Reviews

  • Jul 16, 2021

    I think of A Summer Place as a precursor of The Graduate. A Summer Place (1959) came out in the last years of the Production Code Administration and The Graduate (1967) was released in 1968, the first year of the Rating System. Even so Summer Place dealt with infidelity and teen pregnancy. Todd's mother (Silvia) and Molly's father (Ken) rekindle their love affair from decades ago when he was a life guard on Pine Island "the Summer Place". Back then Silvia's grandfather operated a hotel as a swank resort in contrast to the dilapidated place it has become. Ken and Silvia divorce their current partners. Todd gets Molly pregnant and they run and try unsuccessfully to get married. They are rejected for not being able to prove they are of age. They eventually go to Ken and Silvias' new home - designed by none other than Frank Lloyd Wright (who's home wasn't in 1950s America), where they are welcomed with open arms. In the last scene they land on Pine Island where they declare they have redeemed themselves in the eyes of society, their parents and God; Paradise is restored...I suspect a condition demanded by the Breen office for certification. Not until the Graduate could Ben have sex with Mrs. Robinson and her daughter Elaine. The ending is inglorious, Ben plucks Elaine from the altar and they flee to a bus where they sit in silence to "The Sounds of Silence", as the bus speeds away. A Summer place ended with closure while The Graduate posed a question; one for which Ben and Elaine had to find an answer. Nevertheless taken as a product of its time A Summer Place is in nice viewing

    I think of A Summer Place as a precursor of The Graduate. A Summer Place (1959) came out in the last years of the Production Code Administration and The Graduate (1967) was released in 1968, the first year of the Rating System. Even so Summer Place dealt with infidelity and teen pregnancy. Todd's mother (Silvia) and Molly's father (Ken) rekindle their love affair from decades ago when he was a life guard on Pine Island "the Summer Place". Back then Silvia's grandfather operated a hotel as a swank resort in contrast to the dilapidated place it has become. Ken and Silvia divorce their current partners. Todd gets Molly pregnant and they run and try unsuccessfully to get married. They are rejected for not being able to prove they are of age. They eventually go to Ken and Silvias' new home - designed by none other than Frank Lloyd Wright (who's home wasn't in 1950s America), where they are welcomed with open arms. In the last scene they land on Pine Island where they declare they have redeemed themselves in the eyes of society, their parents and God; Paradise is restored...I suspect a condition demanded by the Breen office for certification. Not until the Graduate could Ben have sex with Mrs. Robinson and her daughter Elaine. The ending is inglorious, Ben plucks Elaine from the altar and they flee to a bus where they sit in silence to "The Sounds of Silence", as the bus speeds away. A Summer place ended with closure while The Graduate posed a question; one for which Ben and Elaine had to find an answer. Nevertheless taken as a product of its time A Summer Place is in nice viewing

  • Nov 24, 2019

    Themes of Sex, infidelity, and relationships holds up well after 60 yrs. Realistic romantic soap that has some fantastic performances. Most notably, Richard Egan.(Sandra's Father) is fantastic.Drags in certain spots. But, the performances compensate. Sandra Dee is flat out adorable. Troy Donahue is typically forgettable and does his best impersonation of a ken doll. Enjoyed it a lot more than I expected.

    Themes of Sex, infidelity, and relationships holds up well after 60 yrs. Realistic romantic soap that has some fantastic performances. Most notably, Richard Egan.(Sandra's Father) is fantastic.Drags in certain spots. But, the performances compensate. Sandra Dee is flat out adorable. Troy Donahue is typically forgettable and does his best impersonation of a ken doll. Enjoyed it a lot more than I expected.

  • Jul 12, 2019

    You can certainly tell this is a Warner Brothers movie. It has no gloss or polish to it. The script is a mess and obvious plot contrivances are not even attempted to be explained. The beautiful theme music that came out of this film is only in the adolescent stage here. The music director did not take advantage of making this song more powerful, like any good scorer would. Percy Faith and the Lettermen charted in the top ten with this theme, taken directly from the movie, arranged brilliantly, and then performed by dozens of additional artists. Warner Brothers missed every opportunity to stay realistic with a plot that was already so heavily tilted toward soap opera. MGM of 1950 could have produced an epic with this because the talent existed behind the screen to make the movie into something special. WB just soaped it for all it was worth and ran with it. Jack Warner wanted profits. He did not care about quality or longevity. Its puzzling how such a bad movie is still shown and remembered, but the theme inherent in the book was one that needed to be heard in 1959 into the sixties. It was very topical. Most any other major studio would have done such a better job with this project than Warners. It's really too bad -- this has all the bones of a great movie. Instead we get average to slightly above average.

    You can certainly tell this is a Warner Brothers movie. It has no gloss or polish to it. The script is a mess and obvious plot contrivances are not even attempted to be explained. The beautiful theme music that came out of this film is only in the adolescent stage here. The music director did not take advantage of making this song more powerful, like any good scorer would. Percy Faith and the Lettermen charted in the top ten with this theme, taken directly from the movie, arranged brilliantly, and then performed by dozens of additional artists. Warner Brothers missed every opportunity to stay realistic with a plot that was already so heavily tilted toward soap opera. MGM of 1950 could have produced an epic with this because the talent existed behind the screen to make the movie into something special. WB just soaped it for all it was worth and ran with it. Jack Warner wanted profits. He did not care about quality or longevity. Its puzzling how such a bad movie is still shown and remembered, but the theme inherent in the book was one that needed to be heard in 1959 into the sixties. It was very topical. Most any other major studio would have done such a better job with this project than Warners. It's really too bad -- this has all the bones of a great movie. Instead we get average to slightly above average.

