Along a lonely beach on a summer colony off the Long Island coast, a man walks slowly, reliving a summer, the summer of Laura, when he was 19. Richie has a friend on the island, Gene, who ... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Marsha Moon ...
Laura
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
...
Gene
Melissa Hall ...
(archive footage)
David Hunter ...
Ritchie
Helen Madigan ...
June
Wade Nichols ...
Bob
Kim Pope ...
Sheila
...
(archive footage)
Marc Stevens ...
(archive footage)
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Storyline

Along a lonely beach on a summer colony off the Long Island coast, a man walks slowly, reliving a summer, the summer of Laura, when he was 19. Richie has a friend on the island, Gene, who is gregarious and mischievous. Like the more sensitive Richie, he too, was 19. During that summer of awakening he loses his youthful desires and develops his manhood. On the way to the movies, Richie literally bumps into Laura, an older woman who lives nearby. She asks him if he'll help her with some chores the following day. He is totally flustered, but agrees. Richie goes to her house and after knocking on the door, and getting no response, enters. On the floor he finds a crumpled telegram which reads, "Your husband, Bob Hayes, has been killed in action." Laura appears, lonely and vulnerable. She moves toward him in a gesture of human contact. They slowly begin to dance. "That summer we lost five Frisbees, saved a girl from a silly snake, saw our first skin flick, and I lost my Laura." The sea ... Written by VCX

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sex | hardcore | See All (2) »

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The Sensual Saga of Radiant Summer Lust. See more »

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Adult

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2 March 1976 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

David Davidson's Summer of Laura  »

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Connections

References It Happened in Hollywood (1973) See more »

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Merely okay romantic porn suffers from weak casting
4 January 2011 | by (New York, New York) – See all my reviews

This porno riff on the hit SUMMER OF '42 coulda been a contender, had only they paid more attention to casting. With two weak leads (both one-shots), the intended romance evaporates.

Attractively photographed on Fire Island, the film's first defect is a variable sound approach -in early scenes much of the dialog is crudely dubbed in as voice-overs, though eventually there are pro direct-sound stagings. This detracts from that all-important sense of it being a "real film", rather than just porn filler.

Story carefully apes the classic Herman Raucher formula of the original. David Hunter and Eric Edwards are spending their summer vacation from school on the F.I. beach, constantly ogling the young married lady Laura (Marsha Moon), especially when she is making love to her husband Wade Nichols.

They are also dating Kim Pope and Helen Madigan, with a fairly amusing sex in the cinema staging when they double date to go see the porn hit IT HAPPENED IN Hollywood (and we see film clips from same).

Just as Raucher originally wrote it, Nichols goes off to war and Hunter gets it on with Moon. Cue the soft focus and violins.

SUMMER OF '42 was a big, big hit (standing in line variety) and much of its success was due to the inspired casting of model Jennifer O'Neill in the central role (plus that wonderful Michel Legrand musical score). O'Neill was later a standout in Visconti's THE INNOCENT, but it is this iconic role that places her firmly in movie history, the way Keir Dullea will always be remembered for 2001.

In SUMMER OF LAURA, however, Moon is a blank. She's not very pretty, has a subpar figure, and is limited as an actress. Filmmaker David Davidson needed a true discovery to bowl the fans over, and he came up with a zero. It's not surprising his career went nowhere too.

Young lead actor Hunter is likewise a nonentity, generally wiped off the screen by co-star Edwards in every scene. Obviously in the original film Gary Grimes did a good job but failed to achieve stardom, but there is no comparison here. And to give the minority view, I was a fan in the '70s of Grimes, dutifully attending the films he starred in and enjoying them, including the John Wayne vehicle CAHILL U.S. MARSHALL, the sequel to '42 titled CLASS OF '44, and especially the underrated and forgotten THE SPIKES GANG.

Coming out of the film unscathed is cinematographer Steve Colwell, who I nominate for a retrospective. He shot several Chuck Vincent films before a string of mid-'70s winners, all in the romantic genre and featuring overlapping casts (Edwards is in all four): Vincent's MRS. BARRINGTON, Roberta Findlay's THE CLAMDIGGER'S DAUGHTER, Joe Sarno's CONFESSIONS OF A YOUNG American HOUSEWIFE, and then SUMMER OF LAURA. All have dreamy, atmospheric location photography and would fit together nicely on an adventurous film festival program.


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