Whether as a commercial claim or as a stamp of childhood or adolescent nostalgia, summer has been strolling through countless films throughout the history of cinema. Sometimes fun and festive. In others, dyed with melancholy. More than one film bears the word ‘summer’ in its title and, on more than one occasion, it is not light or festive tapes, but deep reflections on the human being and holidays that make a dent in him.
Summer Stock (Charles Walters, 1950)
A theatrical performance in a barn is the thread of another of Metro Goldwyn Mayer’s great musicals produced by the brilliant Arthur Freed. A Gene Kelly at its best as a dancer and actor, and a Judy Garland who shortly after would go out the back door of the studio due to its addictions, starred in this song in the summer.
Real window (Alfred Hitchcock, 1954)
The thermometer marks high temperatures and the neighbors of a plastered James Stewart continue with their lives. It’s summer, they have the windows open and their habits can be watched by a Stewart who is torn between the boring lifestyle of his girlfriend or the adventure of discovering a neighbor who turns out to be a killer. Few times have you felt the summer in the big city as in this masterpiece of Hitchcock, developed in a summery Neoyorkino neighbors’ patio built entirely on set. A tribute to the ‘voyeur’ we all carry inside full of intelligence and good work by the ‘wizard of suspense’.
A Summer Place (Delmer Daves, 1959)
The soundtrack of a summer place, as it is originally titled this typical ‘soap opera’ of the 50’s, is so popular that it has sounded in a multitude of films. Starring the idols ‘teen’ of the time (Sandra Dee and Troy Donahue) is a folklore story in the style of Douglas Sirk where there are not missing the beach or the sculptural bodies of its main stars.
The swimmer (Frank Perry, 1968)
The walk through the pools of the neighbors of a middle-aged man serves to uncover the miseries of people consumed by materialism and existential emptiness. An American Summer Beauty that draws on a poignant interpretation of Burt Lancaster and the defiant airs of the late ’60s.
Summer of 42 (Robert Mulligan, 1971)
An expert in exploiting nostalgia for childhood or adolescence, Robert Mulligan practically invented this subgenre that affects the memories of the first period of life. A teenager, a beach, and a woman waiting for her boy in the middle of World War II: the ingredients to make the memory of the first love are served.
Stand by Me (Rob Reiner, 1986)
The ‘queen’ of all children’s gang movies, this Rob Reiner story became a tribute to the quiet 50’s and also one of the tapes that hit the smallest in the 80’s. Four children and their summer vacation, dedicated to looking for the corpse of a boy run over by a train, are the perfect excuse for this tribute to the childhood friendship in which a very young River Phoenix appeared. Based on a short story by Stephen King, this one liked the result rather than The Shimmer of Kubrick, based on another of his novels.
The Man in the Moon (Robert Mulligan, 1991)
Again childhood and again the 50s. Again Robert Mulligan exploring the summers of our best memories. However, even the most discerning critics liked this little story about the summer of a girl who happens to be a woman in the Elvis decade. The film is also an opportunity to check Reese Whiterspoon’s early acting skills.
- My Girl (Howard Zieff, 1991)
It could be a version coming less than summer in Louisiana: it premiered in the same year, it has a blond girl as protagonist and it develops in a time (the 70 in this case) previous to its year of accomplishment, but my girl was much more than that. It was touted as the movie in which Macaulay Culkin kissed a girl for the first time. However, the parents who expected another comedy from the protagonist of Solo at home were shocked at the tragic end of the film. Like Pretty Womanor Stand by me, films titled like an old song of the 50 or the 60, my girl gave new life to the subject of the same title interpreted by the temptations.