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  Summer Place, A We've Got To Be Good
Year: 1959
Director: Delmer Daves
Stars: Richard Egan, Dorothy McGuire, Sandra Dee, Troy Donahue, Constance Ford, Arthur Kennedy, Beulah Bondi
Genre: Drama, Trash, RomanceBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: When Richard Egan (married to Constance Ford) and Dorothy McGuire (married to Arthur Kennedy) meet at a fancy summer resort, they rekindle an old romance, while their offspring (Troy Donahue and Sandra Dee) fall in love with each other. Unfortunately Ford is determined to make things difficult for them all.

A Summer Place was adapted from Sloan Wilson's bestselling book by the director, Delmer Daves. It fits into the cycle of family melodramas which were popular at the time; Douglas Sirk's "woman's pictures" such as Written on the Wind and All That Heaven Allows now enjoy good reputations, and even less well thought of soap operas such as Peyton Place worked well within the Production Code of the time. But this over-the-top offering just looks winningly ridiculous.

The film is a priceless piece of high camp with some hilarious scenes to keep you entertained throughout the lengthy running time. Witness the one where Ford (the mother - and wife - from hell) calls a doctor to examine her daughter Dee, to make sure she's still a virgin after a night out with Donahue.

The family relationships are destructive to an absurd degree all round, whereas romantic love is noble and passionate, even when it causes no end of trouble. This kind of thing is reserved for the daytime soaps these days, so it's amusing to see it given an expensive, glossy treatment in true fifties Hollywood style. Lush music by Max Steiner, and listen for the famous theme song.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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Delmer Daves  (1904 - 1977)

American director best known for the 1959 melodrama A Summer Place, but who also directed nearly 30 films and wrote many more over a 40-year career. The law graduate made his debut in 1943 with the war drama Destination Tokyo with Cary Grant, and other notable films include the Bogart/Bacall noir Dark Passage, Never Let Me Go with Clark Gable, and the Westerns Broken Arrow, The Last Wagon and 3:10 To Yuma, based on Elmore Leonard’s novel. After the success of A Summer Place, Daves followed with equally soapy offerings Susan Slade, Rome Adventure and The Battle Of The Villa Fiorita. Daves also wrote or co-wrote the screenplays to classics The Petrified Forest, Love Affair and An Affair to Remember.

 
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