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Five Summer Stories

43 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Heralded as "the finest surf movie ever made," Five Summer Stories is a cultural icon, a time capsule from a watershed era when the world was at a critical crossroads and its reflection was clear in the emerging sport/art of surfing. Against a backdrop of the Vietnam War and the Nixon years, Five Summer Stories was the culmination of the joint surf-film careers of Jim Freeman and Greg MacGillivray. Code named "The Last Surfing Movie" during production, the movie portrays a young, outlaw sport at a strategic point in its creative evolution - and at an historic crux in time. Now you, too, can do what audiences of the 1970's did - you hoot and scream and go crazy - all in the privacy of your own home.


Product Details

  • Producers: Greg MacGillivray, Jim Freeman
  • Region: All Regions
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Studio: MacGillivray Freeman Films
  • Run Time: 94 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000FCE2IY
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #58,966 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
I've heard so much about Jim Freeman and Greg MacGillivray's (the founder of IMAX) film "Five Summer Stories" (and "Sunshine Sea ") many times from fellow surfers and before it was released in DVD, I'll admit seeing the VHS at various surf shop for years but I always found myself using the money towards surf wax or new boardshorts because what people were selling were these expensive limited edition signed sets and so I passed.

Flash forward many years later and it's been gnawing in the back of my mind that I still haven't seen the film yet and so, I drove to my local surf shop and picked up "Five Summer Stories" on DVD.

I've heard about how this film was one of the first major budget films as it was the first film on stereo, it was the first film that paid a surfer (Gerry Lopez) for appearing in the film and how this film literally packed theaters who just loved the surfing, seeing popular surfers from the '70s and also from the past just showing off their passion and also music by the Beach Boys and Honk.

Having watched the DVD again for I don't know how many times since I bought it, I figured that I might as well type up a review on my thoughts of the film.

The film is titled "Five Summer Stories" and features various stories somewhat broken down in five categories. The first story titled " A Hawaiian Odyssey" featuring Hawaii in 1972 and various surfers in Hawaii at various locations such as the North Shore, Sunset, Waikiki. From shots of the various activities in the 1970's, from people in Hawaii at events, to ladies in bikinis and even a young Laird Hamilton at the age of 10.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By J. C. Fraga on May 17, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
One of the best surf films I have seen and, for the first time it was a little more than 30 years ago. Gerry Lopez at his best, Jeff Hackman at Sunset, lots of frames that make me go back to old issues of The Surfer. Action, sense of humour, skateboard action, good soundtrack, magic footage by Greenough... Even today a collector's piece and enjoyed by surfers that were not born when 5 Summer Stories were "told" on the screens around the world.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Kellen Hutchison on August 6, 2007
Format: DVD
As a surf shop manager, I see most everyone surf video that comes out, and yet this is still my absolute favorite. The fact is this video perfected the surf medium; good pacing, varied location, small bits of humor, and absolutely phenomenal music.
I've seen this movie hundreds of times, and yet it never gets old. Buy this, even someone who doesn't surf can still enjoy it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Bus Man on April 23, 2011
Format: DVD
This re-release is not the original movie, but then again it is!! I was dissapointed to not find it in the original form that the jacket cover suggests it to be . That said, I was 'there'(Huntington Beach Surf Theatre) when this movie came out and it was followed by 5 Summer Stories Plus 1, ..then 5 S S Plus 2..etc.. I think they got up to about ' 5 SS Plus 4 ' or so, I lost track ! This ' Version' is a carefully crafted montage of 'all' the 5 Summer Story films.... Yes I want the ' first / original 'un mixed' version too !' This should be titled something like 5 Summer Stories the Mixed Chronicles.. but that might confuse 'Spicoli' so guess they kept it simple and figured many were too buzzed to know the difference this many years later... LOL.. Still, lots of stoke and it's the closest thing you can get to that point in time and day ... many good memories. P.S. Buy the Honk CD for the best Honk tunes that were in the original release of the movie, much cleaner studio recordings, especially of the tune, Pipeline Sequence.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Calvin E. Clack on January 30, 2011
Format: DVD
Saw the original release in Seal Beach during quarter break from Cal Poly. Waited some twenty plus years for it to be released on VHS. Simply, it is the best surf movie ever recorded. Sometimes I will play it for the sound track alone, but catching glimpse of the surf photography from time to time. This is the one all should be judged by.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Whamo on December 31, 2008
Format: DVD
I was lucky enough to catch this movie in Laguna when it was new. Corky Carroll, David Nuuiwha, Mike Hopps, Rocky (thanks for the ride home, bro), and a crowd of hooting locals watched it. Honk produced a thumping soundtrack in sync with the action, the beat punctuated with saxophone; the intervals pulsing with piano. Gerry Lopez captured the imagination of the surfing world in this movie. A dozen copy-cat movies would follow. Everybody started riding seven-six pintails at California beach breaks hoping to emulate Gerry. Mac/Freeman got rich off this movie as they re-released it or toured the surf movie circuit with it again and again, with updated versions. It was really popular.

I especially enjoyed the insightful commentary by the likes of Dru Harrison (a really hot South Bay surfer that passed a few years ago, RIP), Drew Kampion (one of the few surfing writers with any literary talent), and Chuck Dent (an anti-hero of the highest order). Some of the sixties (which lasted until 1973) philosophy seems dated today, but most of resonates truth. The surfing seems stiff and simple, compared to the manuevers done today, but it was state of the art at the time. My old surfing buddy, Mike Hopps, for example, shown on 3 waves (blond guy on a white board at Rocky Point and Pipeline), really labors just to complete a bottom turn and off-the-top. The portraits of David Nuuiwha and my high school classmate, Brad McCaul (one hardly ever saw him in Algebra II, because he was always in Hawaii) focus on the best California surfers at the time. McCaul's surfing at the Santa Ana River Jetty used to blow my mind. Nuuiwha's surfing was poetry in motion, smooth, like a yoga or zen master would surf. Mike Purpus, hated at the time, surfs really well in this movie.
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