulligan ~ Gary Grimes, Jennifer O'Neill, Jerry Houser, Oliver Conant

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

part of my life

Author: simon_poe from somerset, ma.
24 November 2001

I saw the summer of 42 at the movies with my parents. I was 12 years old. There was alot about the movie I could relate to at that time. We lived in a summer resort community, but year round. I remember alot of the "summer people" my friends and I met through the years. My summers were nothing short of magical. We played baseball, went to red sox games, and hung around the beach with only one thing in mind,to meet the new crop of summer girls. And oh yes,there was one special "women" I had a special fondness for. I told no one about her. Not even my best friends Mike and Tommy. We never went any further than sitting on the hurricane wall talking about life, little did I know of that subject. But I always knew I was different than my friends in the romance end of things. I always felt comforted by the fact that I knew I wanted that "special love" in my life. I didn't want quantity. I wanted quality. I was lucky enough to be a good looking guy,and thank god at 41, the ladies tell me i'm still attractive. But I still haven't found the "right one" yet. I now my Dorothy is out there some where. I wish I could tell Herman Raucher how much his story has meant to me over the years, and still does. Well, thanks Hermie. Thanks for helping learn what romance is, and how precious it is.

Jim

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Another winner from director Mulligan

8/10
Author: rj-27
27 February 2001

A precursor to a film (The Man In The Moon) he would direct 20 years later with much the same flavor, sentiment, and stark reality of teenagers at various stages of development.

Gary Grimes performance may very well be the most realistic portrayal of a teen-age boy on the verge of manhood ever put on screen. Likewise, Jennifer O'Neill may be about the most desirable object of a young man's affection in recent memory.

I saw this on the big screen when it first came out. Very well done, without a lot of over-sentimentality, and humorous as well, it will resonate with those who yearn for a simpler time in life when everything made sense but the opposite sex.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Hauntingly beautiful

9/10
Author: potato2
30 October 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The story opens in 1942, as Hermie (Gary Grimes) and his pals are spending a lazy summer on Nantucket. As fifteen year olds, they are at that awkward age where they desperately want to be with girls but don't know what to do with them. Then Hermie meets the lovely Dorothy (Jennifer O'Neill), a 20-something army wife, and falls head over heels in love.

Screenwriter Herman Raucher's autobiographical story is a true classic of it's kind, thanks to sensitive direction by Robert Mulligan ("To Kill a Mockingbird"), Michel Legrand's Oscar-winning score, and the stunning beauty of Jennifer O'Neill. She isn't the world's best actress and only has 12 minutes of screen time, but is so impressive she takes your breath away. Gary Grimes is sweet and sincere as young, impressionable Hermie. The theme music is tender and touching and unforgettable. This coming-of-age movie bears no resemblance to today's crude horny-teen movies. It's funny, gentle, and sad. Highly recommended.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Forbidden Love

9/10
Author: ChromiumVortex from United States
24 April 2007

I've seen this film several times and liked it because of the atmosphere it sets. At the same time, I see this film as a sister film to both "Lolita" movies, because it takes the same vehicle of forbidden love and switches the gender roles. That is, both "Lolita" films project a grown man's belated adolescent fantasy coming true from a man's point of view, whereas "Summer of '42" projects a grown woman's belated adolescent fantasy coming true from a woman's point of view. That is not to say that the creator of "Summer of '42" plagiarized "Lolita" in any way. Both stories have their own unique plots, but the vehicles used in both films themselves are identical inasmuch as they hit upon stories of forbidden love that we typically hear about on afternoon talk shows or evening news programs. What I find interesting about one of the other comments on this website is that like the Humbert Humbert character in "Lolita" having a clear pathway of opportunity to Dolores Hayes, the character that Jennifer O'Neill plays in "Summer of '42" has a clear pathway of opportunity to the teenage boy in that movie whom she has her designs upon. In the 1997 version of "Lolita", no teenage boys ever seem to be around except in conversations between Humbert Humbert and Dolores Hayes. In the 1962 version of "Lolita", I only remember one teenage boy making an appearance in that film and he did not have much of a role. In "Summer of 42", as stated in that other comment, the teenage girls who the teenage male protagonist and his two buddies date are unpleasant and pose no obstacle to the character Jennifer O'Neill plays as for her intentions to cross the forbidden age line of love with the male teenage protagonist. Get my point? Authors and creators of these types of stories know how to protect their own plots without their audiences even realizing what has hit them. British author Beryl Bainbridge even whitewashed the presence of any teenage boys from her book titled "Harriet Said" short of a brief mention of a 19-year old boy the co-protagonist Harriet had met before returning to the village where she and the protagonist both resided. "Summer of '42" is a genuine work of art. However, I still must say that the producer of this film and the producer of original "Lolita" were wise to have released these films long before the Pedophile Panic that came about probably around 1984. Too much censorship going on now and too much power being given to the Puritanical establishment.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

