Summer of '42 (1971)
Average Rating: 6.7/10
Reviews Counted: 22
Fresh: 17 | Rotten: 5
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 4
Fresh: 1 | Rotten: 3
Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 2,629
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
Apr 30, 1971 Wide
Feb 5, 2002
WARNER BROTHERS PICTURES
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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.
It forever misses, unlike American Graffiti, the heady sexual climate of adolescence to concentrate on the circumstances of the sex act itself.
"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.
Nostalgia is used as a distancing device -- to keep us safely insulated from the boy's immediate grief, love, and passion.
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.
Visually lyrical film romance also has problems with dubious views on teen sexuality.
In the early hijinks phase, the film seems like a dry run for Porky's, but it later gets into the business of fluttering curtains, walks on sandy beaches and longing glances.
"Summer Of '42" is an unforgettable meditation on sexual awakening and loss during WWII.
One of the cinematic coming-of-age stories that started a trend.
The interaction between Grimes and his teenage co-stars - the sharp, crude Houser and the more innocent Conant - is engaging, and the spare, uncluttered soundtrack is recompense for Mulligan's overblown visuals.
Dates very badly indeed
It's apparent in every scene that this is a highly personal film for screenwriter Raucher, and the nostalgia is so palpable that it nearly slides off the screen.
Audience Reviews for Summer of '42
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