|Index||6 reviews in total|
Even though its plot was basically an anti-war movie, it gives good
argument on both sides. Summertree shows that the Vietnam War was also
a battle between generations; Michael Douglas as the misdirected young
man and Jack Warden the "give em hell" dad. Douglas plays a college
student who keeps the draft board off his back until he mistakenly
decides to change majors, suddenly he's drafted and faced with a
difficult choice with very few options.
Luckily my parents had a VCR during the late 70's and Summertree just happened to be playing late one night. My mother was a huge Michael Douglas fan so she recorded anything he starred in and thanks to her I got to see his gifted talent as it blossomed to super stardom. Although that old tape is still in good condition I'd love to own this great movie on DVD.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Long before he became the pin-up model for oversexed middle aged men,
Michael Douglas was a promising young actor who played a guitar
strumming college student unsure of his future in the Vietnam War era.
He falls for a married nurse (Brenda Vaccaro) and politely battles his
conservative but loving father (Jack Warden) over his education and the
draft. In the meantime, he is the big brother to a young black boy
(Kirk Callaway) whose adored older brother has already gone off to
fight. Barbara Bel Geddes ("Dallas"'s Miss Ellie) is his loving mother
to whom he can do no wrong. Just watch how she responds to husband
Warden as their son considers going to Canada to avoid being drafted.
Just on the verge of stardom in "All in the Family", Rob Reiner is instantly recognizable as one of Douglas's roommates, while Teri Garr is seen briefly as one of his dates. The film tenderly shows Douglas's confusion over the world around him, shows a generation gap that isn't ugly (just confused), and explores his humanity in a humorous and tender light.
I was about 10 years old when I started to watch Summertree. I liked Michael Douglas. I thought he was handsome! Just that alone was enough for me to stop changing channels and watch! I was mesmerized by the great acting! Michael Douglas played his role with such conviction and depth I was drawn to keep watching the movie. The roles of his parents were for me heart wrenching to watch. The conflict between father and son probably was played out (in real life!) in homes all across the country during the Vietnam war. The mother was played my one of my all time favorite actresses. She was torn in half physically & emotionally for she deeply loved her son and yet honored her husband. A tough no-win situation to be in! This is the other reason I am posting comments about Summertree. The Music! I heard the most beautiful guitar song!(no words) I couldn't believe how BEAUTIFUL IT WAS! I ran to my piano to pluck it out! I play it to this very day!(30 years later)I have craved to hear it again, I have done hours of research to find the music, the title, & score. The tempo makes me think of Waltz Dancing music. Maybe Strauss? It's Hauntingly Beautiful! I wish that this movie would come out on DVD!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
From what I researched Micheal was fired from the stage production of
the play this film is based upon. His father Kirk Douglas purchased
play for his son to appear in the film version. He also produced the
Ron Craven is the author of the play, the screenplay is by Edward Hume. This was Micheal Douglas's second film.
Micheal is quite good as the college student unsure of what he wants to do with his life except play the guitar. Time period is the Vietnam era,he is also conflicted about wanting to fight .
In other words folks, this is a propaganda movie, similar in style to the many made during any war period.
Brenda Vacarro is this nurse he meets & falls in love with, she has a secret we don't find out about till near the end.
Jack Warden & Barbara Bel Geddes are his loving & caring parents.
Micheals character is also involved in the Big Brother movement & has a precocious, cute 12 year old black youth that he is trying to mentor. In his only film role Nick Calloway assays this role. The director was Musical comedy actor & singer Anthony Newly, it was his second & final directorial effort.
We inevitably reach a sad unneeded,inconclusive ending.
This really is not a bad film,its just not very believably done.
It had next to no theatrical release in 1971 & this is the first time on DVD
Ratings **1/2 (out of 4) 75 points (out of 100) IMDb 6 (out of 10)
I don't know whether I came to the right column. It was about 30 years
ago when I watched this movie. I was a teenager. English was my second
language and I had to work hard on learning. I almost forgot what the
movie was talking about but purely I remembered Douglas' performance
and the atmosphere took me into another place where I remembered for 30
years. Thanks to God we have internet communications nowadays, at least
I have an avenue to trace the movie I would like to see a few more
times. Please let me know as how I can attain the chance to see it
again. I miss the young Michael, too!
A great, thought-provoking movie. Of particular note is the performance of William "Bill" Smith, who played the Draft Lawyer!
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