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Summer of '42 (1971)

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During his summer vacation on Nantucket Island in 1942, a youth eagerly awaiting his first sexual encounter finds himself developing an innocent love for a young woman awaiting news on her soldier husband's fate in WWII.

Director:

Robert Mulligan

Writer:

Herman Raucher
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Popularity
3,304 ( 4,766)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Jennifer O'Neill ... Dorothy
Gary Grimes ... Hermie
Jerry Houser ... Oscy
Oliver Conant Oliver Conant ... Benjie
Katherine Allentuck Katherine Allentuck ... Aggie
Christopher Norris ... Miriam
Lou Frizzell Lou Frizzell ... Druggist
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Storyline

Silent as a painting, the movie shows us day-dreamer Hermie and his friends Oscy and Benjie spending the summer of '42 on an US island with their parents - rather unaffected by WWII. While Oscy's main worries are the when and how of getting laid, Hermie honestly falls in love with the older Dorothy, who's married to an army pilot. When her husband returns to the front, Hermie shyly approaches her. Written by Bob Dawson <dawsonb@lfs.loral.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

If you think you're too old to enjoy this teenage love story you were never young. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 April 1971 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Summer of '42 See more »

Filming Locations:

Fort Bragg, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

In this film, there is no name for the druggist played by Lou Frizzell. But in the book "Summer of '42", it is revealed that the name of the druggist is Mr. Sanders. In the trailer for the film, Oscy', while looking at pictures in the anatomy book and discussing taking those kinds of pictures and how they would process them says to Hermie: "Come on, what drug stores would develop 'em? If we took film like that to Old Man Sanders we'd be put in reform school." See more »

Goofs

A modern bridge and vehicles can be seen outside the drugstore window near the greeting cards rack. It is also seen when Hermie and Oscy are conversing outside the drugstore. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Narrator: [voice-over] When I was 15 and my family came to the island for the summer, there weren't as many houses or people as they are now. The geography of the island and the singularity of the sea were far more noticeable then. And if a guy wasn't to die of loneliness, this family made certain that other families from his neighborhood contributed other kids to the island. Present with me in the summer of '42 were Oscy, my best friend. And Benji, my next best friend. We called ourselves ...
See more »

Connections

Referenced in My Secret Identity: The Video Connection (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

Theme from Summer of '42
(The Summer Knows)
Composed by Michel Legrand
Played several times throughout the film
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A work of art that seems to grow only finer with the passing of time.
11 July 2004 | by HoldenSparkSee all my reviews

Oh. My. God.

What a stunning piece of craftsmanship. A masterpiece. Such innocence. Such humanity. Such wisdom. Such truth. Such is the need to touch the soul of another, and such is the need to seek comfort. Yet tenderness risks so much. Oh to be tender again. Yet who could bear it again?

I remember when I was eight years old and I remember what a splash this movie made. I don't really recall that I was told or even understood why, and of course I wasn't taken to see it at that age, at that time, when it was common to keep children ignorant of much they are not today. I'm not sure now that it wasn't the craving of the parents to let themselves drown in the strangeness that is naivety prolonged too long for the sake of innocence itself rather than some strange desire to protect their children from things the children could already begin to feel within themselves but were not allowed to mention or ask about.

Though the latter is, even today, what is trumpeted about as the reason for shielding children from things they might not be ready for, I'm beginning to wonder if it isn't really the parents who are just protecting themselves, trying to squeeze out more childhood days from their children for the parents to enjoy before they must finally release their darling children into the fray that tides upon the whims of nature and destiny.

This movie came out in 1971. Tonight they played it late on our local PBS station here in Dallas. I'd never seen it and not thought about renting it and watching it in all these 33 years since then.

One might say it is simply about a couple of 15 year old boys coming of age. But it is more than that. So much more. In fact, without question, it is about the human condition itself.

This is a movie about sex, no doubt about that either. But a movie of a kind that I don't think I've ever seen before. Everyone should see this film. Everyone.

If you live alone, see it and feel your own soul's needs. If you live with someone, see it together and draw him or her close.

Above all, when it is over, you will find yourself remembering and feeling that rarest of all feelings, true tenderness.

The young men should have received acclaim for their performances , and without question so too should have the woman.

For she was woman, every woman.


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