Saturday, March 28, 2009

Summer of '42 (1971) [PG] ****

Hermie (Gary Grimes) and his friends Oscy and Benjie are teenagers spending their summer vacation on Cape Cod's Nantucket Island, in 1942. The grown-up world is at war, but for these boys, the focus is love not war, and the mysteries of the opposite sex.

Eagerly looking forward to his first sexual encounter, Hermie finds himself falling in love with an older woman Dorothy (Jennifer O'Neill), the lovely, young wife of an Army Air Corps pilot. When her husband goes back to war, Dorothy and Hermie form a gentle bond of friendship and mutual support, but when she receives the tragic news of her husband's fate, Dorothy reaches out to Hermie to console her.

[Blogger's comment:] This is a tender, sensitively-crafted film that has the power to reconnect us with the memories of our own youthful emotional and sexual yearnings. Personally, having been born in the summer of '42 while the world was at war, and having spent many summers on Cape Cod during the 1940s and 1950s, this poignant, bittersweet romance resonates especially strongly within me.

Labels: comedy, drama, romance, teenager, tragedy, war, WWII

Internet Movie Database
RottenTomatoes Averages (critics=67, viewers=72)

Official Jennifer O’Neill Website

Summer of '42 - Music by Michel Legrand; video of Jennifer O'Neill
Theme from "Summer of '42" (The Summer Knows)

A sequel to Summer of '42 was released two years later, in 1973. It was titled Class of '44 and reunited Hermie, Oscy and Benjie as they graduated from high school. The sequel was mediocre and is not worth your time.

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