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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.




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Cast overview, first billed only:
Cari (as Sherrie Krenn)
Rockman (as Wayne Pere)
Ashley Hackert ...
Nick Benedict ...
Mr. Finley
John Chaidez ...
Dave Hartle
John Zarchen ...
Surfing Judge
Nathan Fletcher ...
Chance Boyer ...


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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Release Date:

14 June 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Amerykanskie lato  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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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 »


Get Down Tonight
Written by Harry Wayne Casey and Richard Finch
Performed by KC & The Sunshine Band
See more »

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User Reviews

A Lovely Adventure
26 May 2013 | by See all my reviews

Wow,I could not disagree more with the other reviewers. This was a clean, sweet story of a pubescent summer adventure. The only weird thing is that it seems that the male actors were actually well past puberty. Their voices were pretty high and their builds very slight but the IMDb info. indicates that they were considerably older than what they were playing. Oh well. Maybe they were late bloomers in real life. I think the girls were actually a bit older than them too.

The violence, profanity, and sexuality were mild. I wouldn't recommend it to a religious Christian, but a person accustomed to the wildly violent and pornographic nature of modern films would be bored to tears.

The kid had the kind of summer that most guys that age dream of. He went to an exotic location, met new friends, learned life lessons, became a hero, fell in love, faced adversity, and conquered all.

As for the Tom Sawyer parallels...it never even entered my mind. I give others credit for noticing. But so what? Does that detract from the enjoyment? I saw it on Netflix and it frequently faded to black before plot progressions. I think the minor profanity was dubbed out too. Maybe Netflix bought it from T.V.

It was interesting to see Brian Austin Green and Michael Landes when they were so young. Joanna Kerns was a big star at that time due to her role on T.V.'s Growing Pains. The dark haired girl is a successful singer and songwriter in Nashville now.

Don't analyze the plot too closely. It's an innocent teenage, summer adventure flick with a pleasing message, an attractive setting, and appealing young actors in the early stage of their careers.

Just enjoy it. It will be especially pleasing to someone in the age bracket of the characters. But we were all there at some point.

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