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A Summer Place

Movie Poster
Directed by Delmer Daves
Written by Sloan Wilson
Starring Richard Egan
Dorothy McGuire
Troy Donahue
Sandra Dee
Arthur Kennedy
Constance Ford
Music by Max Steiner
recorded by Percy Faith and His Orchestra
Cinematography Harry Stradling, Sr., ASC
Release date(s) 1959

A Summer Place is the title of a 1959 film based on the novel of the same name by Sloan Wilson.

Contents

Plot

The story examines the adult lives of two onetime teen lovers, Ken (Egan) and Sylvia (McGuire), who were from different social strata. Ken was self-supporting, working as a lifeguard at Pine Island, an exclusive Maine resort, while Sylvia's nouveau riche family stayed as guests of the owners, one summer between years at college. They went on to marry different people – entirely the wrong people, it turned out. Ken's wife Helen (Ford) turns out to be frigid and shuts him out romantically, while Sylvia's husband Bart (Kennedy) becomes an alcoholic, gradually costing him the family fortune. Ken buries himself in the research chemist's job he finds after college, while Sylvia devotes herself first to charity work, then motherhood.

The saving grace of each marriage is their children, Sylvia's son Johnny (Donahue) and Ken's daughter Molly (Dee). Ken and Sylvia meet again on Pine Island after twenty years, with Ken now wealthy through his chemistry work, while Bart has turned his family's mansion (their sole remaining asset) into an inn, which is failing. Johnny and Molly meet and fall in love, while Ken and Sylvia begin to cheat with each other on their spouses.

Differences between novel and movie

Some changes were made as the novel was adapted. While the novel's story takes place over about five years, the movie condenses events into a single year. Helen's parents play a substantial role in the novel, while the movie includes only a single telephone conversation between Helen and her mother. Sylvia and Bart's second child (a daughter) is eliminated from the movie, and a soul-searching Sylvia, asking herself questions of right and wrong, instead has a heart-to-heart talk with Bart's elderly aunt, who is staying at the inn.

Release and reception

The movie became popular after its release, but had a mixed critical reception, and received some negative reviews through the years. The 1960 hit "Theme from A Summer Place" (composed by Max Steiner and recorded by Percy Faith and His Orchestra) enriched and improved on a secondary musical theme of the film; it remains a classic of its era. A vocal version, with lyrics by Mack Discant, was a hit for The Lettermen in 1965. Singer Dean Torrence referenced the song's melody in Jan and Dean's "Like a Summer Rain" in 1966.

Cast

External links

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A Summer Place
File:A Summer
Movie Poster
Directed by Delmer Daves
Written by Sloan Wilson
Starring Richard Egan
Dorothy McGuire
Troy Donahue
Sandra Dee
Arthur Kennedy
Constance Ford
Music by Max Steiner
recorded by Percy Faith and His Orchestra
Cinematography Harry Stradling, Sr., ASC
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Release date(s) November 18, 1959
Country United States
Language English

A Summer Place is a 1959 romantic drama film based on the novel of the same name by Sloan Wilson.

Contents

Plot

The story examines the adult lives of two onetime teen lovers, Ken (Egan) and Sylvia (McGuire), who were from different social strata. Ken was self-supporting, working as a lifeguard at Pine Island, an exclusive Maine resort, while Sylvia's nouveau riche family stayed as guests of the owners, one summer between years at college. They went on to marry different people – entirely the wrong people, it turned out. Ken's wife Helen (Ford) turns out to be frigid and shuts him out romantically, while Sylvia's husband Bart (Kennedy) becomes an alcoholic, gradually costing him the family fortune. Ken buries himself in the research chemist's job he finds after college, while Sylvia devotes herself first to charity work, then motherhood.

The saving grace of each marriage is their children, Sylvia's son Johnny (Donahue) and Ken's daughter Molly (Dee). Ken and Sylvia meet again on Pine Island after twenty years, with Ken now wealthy through his chemistry work, while Bart has turned his family's mansion (their sole remaining asset) into an inn, which is failing. Johnny and Molly meet and fall in love, while Ken and Sylvia begin to cheat on their spouses with each other.

Differences between novel and movie

Some changes were made as the novel was adapted. While the novel's story takes place over about five years, the movie condenses events into a single year. Helen's parents play a substantial role in the novel, while the movie includes only a single telephone conversation between Helen and her mother. Sylvia's and Bart's second child (a daughter) is eliminated from the movie, and a soul-searching Sylvia, asking herself questions of right and wrong, instead has a heart-to-heart talk with Bart's elderly aunt, who is staying at the inn.

Release and reception

The movie became popular after its release, but had a mixed critical reception, and received some negative reviews through the years. The 1960 hit "Theme from A Summer Place" (composed by Max Steiner and recorded by Percy Faith and His Orchestra) enriched and improved on a secondary musical theme of the film; it remains a classic of its era. An early instrumental version of the song was recorded by the group "Los Nómadas" but only gained 'Top 40' recognition in Mexico, despite Zane Ashton's (also known as Bill Aken) distinctly 'teen-pop' flavored arrangement. A vocal version, with lyrics by Mack Discant, was a hit for The Lettermen in 1965. Singer Dean Torrence referenced the song's melody in Jan and Dean's "Like a Summer Rain" in 1966. The melody has also been used in the 2011 Toyota Avalon "Plane" commercial.

Cast

External links


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