It’s unbearably hot and I live in London without a beach in sight, or indeed a fan in my house. Fun. BUT summer’s here and the Garden is going all summer-y for July’s ONE MOVIE, THREE QUOTES, with A Summer Place (1959, dir. Delmer Daves), one of the ultimate summer movies. Is the theme song more famous than the movie itself? Yes, it is (and it is now stuck in your head). But does A Summer Place deserve some recognition for its fantastic summer-ness and family drama? Oh yeah. Here it is: Bart Hunter (Arthur Kennedy) and his wife Sylvia (Dorothy McGuire) own a summer inn on Pine Island, Maine. One summer, the Jorgensons, Ken (Richard Egan) and Helen (Constance Ford), and their daughter Molly (Sandra Dee) arrive on the island for a summer getaway. The Hunters’ son Johnny (Troy Donahue) and Molly start a romance, while Sylvia and Ken rekindle theirs, twenty years after it ended. Draaamaaa.
Here are the quotes:
1. ‘I’m perfectly willing to come to you whenever you are.’ Sylvia to Ken – Dorothy McGuire has always been so underrated. And so has Richard Egan, for that matter. This is a wonderful scene and they are both at the top of their game.
2. ‘Are you anti-people and anti-life? Must you suffocate every natural instinct in our daughter too? Must you label young love-making as cheap and wanton and indecent? Must you persist in making ‘sex’ itself, a filthy word?’ Ken to Helen – The whole speech, in fact, the whole scene, is great and like something out of a Douglas Sirk melodrama. This is the kind of rebuttal that a 1950s puritanical society needed to hear. It’s quite jarring, when you think about it.
3. ‘I love you so much I ache inside.’ Johnny to Molly – I just adore their romance. They are so sweet and adorable, but I also love how mature they are for their age and how they stand up for each other.
There you have it. Go on, hum the theme tune.