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.


Delmer Daves


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





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


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 which is 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


The Sensations...of the Great Best-Seller! See more »


Drama | Romance


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Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


The telephone operator asks for an additional two dollars for a three minute continuation of the long distance call between Johnny and Molly. This equates to about $34.50 in 2017, which accurately depicts the cost of long distance telephone calls at the time. They were expensive and rare for the average citizen. See more »


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 »


Helen Jorgenson: Get that disinfectant bag and clean this bathroom. Don't forget the toilet seat.
Molly Jorgenson: I'm... I'm sure everything's clean, mother.
Helen Jorgenson: You can never be too sure.
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Referenced in An Education (2009) See more »


Composed by Franz Liszt
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User Reviews

A true "guilty pleasure" and actually contains some lovely inspirations
11 October 2015 | by ellenakamuraSee all my reviews

I grew up in Monterey and I recognized a half dozen of the filming locations for this well-loved and enduring movie--most which have been identified in other postings. I'd like to add that the "private girls" school Molly is attending is, in reality, the Monterey City Hall (I obtained my Social Security card there in 1965). The used car lot Johnnie walks out of is really the parking lot of the key making store (whose sign Johnnie walks under) that was there until the 1980s on Pearl Street. The stunning Frank Lloyd Wright home is easily seen on Scenic Drive in Carmel to this day. The owners could not obtain house insurance for years because of the crashing waves that sometimes flow over the house.

The sunset/evening "watch" for the boat and stranded young lovers is filmed next to the famous "Witch Tree" at 17-Mile Drive which is very dilapidated now, but still recognizable. I used to ride my horse near one of the trails there. Where the boat crashes is right off the Carmel Highlands and can be seen today from certain cliffs.

As admirers of this movie will recall--there are truer-than-true phrases in this movie: Ken and Sylvia swear they will love each other through "all the winters all of our lives" and that "the only reason for being alive is to love and be loved" and "I love you too much to speak"and that "learned love that counts for everything" and "love and humor on your side--these are the weapons of the angels". All the characters are "arch-types" who advance the story lines---but really, haven't we all met certain people who are like these?

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Release Date:

18 November 1959 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Summer Place See more »

Filming Locations:

Pacific Grove, California, USA See more »


Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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