Made for peanuts, Summerspell transcends its meager budget by offering a first-rate character study. The film is set at the home of a typical American family during a two-day Fourth of July reunion in Texas. Dorothy Holland and Frank Whiteman play the Wisdoms, who along with their children host the get-together. But beneath the veneer of celebration is a hotbed of bitterness. Whiteman has devoted his life to running the expensive family home because none of his siblings have ever shown the proper degree of responsibility; now that the family patriarch is dying, Whiteman begins railing against his brothers and sisters, also venting his frustration towards his autocratic father. The winner of a Munich Film Festival award, it was virtually ignored by mainstream US critics, and seldom shows up in any of the mass-market movie review annuals.
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