A Summer Place (1959) Poster


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  • Buffalo (New York) self-made millionaire Ken Jorgenson (Richard Egan), wife Helen (Constance Ford), and teenage daughter Molly (Sandra Dee) vacation on Pine Island, Maine at a resort where Ken once worked 20 years ago as a lifeguard. Stuck in an unhappy marriage, Ken resumes a relationship with Sylvia Hunter (Dorothy McGuire), also unhappily married to the owner of the island, Bart Hunter (Arthur Kennedy). Equally unhappy about her parents' arguing, Molly (Sandra Dee) finds solace in the arms of the Hunters' teenage son Johnny (Troy Donahue). Edit (Coming Soon)

  • A Summer Place is also a 1958 novel by American author Sloan Wilson. The novel was adapted for the movie by American film-maker Delmer Daves, who also directed the movie. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • In the book, Molly is 13 when they first meet and Johnny is 16. Her age is not revealed in the film. However, there are some clues. When Molly is telling Johnny how she learned to kiss, she mentions that she was a sophomore in high school, which would make her at least 15. A year after meeting on the island, she and Johnny are refused a marriage license because they're underage, which would make Molly 17 at the most, since 18 is the typical age at which a girl can marry without parental consent. Best guess is that Molly is 16 at the beginning of the movie and 17 at the end. Incidentally, Dee was 17 and Donahue was 23 when the movie was released. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • The house used for the Pine Island Inn in Maine is a Victorian on the northwest corner of Lighthouse Avenue and 17 Mile Drive in Pacific Grove, California. Known as the LaPorte House, it's right across the street from Lighthouse Elementary School and does not sit right next to the water as it appears in the film. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • When Helen first sees their suite at the inn, she tells Bart that it is 'très jolie' (very pretty), and Bart replies, 'Votre approbation touche mon coeur' (your approval touches my heart). Edit (Coming Soon)

  • You heard 'wright' when Sylvia says, 'Frank Lloyd Wright designed our house.' Known as the Walker House, it was designed and built by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1948. It is located on the beach side of Scenic Road on Monterey Bay in Carmel, California. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • Johnny hitches a ride to Briarwood, and he and Molly decide to get married. Johnny pawns Molly's mink coat and buys an old car so that they can drive to Maine and seek out his father's help. Bart is not sympathetic, however, and is about to leave for the naval hospital in Boston because his ulcers are 'out of control' due to his drinking. Consequently, they drive to a Justice of the Peace. The J.P. refuses to marry them until they can produce birth certificates. With no other options, Johnny suggests that they get a cheap motel room, but Molly suggests they sleep in the car. The next morning, they head for Ken's house. Meanwhile, Bart has telephoned Helen with the news that Molly is pregnant and that she and Johnny have run away together, and Helen has telephoned Ken, so Ken and Sylvia are waiting when Molly and Johnny drive up. They agree to help because, as Sylvia puts it, 'We live in a glass house...we're not throwing any stones.' In the final scene, Johnny and Molly arrive at Pine Island, newly married and ready to take over the inn, but not until after they kiss on the dock 'in front of God and everyone.' Edit (Coming Soon)


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