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Summer of '42 (1971)

Jennifer O'Neill , Gary Grimes , Robert Mulligan  |  PG |  DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (164 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Jennifer O'Neill, Gary Grimes, Jerry Houser, Oliver Conant, Katherine Allentuck
  • Directors: Robert Mulligan
  • Writers: Herman Raucher
  • Producers: Don Kranze, Richard A. Roth
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Unknown), French (Unknown)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Japanese, Georgian, Chinese, Thai
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: February 5, 2002
  • Run Time: 103 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (164 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005U2KD
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #122,399 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Summer of '42" on IMDb

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Editorial Reviews

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
105 of 111 people found the following review helpful
It is the summer after Pearl Harbor. The world is at war, and America is sending her best, strongest and healthiest men to fight overseas. Meanwhile, those too young, old, or physically disabled to serve stay behind, as well as wives and sweethearts. Among these are Hermie, Oscy, and Benjie (Gary Grimes, Jerry Houser and Oliver Conant). Together, this "terrible trio" raids the Coast Guard station, frolics on the beach on Packett Island, and sneaks looks at "dirty pictures" from a medical book.
But even as the three friends goof around on lazy summer days, the war's effects will soon touch the more serious and sensitive 15-year-old Hermie. He finds himself falling in love with the beautiful Dorothy (Jennifer O'Neill), who is seven years older and married. He worships her from afar, enduring both his friends' merciless teasing and his own confusion about his feelings.
But when Dorothy's husband Pete goes overseas to enter the fray, Hermie befriends Dorothy, helping her with chores such as carrying her groceries to her house on the beach and placing boxes in the attic.
At the same time, the more rambunctious Oscy (and Hermie's best friend) is trying very hard to pick up girls and lose his virginity, and he makes it his mission in life to help Hermie do the same. So he copies information from a medical book that Benjie says "belongs to the house" where he spends the summer. Oscy also attempts to set up a date for the "terrible trio" at the movies, but that almost falls apart when Benjie and the third girl don't want to go. I don't want to give away what happens next, but it's pretty funny.
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53 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Haunting Coming of Age Love Story October 21, 1999
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
I saw this movie for the first time with my fiancee (now my wife) when it was released in 1972 and thoroughly enjoyed it then. I've watched it many times since and bought a VHS copy and am currently awaiting a DVD release. Unfortunately, my kids (raised with the more fast-paced films of the 80's & 90's) think the movie's a bore but I continue to enjoy it. The '40's era atmosphere of the film is perfectly accompanied by the beautiful soundtrack and is enhanced by the atmospheric cinematography and acting of all those involved. The blend of comedy and drama remind us all of what we went through as teens, regardless of the era. I was confused by Dorothy's rationale for the love-scene at the time I first saw the movie but I've come to understand it over the years as I've matured. The climactic love-scene, while controversial at the time of release, still strikes me as one of the most touching, sensitive and poignant scenes ever filmed.
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46 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Poignant and Unforgettable January 29, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
Emotional, poignant, sad, funny...this movie has all the ingredients of an unforgettable tale.
Every male adult can surely identify with Hermie as he grapples with the rapid and difficult changes in his young life as he navigates the thin line separating adolescence from adulthood. We see his easygoing, innocent and fun-filled existence suddenly bloom into one involving an awakening and burgeoning awareness of his sexuality. And we have Dorothy, a young and beautiful woman awaiting her husband's return from war only to learn of his death.
Combine these two kindred spirits - a boy waking up to his sexual urges and a sad, lonely woman who has just lost a husband - and we have the centerpiece of a great and sensitive story. Theirs is a journey of innocence and awakening, quite similar to that in Bobby Goldsboro's 'Summer'. Then factor in Michel Legrand's brilliant musical score and we have a giant movie classic.
Summer of '42 aptly defines what a good movie should be.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unparalleled, powerful and unmatched January 18, 2000
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
This film (as you will read in other reviews here) is simply one of the deepest, hardest hitting and artistic films of its kind. The emotional rollercoaster and coming of age experience has yet to be conveyed better than in Summer of '42.
Artistically filmed using an intentionally soft image, this film captures the times and atmosphere of a small summer island in 1940's America in an unbelievably effective manner. I saw this film when i was 19 years old and had never experienced such a film before. Jennifer O'Neil is undoubtebly at the peak of her allure.
The Fun, Frolic, Confusion, Desire, Strife, Simplicity, Complexity and Tragedy of one's loss of youth are all painted here in this Classic American film. Accept no substitutes, because although many have tried, no one has yet to reproduce what this film has got. You must see it to appreciate it.
The recently released DVD is worth the price. Picture quality is excellent with perfect color and resolution. Letterbox format. However, the obsolete Dolby Soundtrack is a disappointment, as there are no surround channels and audio separation is limited. DVD extras include cast bios and the original theatrical trailer. All-in-all a worthwhile DVD upgrade to any VHS version.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A work of art... July 18, 2005
Easily one of the most beautiful and sensitively acted and directed movies I have ever seen, made all the more hauntingly beautiful being set against the backdrop of World War II.

I was 18 in 1971 and as I stood on the tarmac at RAF Kai Tak in Hong Kong, watching an American C-130 taking troops back to Vietnam, the idea that most of us were still virgins was very much on my mind.

At that time, I could certainly identify with Hermie and the boys, in regarding virginity as something that you needed to 'get rid of'. Thankfully, when I did lose my virginity several years later, it was under very beautiful circumstances, and like Hermie, with a woman I loved. In that moment I almost felt sorry for the guys who had lost theirs in meaningless couplings with women they felt nothing for.

Sorry to babble, but I just wanted to convey why this very special movie means so much to me, as it obviously does to the many fine reviewers who have written such wonderful and intelligent reviews.

I have always loved the work of Michel Legrand and he was the perfect choice for this exquisite soundtrack.

I hope young males especially will appreciate this movie and the underlying message that losing your virginity in a shallow, mechanical way is truly meaningless. You have achieved nothing. Don't rush it or feel peer pressure, because as Hermie found, this is how beautiful it really can be.

I'm still crazy about Jennifer...
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent story with hidden meaning - don't take advantage of someone in a world of hurt.
Published 15 hours ago by Don
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful
Wonderful film good seller fast shipping good quality thanks
Published 1 day ago by FAAAST EDDIE
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic! Never read the book but the movie ...
A classic! Never read the book but the movie is one you'll remember.
Published 16 days ago by E-bill
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very pleased with dvd.
Published 23 days ago by Star Struck
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic that never gets old. I was emotionally ...
A classic that never gets old. I was emotionally moved by the movie back when it first came out. I wanted to rent it but couldn't find it, so I said what the heck, buy it, and add... Read more
Published 26 days ago by Pammy
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Injoyed and well writen. will watch again.
Published 29 days ago by David Porter
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic movie that's still enjoyable
I remember this movie from when I was a kid and it held up to the test of time. The story has been done many times since, but this movie still has the innocence of the past that... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Jborelli
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Beautiful story.
Published 1 month ago by Marilyn Helleckson
1.0 out of 5 stars Bad DVD
This DVD has quite a few irritating pixelating issues or something. Very annoying.
Published 1 month ago by lori ann snyder
3.0 out of 5 stars I'd seen this movie many years ago and thought it was good then. This...
This movie takes place during WWII, in a small Atlantic seaboard town. The plot has to do with three teens age boys beginning high school and their teen age curiosity about sex and... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Troy R. Copsy
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