Summer of '42 (1971) - Rotten Tomatoes

Summer of '42 (1971)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Summer of '42 Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

A surprise success in 1971 ($20 million worth of "surprise"), The Summer of '42 is a coming-of-age piece, drenched in nostalgia. Director Robert Mulligan narrates the film as the grown-up counterpart of Hermie (Gary Grimes), a teenager of the War Years who has a crush on twentyish Jennifer O'Neill. With O'Neill's soldier husband off to war, Grimes convinces himself that he can take hubby's place in every way. O'Neill is amused by Grimes' attentions (confined to doing chores and carrying her groceries), but never thinks of him in sexual terms. And then, O'Neill's husband is killed in battle. Herman Raucher based his intensely nostalgic script on his own experience, going so far as to use the real names of past acquaintances (including the Jennifer O'Neill counterpart) as character names in his screenplay. An Academy Award went to Michel LeGrand's evocative musical score. Summer of '42 was later novelized by Raucher, then followed up on screen by the less effective Class of 44.more
Rating: PG
Genre: Drama, Romance, Classics, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Herman Raucher
In Theaters:
On DVD: Feb 5, 2002


Lou Frizzell
as Druggist
Walter Scott
as Dorothy's Husband
Maureen Stapleton
as Hermie's Mother
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Summer of '42

Critic Reviews for Summer of '42

All Critics (22) | Top Critics (4)

Summer of '42 has a large amount of charm and tenderness; it also has little dramatic economy and much eye-exhausting photography which translates to forced and artificial emphasis on a strungout story.

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Top Critic

It forever misses, unlike American Graffiti, the heady sexual climate of adolescence to concentrate on the circumstances of the sex act itself.

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

"Summer of '42" is a memory movie, written, directed and acted with such uncommon good humor that I don't think you'll be put off by its sweet soft-focus, at least until you start analyzing it afterwards.

Full Review… | May 9, 2005
New York Times
Top Critic

Nostalgia is used as a distancing device -- to keep us safely insulated from the boy's immediate grief, love, and passion.

Full Review… | October 23, 2004
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

People who actually recall 1942 will more greatly appreciate the waves of nostalgia that bathe this affectionate coming-of-age drama, set on a tiny island off New England.

Full Review… | June 9, 2011
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Visually lyrical film romance also has problems with dubious views on teen sexuality.

Full Review… | January 4, 2011
Classic Film and Television

Audience Reviews for Summer of '42

Very good romance :)

Cassie Hill

Super Reviewer


Sorry, but I couldn't help but laugh. It was such a different time... WOW!

Leigh Ryan

Super Reviewer

Good film.

Leo L

Super Reviewer

Summer of '42 Quotes

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