White Water Summer (1987)

PG  |   |  Adventure, Drama  |  10 July 1987 (USA)
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Reviews: 35 user | 6 critic

An experienced guide (Vic) accompanies a city boy (Alan) and his three friends on their first wilderness experience. Hoping to teach the four boys lessons not only about the wilderness, but... See full summary »


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Complete credited cast:
K.C. Martel ...
Virginia Block
Charles Siebert ...
Jerry Block
Joseph Passerrelli ...
Storekeeper (as Joseph Passerelli)


An experienced guide (Vic) accompanies a city boy (Alan) and his three friends on their first wilderness experience. Hoping to teach the four boys lessons not only about the wilderness, but about themselves, Vic pushes them to the limit. Soon after alienating the boys, Vic finds himself in desperate need of help and must rely on his students in order to survive. Written by Wayne Coleman <waynecoleman@swbell.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Adventure | Drama


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

10 July 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Rites of Summer  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$300,859 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The Woking title of this film was Rites of Summer. See more »


When Vic is showing the slide show to Alan's parents in the beginning, you can hear him say the same thing twice. "We caught this fish on the first day, This is where we camped the first night". See more »


Chris: Better be careful kid, one false move and you'll cut your balls off.
[giving back Alan's survival knife]
See more »


Life in a Dangerous Time
Written by Nick Van Eede (as Nicholas Eede)
Produced by Terry Brown & Cutting Crew
Performed by Cutting Crew
Courtesy of Siren Records Ltd.
See more »

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User Reviews

Very good, though not without it's share of flaws
29 April 2000 | by (In shame (2005 update)) – See all my reviews

'White Water Summer' is one of those movies that has enormous potential, but only mines the tip of it, making an often very enjoyable movie that could've been so much better. It is likely Kevin Bacon's least known major studio picture, and, had it received a respectable release, could have been very successful. But it didn't. It opened in only a handful of theaters (after two years on the shelf), and disappeared without a trace, grossing less than a third of a million dollars.

The plot is quite simple. Vic, a twentysomething year old with a love for the wilderness (Bacon- 'Flatliners', 'The Hollow Man') leads a group of four boys (age ranging from 14-17) for a month long trek into the untamed Sierra-Nevada mountain range. As time progresses he begins to stray from the group, and not properly look after the four. The three older boys, Chris, Mitch and George, ignore it, but the youngest, Alan, (Sean Astin- 'The Goonies' and the upcoming 'Lord of The Rings' trilogy) sees right through Vic. Vic begins to target Alan, leaving him hanging on the edge of a rock face, and worse.

My only complaint, even if it is rather trivial, is the helicopter shot ending the climax. It is so contrived that it risks taking the rest of the movie down with it, I have never seen three seconds of film so misplaced.

The direction and cinematography are both excellent. The mountain backdrop through much of the film is a spectacular sight, and every location shown is photographed beautifully. The director chose not to litter the film with cheap emotions, as is the case with 99% of movies with a child actor in the lead (Radio Flyer and Simon Birch come to mind).

Much of the original score is very good, but little of the rock music featured in every other scene works. Overall the acting is remarkable. Bacon shines in his role, which, despite being top billed, is nothing more than a supporting role. The movie belongs to Astin, who makes us care for his character, and hate Bacon's.

It's too bad the film isn't more widely known, as it is very good. Easy to recommend, easy to watch, not too memorable, but still well worth the rental.


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Message Boards

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Any recommendations of other 80s hiking/camping movies? 80s_was_better
why is Sean Astin older in some scenes??? vibones
There is sooo much wrong with this movie it's not even funny zeal1337
Life in a Dangerous Time by Cutting Crew hopeisfound11
Putting together a soundtrack. Need help finding some songs! EzraRock
The Song Playing When They Are Walking?? RapidFire008
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