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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 28,822 users   Metascore: 67/100
Reviews: 345 user | 79 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.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The summer of '77 was a killer........ 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:

£173,471 (UK) (14 January 2000)

Gross:

£173,471 (UK) (14 January 2000)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Michael Imperioli was originally meant to play Richie, but he had to drop out due to scheduling conflicts with The Sopranos (1999). He appears only briefly in the film as "Midnight". See more »

Goofs

During certain parts of the movie, Richie is wearing black combat boots that did not become available until the US military adopted the Battle Dress Uniform (BDU) in the early to mid 1980s. The boots in questions are officially designated "Boots, Combat; Mildew & Water Resistant, Direct Molded Sole" and were "standardized 30 Oct 1984." See more »

Quotes

Ritchie: All right. What do you want me to tell you? Get a fuckin' divorce, then.
Vinny: Divorce is fuckin' evil, Ritchie. You got some fuckin' really bad advice.
Ritchie: Evil spelled backwards is live.
Vinny: You're a corny fuck, you know that?
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Soundtracks

Everybody Dance
(1977)
Written by Bernard Edwards, Nile Rodgers (as Nile Gregory Rodgers)
Performed by Chic
Courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corp.
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Sam-Enchanted Evenings

Summer of Sam was berated on its US release by New Yorkers and relatives of the victims of serial killer David Berkowitz alike. In the summer of 1977, paranoia eclipsed disco fever as the so-called .44 Killer murdered six and injured seven, all while keeping in contact with columnist Jimmy Breslin (whose comments bookend this movie). Not the kind of events to revisit in these days of the easily offended, and seeing Lee's claustrophobic take on Berkowitz in his deranged apartment is almost enough deter you from visiting the Big Apple.

The focus of the movie is an insular community of Italian-Americans. Mistrust rules the roost: the only thing close-knit about them is an occasional cheesy tank-top. Fear and conformity underpin the set-pieces upon which Lee thrives, from cops meeting a Mafia chief (Ben Gazarra) to a half-hearted Studio 54-style orgy. John Leguizamo thrives when passing himself off as John Travolta, but his marriage is a hollow sham. His quest for redemption hinges on saving punk friend Ritchie (Adrien Brody) from both himself and the lynchmob they grew up with.

Summer of Sam has invited comparisons with Do the Right Thing, on account of its portrayal of the simmering tensions building up to horrendous violence. Yet the lifestyles on show throughout make it closer to Scorsese's Mean Streets, albeit balanced by several strong female leads, notably Mira Sorvino. At 142 minutes it has stretched the attention span of some viewers and reviewers, but as the closing credits roll Lee has got us to care about the characters as each boils over. Ditching the irksome music video/sitcom visuals - even at a Late-term Abortions gig, with Ritchie on guitar - this is Spike Lee's most mature joint to date.

Graham Barnfield


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So Bad, Don't Waste Your Time bucket1066
No redeeming qualities normanpl
Who throws Richie's guitar and stuff from the window? hardwood_sale
TALKING DOG ndiezel
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Any other movies that depict this NYC era? Lisafliny
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