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Five Summer Stories

4.5 out of 5 stars 45 customer reviews

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(Jan 01, 1994)
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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 (45 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000FCE2IY
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #92,444 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By [KNDY] Dennis A. Amith TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 29, 2010
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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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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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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Great surfing footage from 1971-72 mostly of the north shore, with the greats of the era represented- Gerry Lopez, Corky Carrol, Sean Thompson, et al. Laird Hamilton has a few cameos as a 10 year old. The music is amusing, a lot of it I had never heard before. The resolution on the copy I got did not hold up on a high definition large flat screen. It feels sort of long to watch in a single sitting. There are some interesting side features, like skateboarding of that era and hang gliding. The section on the early years of professional competitive surfing gives a much different take from the way it is viewed today. The five summer stories theme is sort of a conceit, and is not really accurate to the content of the film. The narration is a little over-blown at times, but does not detract much from enjoyment of the film. I really like the style of surfing from that era, which is so fast and fluid, and there are endless sequences of tube riding at Pipe. A fun historical document. Reminds me of the years when I was new to surfing- the formative years.
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If you love to surf or just love the culture this movie is a must see. I began surfing back in the early 70's in San Diego and my two kids are now teens. They both watched this film and loved it! If you have kids you need to share this important film with them. Make it a family night to remember. Outstanding music and camera work.
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Love the movie, it's been 40 years since I saw the original in the movies. DVD quality like a 2nd generation VHS tape BUT it's 5 Summer Stories with the great soundtrack - Honk & Beach Boys. The seller had this at my house before my Amazon Movies I bought at the same time. The movie arrived a week in advance. Very cool - thanks!
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As a kid, I remember seeing ads for this movie when it came out in Surfer magazine, but it never played in our area. I always loved the graphics for it and would see it pop up in places over the years. I'd heard some buddies talk about it and they said it was pretty good (apparently it used to get shown a lot down at Buxton Campground on Hatteras Island). Finally got a copy on DVD and it brought back a lot of memories...good ones, of the 70's surf culture (even though I was a right coaster) when everyone was really having fun and enjoying life. Back then, (as the old man goes on) the only surfing you'd see was on ABC's Wide World of Sports, and staying in on a Saturday afternoon to watch Gerry Lopez get barrelled at Pipeline was the best! If you're young, this is a wonderful little time capsule of a period where the spirit was more important than the fame and fun was the name of the game. Pop this one in on a cold winter's day for a little stoke or during the summer with some surf buddies and acoutrements. It's definately worth having in your surf movie quiver.
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