Directed by Delmer Daves
USA 1959

 

  Think A Summer Place, and you'll probably be humming Max Steiner's wonderfully romantic instrumental theme song, a hand-holding hit in 1959. The movie itself is similarly irresistible, a colorful soap opera about the passions of a pair of dewy-eyed teens and their straying parents. At an island resort in Maine, Sandra Dee and Troy Donahue (the reigning teen idols of the day) fall hard for each other. What they don't know is that her father (Richard Egan) and his mother (Dorothy McGuire), lovers 20 years earlier, have rekindled their affair. Both, inconveniently, have spouses, which is what makes this a soap opera. Lovers of camp will find much to savor in the incredible '50s attitudes, and in the innocence of supervirgin Dee ("Johnny, have you been bad with girls?"). Yet the sincerity of writer-director Delmer Daves, cowriter of An Affair to Remember, comes shining through...

***

Back in 1959 some teenagers took this opulent story of adultery and teenage love seriously, though I wasn't one of them. Richard Egan, Dorothy McGuire, Sandra Dee, Arthur Kennedy, and Troy Donahue compete with the lush scenery (it's supposed to be the east coast, though much of it was shot in California) and the hyperbole provided by Sloan Wilson's source novel, Max Steiner's highly successful score, and Delmer Daves's characteristically giddy direction.

Excerpt from Jonathan Rosenbaum's capsule at The Chicago Reader located HERE

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Theatrical Release: October 22nd, 1959

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DVD Review: Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC

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Distribution Warner Home Video - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC
Runtime 2:10:10 
Video 1.78:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.54 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s   

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Audio English (Dolby Digital 1.0) 
Subtitles English, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Warner Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1

Edition Details:

• Original theatrical trailer

DVD Release Date: February 6th, 2007

Keep Case
Chapters: 31

 

 

Comments:

A decent but not exceptional image on this anamorphic/progressive Warner transfer. The print used shows some dirt and colors are not particularly vibrant, nor detail exceedingly sharp. The original mono audio is clear and limited. Warner have included optional English subtitles (but no French or Spanish anymore from this studio).

The only extra is a theatrical trailer and the price seems a little high in my opinion. The film holds some strong nostalgic appeal but it is certainly one you could stand to miss. For those keen on this kind of soapy cinema you will probably enjoy - for the rest I say 'pass'. 

Gary W. Tooze

 

 



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DVD Box Cover

   

CLICK to order from:

Distribution Warner Home Video - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC




 

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