Movie Gems 70's Flashback ...
Summer of '42 is in the top three of my all time favourite movies; I have seen it more times than any other film ever! A coming of age story like no other, its sequel Class of '44 is also very special to me.
Review (formal): Summer of '42 (1971) ...
As a dedicated movie buff and a very serious student of film Summer of 42 is (without a doubt) my all time favourite movie! Nothing I have ever seen since (or before) will ever come close to its magic and power.
I first saw it so many years ago when I was not much older than Hermie in the film. I remember the experience so well: a hot Saturday night in a large art house cinema in a suburb of Brisbane in Queensland, Australia. The movie house was fairly deserted that night and it felt like I was the only one in the theatre. On a huge screen the story unfolded and I was hooked from the beginning.
After it was over I remember going back to my car and just sitting there for about a half an hour, dwelling on the unique movie experience that had just totally consumed me. It really got to me on so many levels: the innocence and awkwardness of youth, the secret world of teenage boys that adults (especially parents) never understand, the awesome intoxication of that first crush.
And ... in my opinion the scene where Hermie goes into the drugstore to buy the condom is one of the sweetest and funniest scenes ever recorded on film.
I have lost count of how many times I have seen Summer of 42. I do know, however, if I watch it when ever I am happy, it makes me sad; if I watch it when ever I am sad, it makes me happy. Strange ... but true!
I run it regularly in my home movie theatre for friends to introduce them to its magic, but I never watch it with them. I only ever watch this movie alone. This is "my movie"; I will share its wonder with others, but I can only ever watch it by myself. Again strange ... but true!
Gary Grimes who played Hermie left acting in the late 1970's. I found a recent article on him (now aged in his 50's). He has gone onto other pursuits & says that he is happy with the life choices he has made. Still ... he a great loss to film!
Mr Grimes, if you ever happen to read this re-view, thank you for your wonderful performance that was (is) at the heart of this movie's magic & wonder. Sir, I salute you!
IMDB Info ...
Trailer on YouTube ...
Review (informational): Class of '44 (1973) ...
Class of '44 is the 1973 sequel to Summer of '42 released two years earlier, the latter being my all time favourite coming-of-age movie.
Class of '44 reunites Hermie (Gary Grimes), Oscy (Jerry Houser) and Benjie (Oliver Conant) as they graduate from high school. Benjie departs shortly to war while Hermie and Oscy go on to college and experience fraternity hazings, cheating on exams, sex scandals and other unsavoury college activities. Hermie grows apart from his childhood friend Oscy and begins a relationship with Julie (Deborah Winters) that allows him to settle down into maturity.
Summer of '42 was a hit but its sequel (of sorts) did not fare well at the box office. It suffered by employing a different style and tone to its predecessor and it omitted any mention of the events of the first film which the fans expected.
If you love Summer of '42, you will still really enjoy Class of '44!
And ... what ever happened to Gary Grimes who played Hermie?!? For years and years I wondered and now I know ...