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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

When Molly and Johnny are out in the sailboat being tossed by the waves, part of the boat (or platform) the camera is on briefly appears in the lower left of the frame. See more »

Quotes

Helen Jorgenson: [to her daughter] Must you parade before open windows like a... like a stripteaser?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Beatniks (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

Bridal March
(uncredited)
from "Lohengrin"
Composed by Richard Wagner
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Delinquent parents and delinquent children...make a sudsy melodrama...
26 August 2006 | by DoylenfSee all my reviews

Despite being almost overwhelmingly melodramatic when treating the subject of sex in the context of its time, A SUMMER PLACE manages to rise above the soap suds when dealing with mismatched parents and a rekindled love affair (DOROTHY McGUIRE and RICHARD EGAN) that almost destroys everyone's happiness.

It's all very lush looking in magnificent color, a Pine Island resort in Maine photographed principally in Northern California along the Monterey coast. Whenever emotions soar, whether quiet emotions or full throttled ones, Max Steiner's music is there ready to lend a helping hand.

As the teen-aged lovers, SANDRA DEE and TROY DONAHUE are just as photogenic as the landscapes they're photographed against, especially when the color cameras turn their close inspection on the two bronzed, blue-eyed stars. While not quite as photogenic, DOROTHY McGUIRE and RICHARD EGAN are quietly having a love affair of their own which must be kept hidden from their respective spouses until a showdown that leads to a rather satisfying conclusion.

The handsome production values and earnest performances are matched well against Max Steiner's famous score. His "The Theme from A Summer Place" is as gorgeous and popular as ever with soundtrack fans.

A SUMMER PLACE can take its place alongside other handsomely produced soapers of the '50s. CONSTANCE FORD and ARTHUR KENNEDY do very well in strong supporting roles and it's all a bit more substantial than it sounds on paper.

Easy to see why Max Steiner's "Theme from A Summer Place" hit the top of the music charts for a long, long time in the summer of '59.


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