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Summertree (1971)

Michael Douglas , Jack Warden , Anthony Newley  |  R |  DVD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Michael Douglas, Jack Warden, Brenda Vaccaro, Barbara Bel Geddes, Kirk Calloway
  • Directors: Anthony Newley
  • Writers: Edward Hume, Ron Cowen, Stephen Yafa
  • Producers: Kirk Douglas, Mark Rubin, Norman Kurland
  • Format: Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: September 8, 2009
  • Run Time: 88 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002F3C6NY
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #272,549 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Summertree" on IMDb

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Best known for his roles as an actor today, Michael Douglas's strongest mark on Hollywood in his early career came as a producer of films such as One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and The China Syndrome. Summertree, which Michael starred in, was produced by his father Kirk Douglas, examines the Vietnam War and its consequences on the soldiers drafted to fight and the families they leave behind. Jerry (Douglas) is an attractive, all-American male, who debates his options upon receiving his draft notice. Co-starring Jack Warden, Brenda Vaccaro, Barbara Bel Geddes and a young Rob Reiner, the film was directed by veteran actor-composer-director Anthony Newley.

Stills from Summertree (Click for larger image)

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-have for Brenda Vaccaro fans. December 1, 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The best thing about this Vietnam-era period piece is a young, topless Brenda Vaccaro. If you were in love with her like I was, this is essential.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
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Ignore the Martini Movies label that encourages you to take this film as laughable camp. It's a strong, moving story that both illuminates its particular point in history (1971) & has a lot to say about more timeless themes as well. Based upon a play, it does a better job than most of truly capturing the tone & uncertainties of the end of the 1960s, especially the pall that the draft lottery cast over every young man back then. Yet in its exploration of first love, the need to find one's self, the fears & urgency of transitioning to adulthood, it's also quite relevant to this day.

First of all, the cast is excellent. Hard to believe that Michael Douglas could be that boyish! But he finds just the right balance between gnawing doubt & overconfidence in his portrayal of Jerry, a college student & gifted musician struggling to decide what he wants from life. When he meets Vanetta (a warm & wonderful Brenda Vacarro), he experiences his first adult relationship with a woman, both its joys & complications. What strikes me about these scenes is just how open, vulnerable, and passionate Jerry is with Vanetta -- no games, no hipster poses, no cynicism. The sexuality & nudity here are definitely depicted as positive, life-affirming things, a wonderful mystery to be unfolded between two people discovering the depths of their own yearnings.

Jerry is given more dimension in his role as Big Brother to Marvis, a smart mouthed boy concealing his fears beneath a shield of attitude. This relationship is handled well -- Jerry is anything but the noble, paternal white man helping a black child, the self-absorbed do-gooder without real feeling -- he genuinely wants to help Marvis if he can, but he knows that he's stumbling every step of the way.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Where ? September 21, 2012
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Anybody know where this was filmed ? I can`t find any location info on it. I notice the gas station is an Enco. This is what some Esso stations were called in certain states before they all became Exxon in `72 or so. In the game arcade I see some familiar attractions like the baseball game, the submarine game, and the helicopter game. I can remember playing all three of these on the boardwalk in Rehoboth Beach, DE in the early `70`s. Really brought back some summer memories. Another early Michael Douglas film you might want to take a peek at is called "Adam At 6 AM". That one I know was filmed in Missouri and is also sort of an early `70`s time capsule.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting , hard-to-find 1971 film. August 7, 2013
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Set against the back-drop of the Vietnam War , this film about relationships is of interest mainly because of the actors involved : a 27-year old Michael Douglas , in his third film ; the late Barbara Bel Geddes ( " Miss Ellie " in " Dallas " ), playing his mother ; and the excellent Brenda Vaccaro in one of her early film roles. Well-worth seeking out , but beware ! - it appears to be available only in Region 1 format ( U.S.A. and Canada ) , which may not play on your DVD machine.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Early Michael Douglas October 17, 2009
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It was interesting to finally see this early film with Michael Douglas. I remember seeing a review of it many years ago in "Show" magazine. I must say even his early acting performances were impressive. And let's not forget the fine supporting cast of Jack Warden and Barbara Bel Geddes. Anthony Newely directed, and it wasn't even a musical!
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