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(aka 'The Shooting Party')

Directed by Douglas Sirk


Sirk's first feature in the USA, apart from the 1942 Hitler's Madman, was made four years after he was invited there by Warners. Summer Storm is an adaptation of Chekhov's only novel, The Shooting Party. Sirk moves the story much closer to the Russian Revolution and keeps the original flashback construction. In a delicate evocation of a crumbling world, he highlights the social tensions and despair of Zsarist Russia - with some excellent performances by Everett Horton, Darnell and Sanders.

Excerpt from Channel 4 located HERE


A dark, brooding drama based on Chekhov's "The Shooting Party," this marked the first time the Russian's work had been adapted for the screen. Made for less than $400,000, it's a flashback to 1912, in pre-revolutionary Russia (where star Sanders was born). Darnell is a grasping peasant who is determined to rise above her station. She uses her smoldering beauty and her feminine wiles to entice middle-aged farmer Haas to marry her. Her main reason is to flee her stern father. Haas knows full well he can't handle Darnell, so he looks the other way as she embarks on a series of affairs. Sanders is a judge engaged to Lee. While vamping him, Darnell is also courting rich Horton, who plies her with jewels, gowns, and frippery.

Excerpt from TV Guide located HERE


Theatrical Release: July 14th, 1944

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DVD Review: VCI Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC

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Distribution VCI Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC
Runtime 1:46:12 
Video 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.4 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.


Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0) 
Subtitles None

Release Information:
Studio: VCI Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• Trailer
• Audio interview with author Bernard Dick

DVD Release Date: October 20th, 2009

Keep Case
Chapters: 12



The transfer is another VCI interlaced job with plenty of visible 'combing' in horizontal pans (see last capture). It's single-layered and appears to be from an analog source. Detail is weak but overall this is watchable - primarily though on a CRT.

Audio is as weak as the contrast and there are no subtitles offered. Extras include a trailer and a 20-minute, audio-only, interview with author Bernard F. Dick (Columbia Pictures: Portrait of a Studio) hosted by Joel Blumberg. The writer talks about the director mentioning past Sirk efforts and his reasons behind appreciation of Summer Storm - comparing it to an early version of Fatal Attraction and attempting to find a link to Film Noir.

The film doesn't show a lot of the director's brilliance and should only to be considered by Sirk, and possibly Darnell, fans/completists. 

Gary W. Tooze


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Combing visible


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Distribution VCI Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC

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