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Summer School

4.5 out of 5 stars 398 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


Not nearly as raunchy as some of the other teen exploitation films that came out around the same time, Summer School is a feel-good movie in which all the characters are clueless, but also kind of likeable for some inexplicable reason. Mark Harmon stars as Freddy Shoop, a lazy physical education instructor who is forced by his nemesis (aka The Principal) to teach summer school. He's not lucky enough to get the overachiever kids who attend summer school because they want to; Shoop gets the students who have to attend because they've failed. As you might expect, his class is full of lazy losers who don't think of summer school as real school. Actually, Shoop kind of agrees with them. He's not as irresponsible as he would have them believe, although he's not above bribing them to do their best. Released theatrically in 1987, the film stars a very young Courtney Thorne-Smith (Melrose Place, According to Jim) as one of the students. And Kirstie Alley (Cheers) appears as Shoop's love interest. Directed by Carl Reiner, Summer School has an almost innocent feel. It's the silly movie trying to pass itself off as naughty, but really it's not. Summer School was released before filmmakers knew they needed to save good outtakes and bloopers for DVDs, so the special features aren't all that special. The most appealing is footage of some of the cast members while the film was being shot. But if you're curious about listening to the audio commentary offered by Harmon and Reiner, take a pass. Though both men are charming on talk shows, neither is particularly insightful here. --Jae-Ha Kim

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Mark Harmon, Kirstie Alley, Robin Thomas, Patrick Labyorteaux, Courtney Thorne-Smith
  • Directors: Carl Reiner
  • Writers: Jeff Franklin, David Dashev, Stuart Birnbaum
  • Producers: George Shapiro, Howard West, Jeff Franklin, Marc Trabulus
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Parental Guidance Suggested
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: June 1, 2004
  • Run Time: 97 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (398 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0001O3W4G
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #75,136 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Summer School" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By P Magnum HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on June 3, 2004
Format: DVD
1987's Summer School is an underrated comedy from the 80's. The plot revolves around reluctant summer school teacher, Freddy Shoop (Mark Harmon), who is forced into the job after the original teacher hits the lottery. Shoop is a gym teacher and he must deal with a classroom full of typical high school misfits. Throughout the summer, Shoop's unconventional teaching methods get him trouble with the school's vice principal, but wins over the kids. The film is carried by the immensely likable cast. Mr. Harmon reactions to the student's quirks and miscues are perfectly timed and the students provide genuine laughs. Dean Cameron & Gary Riley are hilarious as shock meisters Chainsaw and Dave, Richard Steven Horowitz plays the perfect geek as Alan Eakain and a young Courtney Thorne-Smith is alluring as Pam House who develops a big time thing for Shoop. Kirstie Alley shows up as a love interest for Shoop. Summer School is a great, lightweight movie that is small on plot, but big on laughs and fun.
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Format: DVD
"Summer School" surprised a lot of critics by bringing something new to a genre most people had already had enough of by the time of its release (1987). With a spunky screenplay and Carl Reiner's gift for comedic timing, the film fills in a gap neglected by the majority of the decade's other high school pics, whose styles were polarized between the rebellious, goofy sexcapades found in John Hughes' brat pack series, and more "mature," galvanizing films like "Stand and Deliver."

"Summer School" begins with Danny Elfman's song "Happy" playing as the clock counts down and students prepare for summer. Reiner himself portrays usual summer teacher, Mr. Dearadorian, who happens to win fifty thousand dollars in a scratch off lottery just as the last bell rings. His boss, Vice Principal Phil Gills (Robin Thomas) tries to tell him there is no Island, but he quits anyway.

Gills approaches Freddy Shoop (Mark Harmon), a gym teacher who is ready to spend the summer in Hawaii with his girlfriend -- "We got leis on and everything." Gills threatens his tenure, so he decides to stay. Shoop tries to get his girlfriend to stay by quoting "There's no place like home." She says she understands and will just go without him.

Mr. Shoop's class is made up of group of slackers and misfits who for a variety of reasons failed the English skills test required to graduate.

There are: Dave and Chainsaw, an inseparable pair, one is obsessed with Chainsaw, the other with the film, "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre"; There's Alan, the black-sheep of a genius family; Anna Maria, a buxom foreign exchange student brushing up on her English skills; Pam House, a spaced-out surfer girl with a thing for Mr.
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Format: VHS Tape
Screw the Amazon editorial reviewer. That person doesn't know what they're talking about. This movie is AWESOME! Silly...absolutley. Serious...no way! Pee in yer pants funny...HELL YEAH!
Mark Harmon is fantastic as Freddy Shoop a lazy surfer beach bum gym teacher who only teaches to get his summers off. He is forced to teach a group of "misfits" during summer school or he loses his job. Simple and easy. But most comedies don't rely on story, it's all about the characters and the situations. This ones got great characters galore. All the students are fully fleshed out characters each with their own stories and situations. From the horror loving goofballs Dave and Chainsaw, Pam the surfer chick, Inkian the nerd, Larry the sleeper, to Anna-Marie the-HOLY MOLY-she's-HOT Italian foreign exchange student, all of them are unique and loveable.
Mark Harmon pulls it all together with a great comic performance. Plus he's great while he tries to win the heart of fellow summer school honors class teacher, Kirstie Alley away from her boyfriend, the vice principal who sentenced Shoop to summer school.
This movie is a classic of the teen/college movie genre. Much like "Sixteen Candles", "The Sure Thing, "Weird Science", "Real Genius", and " Revenge of the Nerds. This is one of the best 80's comedies.
If you haven't seen it, then run, drive over the speed limit, push an old lady out of the way, do anything as fast as you can to see this movie and buy it. It's not out on DVD, so you gotta find a VHS copy.
Hey DVD manufactures...
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By A Customer on January 22, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
Summer School is by far one of my all-time favorite movies to watch. You can never get bored with it, I must have watched it 200 times or more. The movie is all about a high school gym teacher (Mark Harmon) Freddy Shoop who is forced to teach remedial English class in summer school to a group of social misfits. Shoop has no idea how to teach and instead of hitting the books, they hit the amusement parks, beaches, petting zoos, amongst other places. His students include: Chainsaw & Dave who are obssessed with horror movies and play pranks on the vice president. Larry who sleeps in class throughout the entire movie. Pam who has a crush on her teacher Mr. Shoop. Jerome Watkins who spends 9 weeks in the bathroom because his zipper got stuck! Allen Ekian who is your basic "geek/nerd". Ronda who is pregnant and doesn't know who the father is. Denise Green who is trying to get her drivers license but is a terrible driver to say the least! In order for Shoop to get his students to learn he has to bribe them! Chainsaw & Dave get to have a party at shoops house on the 4th of July, a ride to and from work, plus a in school screening of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre movie. Larry gets his own bed in the classroom. Pam "needs a place to stay" and gets to move in with Mr. Shoop. Mr. Shoop has to become Ronda's Lamoz coach. He has to give Denise driving lessons. And Mr. Shoop has to be Kevin's "tackling dummy" in case he makes it back on the football team. It's hard to explain in words how funny this movie is, you'll just have to see it for yourself!
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