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  1. #1
    Senior Member Country: UK DB7's Avatar
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    I'd been looking out for this film for sometime - curious as to why it kept appearing in my search engine logs and changed hands for often hefty sums on ebay.



    I'd already prejudged it as 'chick flick' fodder and as soon as I caught sight of the ITC logo (must have been one of the final ITC films) I expected tv-film production values into the bargain. But prejudices aside this is a quality tragi-romance that starts out with a hint of The Darling Buds of May (city gent trapped in idyllic countryside falls in love with beautiful girl) before fate steps in to complicate matters.



    It's beautifully shot with excellent period detail and the strong cast includes James Wilby, Imogen Stubbs and Susannah York. (Jerome Flynn of Robson and Jerome fame too, but hey, you can't have everything.)



    The only thing missing is Hugh Grant.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Country: UK Freddy's Avatar
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    Hey DB7,

    Just switched on to watch About A Boy, once agian hugh is in it, his character has no job but a great expensive flat, Audi car and designer clothes. Have started to record it, that way I can watch it fast forward and only waste 15minutes of my not very important life.

    Next time Marky B goes walkabout he could take Colin Firth as well then he could rub their acting skills together vigorously to start the camp fire.

    Sorry about this, you seemed so jolly on finding Summer Story and I go and spoil it.



    Freddy

  3. #3
    Senior Member Country: UK DB7's Avatar
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    He nearly pulled off the lead role in About A Boy but I always visualized Will being younger and a bigger bar-steward.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Country: England aaron's Avatar
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    Firstly, i should say, that i'm not trying to claim this film to be a classic. Neither is it full of great acting talent (um, Jerome Flynn) and the story is as old as the hills. But i still think that it's overlooked and underloved. Imogen Stubbs plays an innocent crushed english rose to perfection. Ok, so i'm in touch with my feminine side - but 'what the hell? Sentimentality is the last great taboo!!...

    Now, where did i put that Rolf Harris record? oh yes.... Two little boys, had two little toys, Both had a wooden horse.....

  5. #5
    Junior Member Country: United States
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    I sense a defensive, almost apologetic attitude here, Aaron. Personally, I happen to think that "A Summer Story" is one terrific movie, and I'll even go so far to claim that it is a classic. The acting is wonderful, the settings picturesque, and the story heartbreakingly bittersweet. Georges Delerue's gorgeous score captures the poignant mood perfectly. Even the lesser roles are right on target. Kenneth Colley is mesmerising as the farm worker, Jim, and so is that scene-stealer John Savident as an unforgettable bank clerk. "A Summer Story" is one of the most overlooked and underappreciated films in the history of British cinema.

  6. #6
    Junior Member Country: United States
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    I happen to think that "A Summer Story" is one terrific movie, and I'll even go so far to claim that it is a classic. The acting is wonderful, the settings picturesque, and the story heartbreakingly bittersweet. Georges Delerue's score captures the poignant mood perfectly. Even the lesser roles are right on target: Kenneth Colley is truly mesmerising as the farm worker, Jim, and so is that scene-stealer John Savident as an unforgettable bank clerk. I try to watch this film about once an year, and I never fail to be touched by its honesty and remarkable storytelling. Penelope Mortimer's screenplay is a powerful adaptation of a short story by John Galsworthy, and Piers Haggard directs with a light hand that makes the characters come alive. The conclusion is shattering, even when viewed for the umpteenth time. "A Summer Story" is one of the most overlooked and underappreciated films in the history of British cinema.

  7. #7
    Member Country: UK
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    I was reminded of this film just yesterday, when I read the TV magazine blurb for the more recent ONEGIN, which was showing on BBC2. (I haven't seen the latter yet, partly because THE ENGLISH PATIENT pretty much left me cold, and this was not just Ralph Fiennes again, but something of a cosy Fiennes family get-together.) Anyhow, ONEGIN does sound at least vaguely thematically similiar to A SUMMER STORY - as are THE LACEMAKER and a lesser-known 1980s BBC film called POPPYLAND.) The other obvious comparison, in terms of general atmosphere, is Thomas Hardy.



    I can recall watching A SUMMER STORY on a Sunday afternoon, something like fifteen years ago - probably on a last-minute whim as, regrettably, I didn't record it. The powerful ending in particular stuck in my mind, and I'm still waiting for a DVD or another TV screening.



    I found and downloaded a free copy of the original Galsworthy story, THE APPLE TREE, which, making the necessary allowances for the inevitably quaint and dated aspects, turned out to be a great read. I also tracked down an Orson Welles Mercury Theater radio version from the mid-1940s; again, making allowances for the weird cacophany of accents, an enjoyable listen, if you're brave enough to give vent to the sentimental romantic within.



    As for that remark about sentimentality being the last taboo, I agree. It's been given a bad name by the phoney, syrupy, bring-on-the-violins, straining-too-hard-to-pluck-at-your-heartstrings kind of approach commonly favoured in filmland. What's so shameful about responding emotionally to subtle, poignant, skilfully-crafted drama?

  8. #8
    Member Country: UK
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    I still remember this film - particularly the poignant ending - after seeing it only the once, something like fifteen years ago. Apparently it was a box-office flop - not that that has any bearing on a film's artistic merit. Although I do think they should have stuck with the title of the John (FORSYTE SAGA) Galsworthy story it's based on - THE APPLE TREE.

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