I don't know if there are any earlier 'coming of age" movies but this one is definitely a classic.

9/10
Author: reidel-1 from Australia
17 March 2007

I first saw this movie as a 16 year old in the mid 70s. We were a bunch of young kids who used to borrow a projector and movies from our local film institute and we screened them in the local scout hall. There wasn't much to choose from and 'Summer of 42' became one of our favorites. Since then many years have passed and I am now 47 years old with teenage kids of my own. I recently bought a 16mm film projector and the first film I had the chance to buy happened to be 'Summer of 42'. I got it cheaply, it had started to turn red, and I screened it tonight for friends and family. This film has aged very well and watching it was just as wonderful as it was back in the 1970s. It is daring yet innocent and it is masterly shot, scripted and acted. It is funny and sad, depressing and uplifting. It beautifully captures the emotions and yearnings of a 15 year old boy and it is always perfectly balanced and never descends into smuttiness. I and the people around me who watched it tonight absolutely loved it.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

"Summer of '42

9/10
Author: bbok-1 from United States
5 September 2006

The movie had special significance for me. I was the same age as Hermie, the central character, when the film was released. I saw it in the summer of '71. As a fifteen year old boy, my mind was often on the same topic.

My friends were, in some ways, like Hermie's friends in the film. Although I did not spend a summer on an island off the coast of the eastern US, I did have a summer where we were exploring our manhood and thoughts. "Summer of '42" took place during World War II. In my time, 1971, there was a war in Vietnam being fought. I could relate to the film in so many ways.

The direction, characterizations, images, story and cinematography are absolutely superb.

I still find the theme song haunting and beautiful. The movie has not lost its effect or message. My friends and classmates from those days are long gone. The drama and force of the movie will always be a part of me.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

when we're vulnerable, we don't alway act rationally

10/10
Author: Gregg Greene from Eugene, OR
15 July 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I saw the theatrical release of this film. I was eighteen. I had a date and had to pick out a movie to see. I didn't know anything about this film. The name grabbed me. And then...

I had a Dorothy in my life when I was fourteen. Her name was Sandy Ferko. She was twenty-one, and I went to her wedding and stood in line to kiss the bride. She had makeup on and smelled wonderful, I was a smitten young teenager.

All this came back as I watched this film. I completely identified with Hermie. Jennifer O'Neill was beautiful, I knew what Hermie felt.

I have this film on DVD now, and my perception of the character's motivations haven't changed since the original viewing. I still choose to believe that Dorothy's motivations are based in the kindness of her character.

Hermie was a bit of a nerd, but a complete gentleman, someone who, even through his uncontrollable desire, could still empathize and sympathize with someone else. His friendship with Oscar is completely believable of the way young teenage boys talked and related when I was a boy.

Near the end of this film, there is a scene that lasts for nearly ten minutes with a complete lack of dialogue, yet it fits perfectly, and passes quickly. In today's action packed quick moving scenes with smart-assed and witty dialogue, this film is a refreshing and artistically pleasing change of pace.

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