A Summer Place

  • 1959
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Drama

A highly stylized and overly glossy soap opera which could do nothing to overcome the basic shallowness of the characters being portrayed. Two steamy and controversial--by the late 1950s' standards--love affairs are offered. One is between Egan and McGuire; the other is with Dee and Donahue. McGuire is married to Kennedy, a drunken louse who mourns the...read more

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A highly stylized and overly glossy soap opera which could do nothing to overcome the basic shallowness of the characters being portrayed. Two steamy and controversial--by the late 1950s' standards--love affairs are offered. One is between Egan and McGuire; the other is with Dee and

Donahue. McGuire is married to Kennedy, a drunken louse who mourns the loss of his former wealth. Donahue is their teenage son. The wealthy Egan and family come back to the small New England town where he was an impoverished lifeguard 20 years earlier and where he carried on a lusty affair with

McGuire. They resume their affair again, only this time they are discovered. No problem: they just get divorces from their respective spouses and marry each other. Meanwhile, Egan's daughter, Dee, is carrying on with Donahue, and mother Ford looms over Dee's shoulder worrying about whether she is

still a virgin. Though there is an attempt to make these situations seem highly dramatic, the performances are little more than stereotypes, a result of the wretched dialog. This film was surprisingly frank about sex and illicit romantic affairs, much more so than PEYTON PLACE had been just two

years earlier. However, A SUMMER PLACE did not receive nearly the criticism of the earlier film. Novelist Wilson had experienced a cinematic hit in THE MAN IN THE GRAY FLANNEL SUIT (1956). This film, pandering as it did to both old and young, also did well at the box office, and the title song

became a popular classic. Famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright was responsible for the summer house of the title. This was Donahue's first featured screen role.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: A highly stylized and overly glossy soap opera which could do nothing to overcome the basic shallowness of the characters being portrayed. Two steamy and controversial--by the late 1950s' standards--love affairs are offered. One is between Egan and McGuire… (more)

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