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Haunted Summer (1988)

R  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  7 April 1989 (UK)
6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 361 users  
Reviews: 10 user | 5 critic

In 1815, authors Lord Byron, Mary Shelley and Percy Shelley get together for some philosophical discussions, but the situation soon deteriorates into mind games, drugs and sex.

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Title: Haunted Summer (1988)

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Cast

Credited cast:
Philip Anglim ...
...
...
...
...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Peter Berling ...
Maurice
Donald Hodson ...
Rushton (as Don Hodson)
Giusto Lo Pipero ...
Berger
Antoinette McLain ...
Elise
Terry Richards ...
Fletcher
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Storyline

Based on the infamous Summer of 1816 when Mary Shelley wrote "Frankenstein", it chronicles the mind games and manipulations that were the halmarks of the intense and neurotic relationships that existed among Byron, Shelley, Mary, and her step-sister Claire Godwin. Written by CD

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Drama | Romance

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R | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

7 April 1989 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Förtrollad sommar  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was originally scheduled to be directed by John Huston before Ivan Passer was assigned the job. See more »

Quotes

Dr. John William Polidori: I have written a play. I think it quite good.
Lord Byron: Do shut up, John.
See more »

Connections

Version of Rowing with the Wind (1988) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Best Summer of 1816 movie out there!
26 July 1999 | by (Corpus Christi, Texas) – See all my reviews

The first time my best friend and I sat down to watch this movie, we were watching it for Alex Winter of "Bill & Ted's" fame. We didn't know what to expect other than who and what it was about.

By the time the movie was over, we knew that it was love at first sight. This movie, while not completely historically accurate, was and is the best one of its genre. I have seen other movies depicting the history of this famous summer and in my opinion, none of the others can compare. It fibbed a little at certain details, but those parts did not take away from the sheer elegance and romance of the story. I have seen the other movies about this summer and I find most of them to be good, but none as captivating as this one.

"Haunted Summer" has the qualities of a painting. The colors and settings seem to be something one would find on a canvas, framed and hung in a museum or on the walls of an eccentric's home. The costumes were gorgeous and, despite not being the most comfortable clothes in the world, made me want to find a seamstress to create such garb for myself. The whole movie was set on the picturesque Lake Geneva (where I hope to one day go because of seeing this movie) and the serenity that these historical figures found there.

This movie shows, besides the tranquility found by all the escapees of England's harsh judgements, the strangeness that surrounded this adventure as well. Yes, there were drugs. It was a fairly common practice during that time, a time when drugs were not illegal. And the taking of laudanum (the liquid form of opium) was medicinal as well as recreational. Shelley suffered from consumption. Lord Byron suffered the pains of a clubbed foot. It was not surprising that there would be prescriptions of the strong drugs that were in their possession during that summer. And they were poets during a time when experience was the key. There was no time for prudish caution. Passion and experience were a big part of the Romantic Era. And out of the thoughts and discussions of science, religion and philosophy came the creation of a legend: "Frankenstein."

Yes, in this movie, we see the beautiful and liberated Mary Godwin (not married to Shelley at that time) played by beautiful and talented Alice Krige. She is the control factor to all that goes on until she, too, gives in to experience. But she stands her ground and experiences things on her own terms. As was the strength that she inherited from her mother and father.

The actors and actresses in this were perfect for the parts they played. The music fitting. The direction captured the essence of the summer, as I've read about it. This movie was based on a wonderful book "Haunted Summer" by Anne Edwards. If you like this movie, read the book. The author takes the story from what she was able to put together from the actual journals of Mary Godwin Shelley and the other participants of this story.

If you are a person who loves history (even the little inaccuracies from time to time) and romance and the gothic, then this is a movie for you. It shows the birth of the birth of the monster, which even today teaches us about the morals of "playing God."

A definite must see movie!


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