Thursday, June 16, 2011

Summer Movies

In the summer when living is easy I don't always liked to be challenged intellectually.  Most people pick out "beach reads" for their speed and ease of reading.  I prefer the movie equivalents.  All of these movies are set in summer and except for one or two are purely for pleasure.  If you've got any great summer movies of your own to add to the list, please leave a comment.
  1. The Seven Year Itch(1955).  A married man (Tom Ewell) whose family is away on vacation, is alone in the hot city fantasizing about the girl upstairs (Marilyn Monroe), who comes down to share his air conditioning.
  2. The Long, Hot Summer(1958).  Run out of one Mississippi town, con artist Ben Quick moves to another where he meets schoolmarm Clara Varner, daughter of the wealthiest man in town.  This is Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward's first movie together.
  3. Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation(1958).  Mr. Hobbs (Jimmy Stewart) wants a quiet vacation, but his getaway to the shore proves to be anything but.
  4. To Kill a Mockingbird(1962).  Gregory Peck is Atticus Finch, southern lawyer, who defends a black man against charges of rape.  I actually saw the movie before I ever read the book; they're both great.
  5. The Flim Flam Man  (1967).  Mordecai Jones (George C. Scott) takes a young army deserter (Michael Sarrazin) under his wing.
  6. In the Heat of the Night(1967).  Sidney Poitier plays a black Philadephia detective sent down to a racist southern town to assist in a murder investigation.
  7. Summer of 42 (1971).  A teenage boy falls in love with a 22-year-old woman (Jennifer O'Neill) whose husband is a soldier in the war.  Though today the woman would have to register as a sex offender, back when I saw it in 1971 the movie was really quite poignant.
  8. Jaws(1975).  The first blockbuster, this one will make you rethink spending the summer at the beach.
  9. National Lampoon's Vacation(1983).  The first of Chevy Chase's vacation movies, Vacation follows the Griswold family cross country to the Walley World theme park.
  10. Field of Dreams  (1989).  This is my favorite baseball movie, and I watch it every summer.
  11. My Girl(1991).  An eleven-year-old girl (Anna Chlumsky) obsessed with death shares a poignant summer with her best friend (Macaulay Culkin).
  12. Jurassic Park (1993).  Who wasn't scared witless when they saw this for the first time?
  13. Dazed & Confused(1993).  It's the first day of summer vacation for the soon-to-be seniors in the summer of 1976.  I, too, was a senior-in-waiting during the bicentennial summer, and this movie was a fun, nostalgic trip for me.  Look for a young Ben Affleck and Matthew McConaughey.
  14. Twister(1996).  I saw this tornado thriller when I was pregnant with my son.  It was so loud, he twisted and kicked throughout the movie.
  15. Independence Day(1996).  Truly the creepiest but most fun of all alien pictures.  Still pregnant, I had to endure my unborn son's kicks throughout this movie, too.
  16. Almost Famous(2000).  Cameron Crowe directs this semi-autobiographical movie about a high school boy cum rock journalist in the seventies covering a rock band's concert tour.


  1. I miss going to the movies! My daughter does not enjoy the experience so we rarely go. She's one of the only kids in America to never have seen any of the Disney flicks - she refused to watch because all the villians scared her. The only one she would watch was The Jungle Book and I'm not sure how we discovered that.
    Anyway, now that she's older, we are starting to go/watch more without her. I'd add Enchanted to this list because Amy Adams is so brilliant.

  2. I forgot to mention that To Kill a Mockingbird is one of the films in the summer movie series CAPA runs downtown. It plays in the Ohio Theater on Sat. and Sun. June 25th and 26th. -T

  3. Amy Adams is really good; if she's in a picture, I'm going to see it. I did see that To Kill a Mockingbird was playing at the Ohio Theater this summer. Maybe I'll get down there for it.

    My son likes going to movies, but my daughter and I saw everything--new and old--when she was younger. It's so odd to me that someone wouldn't like movies, but my husband doesn't like them either.

  4. Hi Jude - I have an award for you on my blog! Please stop by.

    Jennifer Young (Castles in the Sky)