11 user 8 critic

Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams (1973)

PG | | Drama | 30 August 1974 (Ireland)
Rita, a middle aged New York City homemaker, finds herself in an emotional crisis which forces her to re-examine her life, as well as her relationships with her mother, her eye doctor ... See full summary »




On Disc

at Amazon

Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A middle-aged iconoclast, doggedly avoiding the tedium of employment and conventional life, faces the prospect of losing custody of his young ward.

Director: Fred Coe
Stars: Jason Robards, Barbara Harris, Martin Balsam
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Rachel is a 35 year old school teacher who has no man in her life and lives with her mother. When a man from the big city returns and asks her out, she begins to have to make decisions about her life and where she wants it to go.

Director: Paul Newman
Stars: Joanne Woodward, James Olson, Kate Harrington
Go West (1925)
Comedy | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

With little luck at keeping a job in the city a New Yorker tries work in the country and eventually finds his way leading a herd of cattle to the West Coast.

Director: Buster Keaton
Stars: Buster Keaton, Howard Truesdale, Kathleen Myers
Dangerous (1935)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

An alcoholic actress who is considered a dangerous jinx is rehabilitated, but she then shows that she's as dangerous as ever.

Director: Alfred E. Green
Stars: Bette Davis, Franchot Tone, Margaret Lindsay
The Great Lie (1941)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

After a newlywed's husband apparently dies in a plane crash, she discovers that her rival for his affections is now pregnant with his child.

Director: Edmund Goulding
Stars: Bette Davis, George Brent, Mary Astor
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

When lovely and virtuous governess Henriette Deluzy comes to educate the children of the debonair Duc de Praslin, a royal subject to King Louis-Philippe and the husband of the volatile and ... See full summary »

Director: Anatole Litvak
Stars: Bette Davis, Charles Boyer, Jeffrey Lynn
BUtterfield 8 (1960)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

The romantic life of a fashionable Manhattan beauty who's part model, part call-girl, and all man-trap.

Director: Daniel Mann
Stars: Elizabeth Taylor, Laurence Harvey, Eddie Fisher
Certificate: GP Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A man who wants to move on with his life by moving to California and marry his girlfriend, finds it difficult as he still lives in the towering shadow of his aging father.

Director: Gilbert Cates
Stars: Melvyn Douglas, Gene Hackman, Dorothy Stickney
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Bea Pullman and her daughter Jessie have had a hard time making ends meet since Bea's husband died. Help comes in the form of Delilah Johnson, who agrees to work as Bea's housekeeper in ... See full summary »

Director: John M. Stahl
Stars: Claudette Colbert, Warren William, Rochelle Hudson
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Meeting a stranger in a railway station, a woman is tempted to cheat on her husband.

Director: David Lean
Stars: Celia Johnson, Trevor Howard, Stanley Holloway
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Love among the Forsytes is strange, full of tradition, melancholy and gold digging in this film treatise on Victorian-age rigidity and vestiges of a flawed society.

Director: Compton Bennett
Stars: Errol Flynn, Greer Garson, Walter Pidgeon
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Bathsheba Everdene, a willful, flirtatious, young woman, unexpectedly inherits a large farm and is romantically pursued by three very different men.

Director: John Schlesinger
Stars: Julie Christie, Peter Finch, Alan Bates


Cast overview, first billed only:
Dori Brenner ...
Ron Richards ...
Win Forman ...
Peter Marklin ...
Nancy Andrews ...
Mrs. Hungerford
Minerva Pious ...
Woman in Theatre
Sol Frieder ...
Man in Theatre
Helen Ludlam ...
Grant Code ...
Gaetano Lisi ...
Student in Theatre
Lee Jackson ...


Rita, a middle aged New York City homemaker, finds herself in an emotional crisis which forces her to re-examine her life, as well as her relationships with her mother, her eye doctor husband, her alienated daughter and estranged son. Written by Eugene Kim <genekim@concentric.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Beautiful. Frigid. She is called a Snow Queen.




PG | See all certifications »





Release Date:

30 August 1974 (Ireland)  »

Also Known As:

Deseos de verano, sueños de invierno  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


See  »

Did You Know?


Features Wild Strawberries (1957) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

29 January 2009 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams casts Joanne Woodward as a woman going through mid-life crisis in her forties, realizing that she's settled and not selected in her choice of husband and life.

Not that husband Martin Balsam is not a good man, he's a decent enough fellow, an optometrist and back in my parents generation such a guy would have had their mothers pushing their daughters toward him. But Joanne's true love was killed in World War II and Balsam was a guy she settled for.

What brings all her anxieties to a head is the sudden death of her mother Sylvia Sidney while both women were having an afternoon of lunch and a movie. Life seemed a lot more simple back growing up on Sylvia's Connecticut farm. With a second choice husband, a daughter Dori Brenner who's not on the best of terms, a son played by Ron Richards who is gay and living in Amsterdam with another man and only seen in dream sequences, it seems like life is closing in on her. Balsam's sees what's happening to his wife and maybe this optometrist's convention in London is a great excuse for a tax deductible European trip where maybe things can be rekindled.

This film is short on plot, but long and deep on characterization with some great women's roles for actresses who've past their ingénue days. Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams got Joanne Woodward an Oscar nomination for Best Actress and for movie veteran Sylvia Sidney for Best Supporting Actress. Joanne lost to Glenda Jackson for A Touch of Class, both of those women were going for a second Oscar and Jackson lucked out.

What was a real shame was Sylvia Sidney not winning and losing to Tatum O'Neal for Paper Moon. Those supporting categories have become a really good place to honor veterans like her who have moved on to character parts. Don Ameche's award for Cocoon is a great example and I wish Sylvia had gotten this one, for her great performance here and the work of a lifetime.

Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams is a poignant film. The best scenes in it are dealing with Sidney's surviving family and how Joanne wants to hold on to the family homestead when all the rest want to sell. She can't articulate to her family why she feels she could cling to her childhood as embodied in that farm, but we the audience feels what she feels, especially those of who've had a similar experience. For me it was nothing like Woodward's in the film, but I had to face selling our family home in Brooklyn in 1997. The only survivors of my family were my brother and myself and I had my pangs as Joanne did. Three family members of mine died in that same home. What she was able to convey is the mark of a great actress.

Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams gives lie to the idea that they don't write some great parts for the female gender.

24 of 24 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
great movie nccomet
Discuss Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams (1973) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: