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A Summer Place (1959)

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A self-made businessman rekindles a romance with a former flame while their two teenage children begin a romance of their own with drastic consequences for both couples.

Director:

Delmer Daves

Writers:

Sloan Wilson (novel), Delmer Daves
Reviews
Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Richard Egan ... Ken Jorgenson
Dorothy McGuire ... Sylvia Hunter
Sandra Dee ... Molly Jorgenson
Arthur Kennedy ... Bart Hunter
Troy Donahue ... Johnny Hunter
Constance Ford ... Helen Jorgenson
Beulah Bondi ... Mrs. Emily Hamilton Hamble
Jack Richardson Jack Richardson ... Claude Andrews
Martin Eric Martin Eric ... Todd Harper, Handyman at Pine Island Inn
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Storyline

The Hunter family has long owned a mansion on Pine Island, a summer resort located off the Maine coast. Bart Hunter's now deceased father was able to open the mansion for free when Bart was younger, but current owner Bart, a drunkard and weak man, must now live there year round for financial survival with his wife Sylvia and their late teen-aged son Johnny, the family who are barely able to eke out a living with the mansion now as a year-round inn which is in an extreme state of disrepair. Bart and Sylvia are in a quietly unhappy marriage due largely to Bart's drinking. The Buffalo-based Jorgensons - husband Ken Jorgenson, his wife Helen Jorgenson and their late teen-aged daughter Molly Jorgenson - have rented rooms at the inn for the summer, while Ken looks for a summer house on the island. Ken lived on the island twenty years ago, he actually a working class lifeguard for Bart's father at that time. Ken is now a self-made millionaire as a research scientist, who had never been back ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Sensations...of the Great Best-Seller!

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 November 1959 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Die Sommerinsel See more »

Filming Locations:

Pacific Grove, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

While the events in the original novel take place over about twenty years (including a period where Ken buys a Florida motel and asks Bart and Sylvia to run it in the wintertime, putting them back on solid financial footing), the movie compresses events to a single year. See more »

Goofs

Johnny (Troy Donahue) kisses Molly (Sandra Dee) in the garden with his arms wrapped around hers and hers encircling his lower chest. A close-up shows her arms wrapped around his neck. See more »

Quotes

Molly Jorgenson: They came just in time, we better cool off.
Johnny Hunter: Why?
Molly Jorgenson: Because I'm afraid...
Johnny Hunter: Of me?
Molly Jorgenson: [shakes head no]
Johnny Hunter: Of yourself?
Molly Jorgenson: Yes. That and some other new feelings that I can't explain.
Johnny Hunter: Are you angry because...
Molly Jorgenson: No. We've gotta be good Johnny.
Johnny Hunter: Good... Is it that easy to be good?
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Monty Python's Flying Circus: Intermission (1970) See more »

Soundtracks

Liebestraum
(uncredited)
Composed by Franz Liszt
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

One of the first and best teen love stories ever!!!!!
26 September 2000 | by verna55See all my reviews

This is one of the first films to deal with young love, and is by all means one of the best! The story centers primarily on Molly and Johnny, two teenagers who are deeply, madly, and wildly in love, but their parents just won't have it. It seems their parents are willing to do just about everything to keep them apart. Sandra Dee and Troy Donahue are both magnificent as the star-crossed lovers. All right, so Troy seems a little stilted at times, but Sandra is perfection as the beautiful young girl who constantly finds herself at odds with her eagerness to do the right thing, and fulfilling her love for Donahue. Dee hits all the right marks as the emotionally troubled girl, delivering what is possibly her all-time best performance. It was certainly a breakthrough for the gifted young star who proved that she could do more than play smiling, giggling, relentlessly perky teens. It's a magnificent achievement, and anyone who has ever doubted Sandra's acting abilities are in for a big surprise when they see her in this film. Other acting honors go to Richard Egan and Constance Ford as Dee's unhappy parents, and the always marvellous Dorothy McGuire as Egan's old flame. That's not to say that the actors don't stumble at times with some supremely silly dialogue, but their star power and great talent rides rather smoothly over the film's bumpy spots, making this film an enjoyable classic of the teenage-angst genre. It's also one of the most stylishly done films in the genre. The great director Delmer Daves gives the film his full attention, and it's a sleek, colorful production that ranks right up there with other films with similarly-related themes like REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE and SPLENDOR IN THE GRASS for example. It all may seem rather dated, but truthfully, this film is just as enjoyable now as it was when it was first released in 1959, and that title theme is still hauntingly beautiful and memorable.


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