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Summer's Children is a compelling, thought-provoking, and entertaining action/drama about Steve, a young man in his 20's, who tries to leave his lovestruck sister, Jennie, and his unstable home for a new life in the city, but he's off to a bad start when he crashes his Mustang and loses his memory of a troubled past. The opening scene is brilliant, as the lights from a tow truck lead Steve's Mustang allegorically through the seven circles of hell. The story moves along briskly as Steve gets a job as an auto mechanic and enters into a new relationship, but his sister Jennie pursues him in a cat and mouse game through the city's underground. Well-integrated flashbacks from Steve's past contrast with his current pursuit of Jennie, as the director captures the stark world of seedy bars, fleabag rooming houses and hobo hangouts. Kohanyi elicits strong performances from his cast, such as Don Francks, who does a captivating interpretation of Albert, a bookie who is known as The Professor. Summer's Children is a sensitively directed drama, unusual for its delicate and controversial subject matter.
A prime cause of this film's failure is its very disjointed screenplay, which bedevils staunch efforts of some fine Canadian actors, in particular: Don Francks, Kate Lynch, Patricia Collins and Michael Ironside. The plot relates some sort of ostensible attempt by a young man to recover that portion of his memory lost due to a road collision, but a woefully low budget controls the action more than does the director. Whoever edited this misplay should be called to account for some gratingly inadequate footage, including that in several scenes wherein the players' dialogue is drowned by traffic and other extraneous noises. The inner elements of the flashback saturated script incorporate a wide range of themes, including detection, filial loyalty, and sexual vagaries (among which: incest), but a huge gap remains between these and their development.
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