Last Summer

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Last Summer
Last Summer - poster - 1969.jpg
Theatrical Poster
Directed byFrank Perry
Written byEleanor Perry
StarringCatherine Burns
Barbara Hershey
Bruce Davison
Richard Thomas
Music byJohn Simon
Collin Walcott
StudioAlsid Productions
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures
Release datesJune 19, 1969 (1969-06-19)
Running time94 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Box office$3 million (US/ Canada rentals)[1]
 
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Last Summer
Last Summer - poster - 1969.jpg
Theatrical Poster
Directed byFrank Perry
Written byEleanor Perry
StarringCatherine Burns
Barbara Hershey
Bruce Davison
Richard Thomas
Music byJohn Simon
Collin Walcott
StudioAlsid Productions
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures
Release datesJune 19, 1969 (1969-06-19)
Running time94 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Box office$3 million (US/ Canada rentals)[1]

Last Summer is a 1969 coming-of-age movie about adolescent sexuality[2] based on the Last Summer by Evan Hunter. Director Frank Perry filmed at Fire Island locations. The stars of the film are Catherine Burns, Barbara Hershey, Bruce Davison and Richard Thomas. The memorable performance by Burns brought her a nomination for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, and she won a Kansas City Film Critics Circle Award.

Synopsis[edit]

While spending the summer on Fire Island, Peter (Richard Thomas) and Dan (Bruce Davison), two adolescent boys from upper-middle-class families, meet Sandy (Barbara Hershey), a young girl who has found a wounded seagull on the beach. After the boys remove a fishhook from the bird's throat, the three youngsters become fast friends and spend all their time together, swimming, boating, smoking marijuana and cautiously experimenting with their awakening sexual impulses during visits to a movie house on the mainland.

One afternoon they are joined by Rhoda (Catherine Burns), a plump 15-year-old who is anxious to make friends. When the boys discover that Sandy has brutally killed the gull for biting her, Peter begins to shift his attention to Rhoda. Meanwhile, Sandy receives a response from a computer dating service. Finding it fun to taunt Rhoda about her inexperience with boys, Sandy gets Peter and Dan to persuade the reluctant Rhoda to take her place, and all four go to a restaurant to meet the shy Puerto Rican Anibal.

To Rhoda's embarrassment, Sandy, Dan, and Peter get the man drunk and abandon him to three local bullies. Although Rhoda rebukes Peter for his behavior, she succeeds only in alienating him, and he goes off with Sandy and Dan for a picnic in the woods. Dan's plan of proving his manhood to Sandy is ruined when Rhoda tags along.

Irritated by Rhoda's intrusion into their clique, Sandy removes her bikini top and dares Rhoda to do the same. Disgusted, Rhoda tries to leave, but Sandy goads the boys into holding her back. The frightened girl appeals to Peter for help, but he joins Sandy in pinning Rhoda to the ground while she is savagely raped by Dan. Following the assault, the three leave; Sandy and Dan return to the beach while Peter hesitates on a sand dune near Rhoda.

Production notes[edit]

Barbara Hershey, Bruce Davison and Richard Thomas in a scene from Last Summer filmed on Fire Island.

Soundtrack[edit]

The film had a soundtrack LP (Warner Bros.-Seven Arts WS 1791) of the score composed by John Simon and Collin Walcott. Heard on the soundtrack: John Simon (piano), Collin Walcott (sitar, tamboura), Aunt Mary's Transcendental Slip and Lurch Band (rock band), Cyrus Faryar (voice), Buddy Bruno (voice), Ray Draper (tuba, voice), Electric Meatball (rock band), Henry Diltz (banjo, voice), Bad Kharma Dan and the Bicycle Brothers (motorcycle gang). Rick Danko, Levon Helm and Richard Manuel of The Band played on the soundtrack as well, but were uncredited due to having had a contract on another record label.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Big Rental Films of 1969", Variety, 7 January 1970 p 15
  2. ^ Canby, Vincent (June 11, 1969). "Last Summer (1969) Screen: 'Last Summer':Cinema I Film Brings Trio of Newcomers". 
  3. ^ Forsberg, Myra (March 29, 1987). "FILM; BARBARA HERSHEY: IN DEMAND". 

External links[edit]