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Summer of Sam (1999)

 -  Crime | Drama | Romance  -  2 July 1999 (USA)
6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 27,660 users   Metascore: 67/100
Reviews: 340 user | 74 critic | 26 from Metacritic.com

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 South Bronx neighborhood who live in fear and distrust of one another.

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Title: Summer of Sam (1999)

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Cast

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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 South Bronx neighborhood who live in fear and distrust of one another.

Add Full Plot | 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:

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Release Date:

2 July 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Son of Sam  »

Box Office

Budget:

$22,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£173,471 (UK) (14 January 2000)

Gross:

£173,471 (UK) (14 January 2000)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Idina Menzel is known to have been in the film as Richie's Girlfriend, but her scenes were cut before final release. 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: [crying] And I've made some bad calls, and I'm a bad fuckin' husband. And I admit it. And I know you can't get away with shit in life anymore. You know, God sees everything, plain and simple... and I just want you to give me another chance.
Dionna: No.
Vinny: Please, baby. Give me another chance. I can't live without you- please.
Dionna: [crying] You can't bring God into this. You can't do that anymore...
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Soundtracks

Fernando
(1975)
Written by Benny Andersson, Stig Anderson and Björn Ulvaeus (as Bjorn Ulvaeus)
Performed by ABBA
Courtesy of Polar Music International AB
Under license from Universal Music Special Markets
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
You can almost feel the heat and dirt on your clothes as if you were right there in hot New York City
3 August 2006 | by (Sweden) – See all my reviews

With films like 'Inside Man' and the upcoming 'Selling Time', it appears as though Spike Lee is departing from his gritty streetwise films on racial prejudice, and into the pleasant commercial world of Hollywood. He stills touches upon the odd racial issue today, as is his trademark, but they seem more like mandatory inclusions than anything else, being left unexplored and unimportant. This is not saying Summer of Sam is a lecture on racism or anything (in fact, it steers away from the topic), but it fits the gritty crime-infested streets style that Lee used to do so well.

Summer of Sam brutally zooms in on an Italian-American South Bronx neighbourhood in the summer of 1977 -- the hottest summer ever, a real killer. Lee does not shy away from sex, drugs, raunchy dialogue or violence in his portrayal of the events which are based on reality of the summer nights when Sam murdered women on the streets. As the Bronx inhabitants grow anxious and suspicious of the murders, Summer of Sam focuses its story on Vinny (John Lequizamo), his marriage with Dionna (Mira Sorvino) and his friends and we see how the killings affect their lives, while plating the "Son of Sam" himself in the backseat to make room for these dynamic characters.

I can admit that there is no strong point or focus in this film, but I don't think it's entirely necessary. It's a portrayal, and a realistic one at that -- it is also a portrayal of an era, the 1970s and this is most apparent in the flashy 54-styled nightclubs that Vinny and Dionna go to. It occasionally drags on, but this is good because it emphasizes the terrible heat and anxiousness of the city, making it almost nightmarish. It is so realistic that you can almost feel the heat and dirt on your clothes as if you were right there in steaming hot New York City. I therefore feel that a great deal of praise is due to a film that succeeds in being haunting without actually dealing with the murders head-on.

8/10


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