Saturday, March 28, 2009

A Summer Place (1959) [UR] ****

A Summer Place takes us on a journey back to a more innocent time... a brief period of peace and tranquility between the Korean War and the Vietnam War, a time when our anxieties about the world receded into the background and we were able to focus on our personal lives, our hopes and dreams for the future. Sadly, the film's stars have all since passed away... Sandra Dee, Troy Donahue, Dorothy McGuire, Richard Egan, Arthur Kennedy and Constance Ford. And, yet, feelings of nostalgia well up as I watch their faces, hear their voices, listen to the theme song and enjoy the ocean scenery, because the sights and sounds reawaken old memories and connect me with a time in my past that I miss very much.

A Summer Place was released in 1959, the year I graduated from high school in Santa Barbara, California. I remember that summer of my youth, and the summers that followed, as a time of warm sunny days, sandy beaches, salty air and fresh ocean surf. And I remember the cool summer evenings spent parking at the beach, cruising State Street, watching a movie at the Fox Arlington Theater, or enjoying burgers, fries and shakes at the Blue Onion Drive-In. But most of all I remember the anticipation, the joy and the heartache of young summer love, the real-life version of Sandra Dee and Troy Donahue's larger-than-life on-screen romance. A Summer Place recalls a time that existed briefly, but has gone forever. We can never go back, but we can watch the film and remember how wonderful it was. If you enjoyed Peggy Sue Got Married or Pleasantville then you will probably enjoy A Summer Place.

Labels: drama, Fifties, romance, teenager
Internet Movie Database
RottenTomatoes Averages (critics=60, viewers=76)

Theme from A Summer Place - Henry Mancini

Theme from A Summer Place - Percy Faith

Rewind the Fifties Nostalgia Website

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