6.6/10
32,574
357 user 85 critic

Summer of Sam (1999)

Spike Lee's take on the "Son of Sam" murders in New York City during the summer of 1977 centering on the residents of an Italian-American Northeast Bronx neighborhood who live in fear and distrust of one another.

Director:

Writers:

, (screenplay) | 2 more credits »

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6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Al Palagonia ...
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Helen
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Eddie
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Storyline

Spike Lee's take on the "Son of Sam" murders in New York City during the summer of 1977 centering on the residents of an Italian-American Northeast Bronx neighborhood who live in fear and distrust of one another.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

It Was A Time They'd Never Forget See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong graphic violence and sexuality, pervasive strong language and drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

2 July 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Son of Sam  »

Box Office

Budget:

$22,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$7,991,450 (USA) (4 July 1999)

Gross:

$19,283,782 (USA) (12 September 1999)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the script, Richie was the lead character and Vinny was a secondary character. But Spike Lee enjoyed John Leguizamo's improvising so much that he ended up giving him more screen time. The scene where Vinny pours coffee on Gloria was one of many improvisations by Leguizamo. See more »

Goofs

Berkowitz removes the ticket from his car, yet he is caught because he is seen driving away with a ticket on his windshield. See more »

Quotes

Vinny: Come on, get in the car. Please, baby.
Dionna: Baby? Don't you dare "baby" me! I'm gonna wait here! I'm gonna wait here until somebody comes along. You know what? I'm gonna wait here until some soul brother comes along in his big black Cadillac. And you know and I know that he's got a big black dick too.
Vinny: Don't talk like that, just get inside the car.
Dionna: Oh, fuck you!
Vinny: Please, please, don't make me have to beg you. Get in the car. Come on- don't make me have to hurt you.
Dionna: Hurt me? Don't you even fuckin' lay ...
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Crazy Credits

The credits are in the form of newspaper headlines. See more »

Connections

References Shampoo (1975) See more »

Soundtracks

Don't Go Breaking My Heart
(1975)
Written by Elton John (as Ann Orson) and Bernie Taupin (as Carte Blanche)
Performed by Elton John and Kiki Dee
Courtesy of MCA Records and Polygram International Music B.V.
Under license from Universal Music Special Markets
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The Son of Sam story is an effective backdrop
19 July 1999 | by See all my reviews

I really enjoyed this movie. The Son of Sam killings are just a backdrop to a slice-of-life story in New York City in the summer of 1977. I believe that Spike Lee wanted to tell a story about the seventies - the excesses of sex, drugs and the desperation of the times. He chose a summer that stood out in the minds of the people who lived through it because of the record heat, the murders and the blackout. The Son of Sam killer was in one sense a strongly contrasting back drop and in another sense an extreme sign of the times. David Berkowitz was out of control and driven by invisible demons, but that could be said of the main character Vinnie. The difference between the two could almost be reduced to a matter of degree. I was struck by the part of the story where a group of friends thought the killer was one of their own because he was into punk rock and same-sex sex for money. Their misunderstanding of the killer seemed startling in light of what we know about serial killers today, but was dead on for the time. Spike Lee reminds us with this movie how much damage is done when we allow ourselves to be driven by our ignorance and fear. He makes us uncomfortable, of course, but the lesson rings so true. As far as the direction went, I thought that it was classic Spike Lee with a little taken from some other popular young directors, but if someone imitates something good and does it well, I don't complain. My favorite scene is where the punk rocker character Richie does a porno dance to The Who. The soundtrack is also pretty good, by the way. I gave the movie a 9 out of 10.


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