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STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
15
Cast
Jennifer O'Neill
Gary Grimes
Jerry Houser.
Directors
Robert Mulligan.
Screenwriters
Herman Raucher.
Running Time
99 minutes

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Summer of '42
A group of boys turn into men in one long memorable summer.


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Plot
Three childhood friends make the uneasy transition from boys to men in one long summer. One boy succeeds in losing his virginity to an older woman who has been left a widow after her husband was killed in the War.


Review
Set in the early days of World War II but obviously addressed to the concerns of the Vietnam generation, this slight coming-of-age romance was a major box office success in the early 70s. Three young lads spend the soft focus summer on Long Island and Grimes, the sensitive hero, loses his virginity in an affair with O'Neill, a melancholy soul who has just been widowed by the war.

Mulligan, who made To Kill A Mockingbird, tries for another mix of universal feelings and a specific time and place, but it's impossible to think of these people as 1940s characters. In the early hijinks phase, the film seems like a dry run for Porky's, but it later gets into the business of fluttering curtains, walks on sandy beaches and longing glances.


Verdict
Another coming-of-age tale about three boys and their quest to become men, which invariably revolves around having sex and puerile behaviour but then changes tack completely by giving us lush scenery. If the director had remained with one idea then perhaps the end product wouldn't seem so varied.


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Average user rating for Summer of '42
Empire Star Rating

This review is so far off target you'd be forgiven for thinking it was describing another film entirely. What bullshit. I found this movie beautiful, honest and sensitive. Puerile behaviour? That's how teenage boys act, you moron. No wonder you didn't leave your name. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by badsanta at 13:52, 20 August 2007 | Report This Post


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