  • Jun 04, 2018

    At the dawn of America's sexual awakening, two couples' secret affairs parallel each other passions and regrets in a totalitarian culture of staid morales. Steiner's phenomenal score envelopes the whole in a romantically cautionary blanket.

    At the dawn of America's sexual awakening, two couples' secret affairs parallel each other passions and regrets in a totalitarian culture of staid morales. Steiner's phenomenal score envelopes the whole in a romantically cautionary blanket.

  • Mar 18, 2018

    Sloan Wilson made some serious money for the movie rights to this film (from his popular book). However, he didn't like the movie treatment at all. He was hired as a sort of 'advisor' to the film, mostly to help Daves with his treatment (which condensed the book from over 20 to 1 year). Although his 'Man In The Gray Flannel Suit' was a massive hit and critics favorite Wilson never recovered from the personal hit his career took after 'Summer Place'. Which is sad. He was a fine chronicler of the upper crust of America post WW II and managed to turn their lives into something of interest to the rest of us. Wilson spent the rest of his career writing about very similar subjects/topics but was never able to recapture the great success of his first two major efforts. Many of his fans, after seeing this move, felt like saying 'say it ain't so Sloan'. Wilson did return to with 'Man In The Gray Flannel Suit II' in 1984, a 30-year gap. He never returned to 'A Summer Place'.

    Sloan Wilson made some serious money for the movie rights to this film (from his popular book). However, he didn't like the movie treatment at all. He was hired as a sort of 'advisor' to the film, mostly to help Daves with his treatment (which condensed the book from over 20 to 1 year). Although his 'Man In The Gray Flannel Suit' was a massive hit and critics favorite Wilson never recovered from the personal hit his career took after 'Summer Place'. Which is sad. He was a fine chronicler of the upper crust of America post WW II and managed to turn their lives into something of interest to the rest of us. Wilson spent the rest of his career writing about very similar subjects/topics but was never able to recapture the great success of his first two major efforts. Many of his fans, after seeing this move, felt like saying 'say it ain't so Sloan'. Wilson did return to with 'Man In The Gray Flannel Suit II' in 1984, a 30-year gap. He never returned to 'A Summer Place'.

  • Mar 11, 2016

    An over-long, soap opera style film with some bad acting but memorable music. The "good" characters (Sylvia Hunter, John Hunter, Ken Jorgenson and Molly Jorgenson) must look perfect and have perfect hair, with barely a strand out of place. When Molly and Johnny get into strife on the sailing boat, Molly (Sandra Dee) seems more concerned about keeping her bleached and permed hair in place than saving herself or Johnny. The romance between Johnny and Molly is poorly developed and, as the characters have little chance to get to know each other as people, is based more on lust than love. Their subsequent marriage, brought on by Molly's pregnancy, is justified in the film because Molly's father and Johnny's mother apparently had a similar romance together in their youth, and lived through two decades of misery by marrying other partners whom they did not love . With the exaggerated lines and sometimes wooden acting performances (Arthur Kennedy being a notable exception), the film is more like the first few episodes of a soap opera than a movie. I could easily imagine it continuing on the island when Molly has the baby and Johnny's eyes wander. Nevertheless, in terms of the controversial themes it touches on, it is more indicative of the '60s than the '50s, and thus ahead of its time.

    An over-long, soap opera style film with some bad acting but memorable music. The "good" characters (Sylvia Hunter, John Hunter, Ken Jorgenson and Molly Jorgenson) must look perfect and have perfect hair, with barely a strand out of place. When Molly and Johnny get into strife on the sailing boat, Molly (Sandra Dee) seems more concerned about keeping her bleached and permed hair in place than saving herself or Johnny. The romance between Johnny and Molly is poorly developed and, as the characters have little chance to get to know each other as people, is based more on lust than love. Their subsequent marriage, brought on by Molly's pregnancy, is justified in the film because Molly's father and Johnny's mother apparently had a similar romance together in their youth, and lived through two decades of misery by marrying other partners whom they did not love . With the exaggerated lines and sometimes wooden acting performances (Arthur Kennedy being a notable exception), the film is more like the first few episodes of a soap opera than a movie. I could easily imagine it continuing on the island when Molly has the baby and Johnny's eyes wander. Nevertheless, in terms of the controversial themes it touches on, it is more indicative of the '60s than the '50s, and thus ahead of its time.

  • Apr 11, 2015

    This movie must have been scandalous to confront adultery and teenage pregnancies. But it was thought provoking.

    This movie must have been scandalous to confront adultery and teenage pregnancies. But it was thought provoking.

  • Mar 09, 2015

    Troy Donahue & Sandra Dee. Great romance flick.

    Troy Donahue & Sandra Dee. Great romance flick.

  • Dec 31, 2014

    A Summer Place is shot a lot like one of my favorite movies of all time Swiss Family Robinson. Sadly it does not live up to the level of excellence set by the Disney classic. Even so, A Summer Place has its moments. It is clearly a chick flick to end all chick flicks. Its also surprisingly inappropriate for the time period. I will say that it kept me entertained. Worth a rent at best

    A Summer Place is shot a lot like one of my favorite movies of all time Swiss Family Robinson. Sadly it does not live up to the level of excellence set by the Disney classic. Even so, A Summer Place has its moments. It is clearly a chick flick to end all chick flicks. Its also surprisingly inappropriate for the time period. I will say that it kept me entertained. Worth a rent at best

  • Mar 23, 2014

    as I was watching it, I started chuckling at the dialogue, then realized when I was that age that is the way we spoke about love, family, responsibility,we it was not of lust, manipulation, adultery, we did have values and lived by them, what happened, even to me?

    as I was watching it, I started chuckling at the dialogue, then realized when I was that age that is the way we spoke about love, family, responsibility,we it was not of lust, manipulation, adultery, we did have values and lived by them, what happened, even to me?