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Summer of '42 (1971) Poster

(1971)

Trivia

In 2002 TCPalms interview, Herman Raucher mentions that this film gave birth to the book "Summer of '42." Herman Raucher revealed that this movie was written first. Not the book. When this film was in post-production, someone told him to write the book about Summer of '42 to help publicize the picture. So Herman Raucher wrote the book in about 3 or 4 weeks.
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During an interview on The Mike Douglas Show (1961), Herman Raucher said that after the novel and movie were released, several women wrote letters to him claiming to be Dorothy. One of the letters was indeed from the real Dorothy, who wanted to know if she had psychologically damaged Raucher, and also informed him that had been happily remarried and was now a grandmother. It was the last time that Raucher, by that time married with children, heard from Dorothy.
Though author Herman Raucher admits to moving the order of certain events around and interchanging some dialogue, the movie is (according to those involved) an accurate depiction of events in Raucher's life in the summer of 1942 on Nantucket Island; he didn't even change anyone's name. He began writing the screenplay as a tribute to his friend Oscy, who'd been killed in the Korean War, but midway through writing it Raucher realized that he wanted to make it a story about Dorothy, who he had in fact neither seen nor heard from since their last night together as depicted in the movie. Raucher admits that in all the time he knew her, he never bothered to ask her what her last name was.
Michel Legrand's Theme from "Summer of '42" was released as a single in the spring of 1971 on a 45 rpm record, Warner Brothers 7486. The B-side was Summer Song, from the movie Picasso Summer.
According to Stanley Kubrick's wife Christiane Kubrick, this was one of Stanley Kubrick's favorite films.
With the exception of the beginning credits and the end, Michel Legrand used his music only around the scenes that involved Dorothy and the scenes that showed Hermie's romantic feelings towards Dorothy.
When the "Written by Herman Raucher" credit comes up in the beginning credits, the picture of Dorothy (Jennifer O'Neill) writing is seen on the background.
Although Dorothy wished Hermie only good things in her letter to him, still Hermie ended up facing several depressing incidents after she left him. Herman Raucher was severely depressed about not hearing from Dorothy after she left him. Hermie's sister's fiancee died in 1944. Hermie's father passed away when he was 20. Hermie's best friend Oscy died on Hermie's 24th birthday. Since the death of Oscy, Hermie was never able to celebrate a birthday again.
The telegram on Dorothy's coffee table at the end of the movie lists her married name as Walker. It also gives her address as 210 North Corry Street in Bangor, Maine, and reveals that her husband was a member of the U.S. Army Air Corps and was killed in action over France.
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Though unspoken in the film, the novel and script provide several characters' names and/or full names: Hermie is Herman Raucher, Oscy is Oscar Seltzer, and Dorothy's husband is named Pete.
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In 2002 Tcpalm extended interview with Herman Raucher, Herman said that he had no idea how old Dorothy was. He also said that Dorothy could have been 20, for all he knew.
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Since the audience is exploring Dorothy in the film through Herman Raucher's point of view, we don't know how much Dorothy in the film differs from the real Dorothy. Jennifer O'Neill played Dorothy in this film based on how Herman Raucher saw the real Dorothy through his point of view.
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In the novel, it is revealed that after Dorothy left Hermie, new people bought her house.
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In this film, there is no name for the druggist played by Lou Frizzell. But in the book "Summer of '42", it is revealed that the name of the druggist is Mr. Sanders. In the book "Summer of '42", it is revealed that the name of the druggist is Mr. Sanders. In the trailer for the film, Oscy', while looking at pictures in the anatomy book and discussing taking those kinds of pictures and how they would process them says to Hermie: "Come on, what drug stores would develop 'em? If we took film like that to Old Man Sanders we'd be put in reform school."
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In 2002 TCPalm Interview, Herman Raucher admitted that some of the scenes he "originally" wrote for this film didn't work. So those scenes had to be rewritten.
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

In 2002 TCPalms Interview, Herman Raucher said that the postmark of the real Dorothy's 1971 letter was Canton, Ohio. Herman also said that the real Dorothy was worried about what she had done to him and his psyche. Herman also added this "And no one has ever thought about that. Everybody thought, 'Oh, that's interesting. The kid grew up.' But it was a traumatic event." And her last sentence was, 'The ghosts of that night 30 years ago are better left undisturbed.'
After Dorothy left Herman Raucher in real life, Herman had a strange reaction where he tried to date every girl he could find whose name was Dorothy. This was mentioned in 2002 TCPalm extended Interview with Herman Raucher.
In a 2002 Scripps Treasure Coast Publishing interview, Herman Raucher lamented never hearing from Dorothy again after her letter to Herman Raucher in 1971 and expressed his hope that she was still alive.
Although the real Dorothy wrote to Herman that she will remember him in her 1942 letter, still she contacted Herman again only after the release of this film in 1971. After Dorothy's 1971 letter to Herman, Herman never heard from Dorothy again. Herman wanted to contact Dorothy. But he didn't know where to write to her, because Dorothy didn't reveal her address in her 1971 letter to Herman.
The relationship between the real Dorothy and Herman Raucher was longer than what we see in the film. Herman Raucher first helped Dorothy carry her groceries when her husband was there. After her husband left for war, Dorothy became alone and Herman would bump into her. Herman helped her again by carrying groceries and later putting boxes in the attic like we see in the film.
There are differences between the real life incident that happened during that night and the incident we see in the film. In real life, the real Dorothy was "heavily" drinking and the song that played on Phonograph record was That Old Feeling. The real Dorothy kept calling Hermie "Pete" thinking that Hermie was her husband while they both were in bed. Although the real Dorothy kept calling Hermie "Pete", still she told Hermie "Good Night, Hermie" before Hermie left her house. In the film, it is implied that Dorothy "may" have been drinking. But when Dorothy appears to Hermie in the film, visually there is no indication of her being drunk at all. The film focuses on the impact of the shocking news on Dorothy. Instead of using the song "That Old Feeling", Michel Legrand composed a new score for the dancing scene. In the film, Dorothy turns to Hermie for comfort. There is no indication in the film that Dorothy is imagining Hermie as her husband Pete. In the film, Dorothy is completely aware of what is going on. Unlike the real Dorothy who left Hermie in real life, the changes that were made in the film makes it uncertain that Dorothy in the film will leave Hermie at the end.
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Just like in real life, Hermie was slightly taller than Dorothy in the film. In the film, the audience can see their "slight" difference in height when Dorothy kisses Hermie on the forehead.
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While the real-life incidents took place on Nantucket Island, the name of the island isn't mentioned in this film. In the novel, the location was changed to "Packett Island".
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