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An American Summer (1990)

PG | | Comedy, Drama | 14 June 1991 (USA)
Divorcing Chicago parents send their only son to live with his aunt in Los Angeles for the summer, where he befriends a local, learns to surf, gets a girlfriend, and witnesses a murder.


James Slocum


James Slocum

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Landes ... Tom
Brian Austin Green ... Fin
Joanna Kerns ... Aunt Sunny
Amber Susa ... Traci
Sherrié Austin ... Cari (as Sherrie Krenn)
Wayne Pére ... Rockman (as Wayne Pere)
Tony Crane ... Bo
Brian Krause ... Joey
Ashley Hackert Ashley Hackert ... Amber
Nick Benedict Nick Benedict ... Mr. Finley
John Chaidez John Chaidez ... Dave Hartle
Andrew Divoff ... Dode
John Zarchen ... Surfing Judge
Nathan Fletcher Nathan Fletcher ... Mongo
Chance Boyer Chance Boyer ... Kusick


Tom moves to California to his aunt's house. There he meets Fin, who teaches him how to surf and be just a regular "California kid." This movie follows the book "Tom Sawyer." They even have to catch a character like Injun Joe. Written by Dan Feinberg <danfein@locke.ccil.org>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama



Parents Guide:

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English | Italian | French

Release Date:

14 June 1991 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Amerykanskie lato See more »

Filming Locations:

California, USA See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



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Did You Know?


Feature directorial debut for James Slocum. See more »


Aunt Sunny: I don't know what's happening to this world. Now, suddenly, we have the "me" decade, and this country is worshipping John Travolta prancing around to disco. It's as if Bob Dylan were never born.
Tom Travis: [sincerely] Who's Bob Dylan?
See more »


In My World
Written by Russell James Rivers
Performed by Great Rivers of the World
See more »

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User Reviews

Color me Puked!
3 March 2004 | by vertigo_14See all my reviews

An American Summer seems pretty stupid when you watch it. Oh god, it is so horribly trite and nauseously sentimental, it strains the eyes and ears to continue watching it. Yet, there is something entertaining about it.

The story is stupid, based on the stories of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn (it is no coincidence that the characters are named 'Tom' and 'Finn', the Tom's aunt is named 'Sally,' or that they must escape a crazy attacker much like 'Enjun Joe' in Twain's novel.

Except this turns an already lame teen film into an even more ridiculous story. Sure, Tom is sent to live with his aunt for the summer, and then makes friends with a beach local named Finn. That's cool. Finn teaches him to surf, introduces him to the local girls, and they get into a bit of trouble in that boys-will-be-boys kind of pasttime. But, then you have that part modeling 'Enjun Joe,' where Tom and Finn witness this crazy drunk stab a guy at some gas station. The way he gets away and is all nervous one night and then totally cool for the rest of the week is not only stupid, but a hard pitfall to get past, especially when you're only trying to draw up that suspense at intermittent and often annoying points of the film.

I can't tell you how lame the dialogue, nevermind the entire movie really is. But, you might find yourself willing to wade through so many of those bumps in the road if you like Brian Austin Green, Brain Krause (he plays the obnoxious life guard), Michael Landen, or movies of the late 80s/early 90s no matter how idiotic they are.

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