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Summer Dreams: The Story of the Beach Boys (1990)

Dramatization looks at the tumultuous relationship that existed between rock group The Beach Boy's Brian and Dennis Wilson and their father, Murry. It also examines their struggles with drugs and alcohol.




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Cast overview, first billed only:
Greg Kean ...
Karen Lamm (as Linda Doná)
Carole Wilson
Marilyn Wilson (as Wendy Kaplan)
Dorothy Dells ...
Andrew Myler ...
Bill (as J. Bill Jones)
Billy Vera ...
Bruce Johnston (as Robert E. Lee)
Maya Lebenzon ...
Kelly Bratten ...


This biopic chronicles the continuing saga of the Beach Boys from 1961 to 1985. Mainly focuses on the Beach Boys resident wildman Dennis Wilson and in a slightly less capacity big brother Brian Wilson. Written by Paul Cartwright <cartwrit@vianet.net.au>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The true-life story of America's premier super-group.


Drama | Music

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

29 April 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Heroes and Villains  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


During the scene that amalgamates the story of the recording of Pet Sounds and Smile, Brian Wilson suggests to Mike Love that if he doesn't like the music then he can "collaborate with Pop on The Many Moods of Murry Wilson." The Many Moods of Murry Wilson was an album of schmaltzy instrumentals that the Wilson Brothers' father released in 1967, which includes two instrumentals written by Murry's plumber friend, a remake of The Beach Boys' "The Warmth of The Sun," and Beach Boy Al Jardine's "Italia," among others. See more »


In the movie, Brian Wilson is portrayed as obese, bearded, and refusing to leave his bed as early as 1967, listening to Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band on headphones all day. In reality, despite his Smile project being scrapped and even though he wasn't as involved in the Beach Boys as he had been before, Brian was still very much a part of the group, very actively writing, producing, and performing on the records until the mid-1970s. See more »


Edited into Cease to Exist (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

Good film, bad hair
16 November 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This film is currently running on cable (Nov. 2004) and I had not seen it previously. From articles I have recently read about the Wilson family, the depiction of their relationships is on target. However, trying to cram so many years of Beach Boys history into 90 minutes is too difficult. So of course, the writer focused on key conflicts which make for interesting TV, but left out a lot of the intervening story. The years go by way too fast, almost confusingly. I felt the best acting was done by the actors portraying Murray and Dennis Wilson...very believable and intense. However, as the movie progressed I became more and more distracted by the changing hair styles and some of the very poor facial hair creations (especially for Brian). My son and I started laughing whenever a new "bad hair day" began. Interesting trivia...the executive producer is "Steve Dahl" -- could this be the shock rock jock who burned disco records in Chicago back in '79 or so?

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