Karmen Gault

Written by Karmen Gault

Modified & Updated: 05 Mar 2024

Jessica Corbett

Reviewed by Jessica Corbett

Source: Plex.tv

The movie Summer of ’42 is a timeless classic that has captivated audiences since its release in 1971. Set during World War II, this coming-of-age tale follows the story of Hermie, a young teenager who falls in love with an older woman while his friends are away at war. Directed by Robert Mulligan and starring Gary Grimes, Jennifer O’Neill, and Jerry Houser, Summer of ’42 explores themes of love, loss, and the bittersweet passage from adolescence to adulthood.

In this article, we will delve into 37 fascinating facts about Summer of ’42, from the film’s origin and production to behind-the-scenes anecdotes and its impact on popular culture. So, grab your popcorn and join us on a nostalgic journey back to the summer of 1942.

Key Takeaways:

  • “Summer of ’42” is a heartwarming movie set in the 1940s, exploring first love, friendship, and the bittersweet nature of growing up. It’s a timeless classic that captures the innocence and emotions of youth, resonating with audiences for generations.
  • The film’s nostalgic setting, emotional storytelling, and authentic portrayal of adolescence make “Summer of ’42” a beloved cinematic gem that continues to inspire and captivate audiences, leaving a lasting impact on pop culture.
Table of Contents

Nostalgic Setting:

The movie Summer of ’42 is set in the summer of 1942, capturing the spirit of a bygone era.

A Coming-of-Age Story:

Summer of ’42 follows the journey of three teenage boys as they navigate the complexities of love, loss, and maturity.

Box Office Success:

The film was a commercial success, grossing over $20 million at the box office.

Screenplay by Herman Raucher:

The film is based on the semi-autobiographical screenplay written by Herman Raucher.

Adapted from a Novel:

Herman Raucher’s screenplay was adapted from his own novel, which was published in 1971.

Directed by Robert Mulligan:

The movie was directed by Robert Mulligan, known for his exceptional storytelling ability.

Beautiful Cinematography:

The film features stunning cinematography that captures the serene beauty of the summer setting.

Iconic Score by Michel Legrand:

The memorable score of Summer of ’42 was composed by the legendary Michel Legrand.

Audiences’ Favorite:

The movie resonated with audiences, becoming a beloved classic over the years.

Academy Award Winner:

The film won the Academy Award for Best Music, Original Dramatic Score.

Youthful Cast:

The movie features a talented young cast that brings the characters to life with authenticity.

Nominated for Golden Globe Awards:

Summer of ’42 received three Golden Globe nominations, including Best Motion Picture – Drama.

Heartwarming Tale:

The film tells a heartwarming story that captures the emotions and innocence of youth.

Timeless Theme:

The movie explores themes of first love, friendship, and the bittersweet nature of growing up.

Culturally Significant:

Summer of ’42 is considered a culturally significant film that captures a pivotal moment in history.

Realistic Portrayal:

The film’s realistic portrayal of the characters and their emotions adds depth and relatability.

Emotionally Charged Scenes:

Summer of ’42 features poignant scenes that tug at the heartstrings and leave a lasting impact.

Critical Acclaim:

The movie received positive reviews from critics, who praised its storytelling and performances.

A Reflection of Loss:

Summer of ’42 beautifully captures the universal experience of loss and the longing for what could have been.

Iconic Poster:

The film’s poster, featuring the image of a young couple on the beach, has become iconic.

Memorable Quotes:

The movie is filled with memorable quotes that have become part of popular culture.

Portrayal of Adolescence:

Summer of ’42 explores the complexities of adolescence and the challenges of transitioning into adulthood.

A Tale of Innocence:

The film captures the innocence and naiveté of youth, emphasizing the fleeting nature of such moments.

Impactful Sound Design:

The movie’s sound design enhances the emotional resonance of the story, adding depth to the overall experience.

Evocative Soundtrack:

The film’s soundtrack features a collection of nostalgic songs that transport viewers back to the 1940s.

Relatable Characters:

The characters in Summer of ’42 feel real and relatable, drawing viewers into their world.

Exploration of Unrequited Love:

The film delves into the theme of unrequited love, depicting the pain and longing it can bring.

Timeless Cinematic Gem:

Summer of ’42 has stood the test of time, remaining a beloved cinematic gem for generations.

An Intimate Portrait:

The movie paints an intimate portrait of a summer filled with joy, heartache, and self-discovery.

Emotional Rollercoaster:

Summer of ’42 takes viewers on an emotional rollercoaster ride, eliciting both tears and laughter.

Enduring Themes:

The themes explored in the film, such as love, loss, and the fragility of youth, continue to resonate with audiences.

Authentic Period Details:

The film pays meticulous attention to capturing the authentic period details of the 1940s.

Long-lasting Impact:

Summer of ’42 has had a long-lasting impact on the coming-of-age genre, inspiring future filmmakers.

Strong Performances:

The cast delivers strong performances, further enhancing the emotional depth of the story.

A Tale of Remembrance:

Summer of ’42 is a nostalgic journey that invites viewers to reflect on their own memories and experiences.

Influential in Pop Culture:

The film has left an indelible mark on pop culture, referenced and parodied in various forms of media.

A Timeless Classic:

Summer of ’42 is a timeless classic that continues to captivate audiences with its poignant storytelling and evocative portrayal of youth.


Summer of ’42 is a timeless classic that continues to captivate audiences with its nostalgic portrayal of summer love and coming-of-age experiences. The film’s beautiful cinematography, heartfelt storytelling, and exceptional performances have solidified its place in cinematic history. Whether you’re a fan of romance, drama, or simply great storytelling, Summer of ’42 is a must-watch film that will leave a lasting impression on your heart.


1. What is the plot of Summer of ’42?

Summer of ’42 follows the story of Hermie, a young teenager, who spends his summer on an idyllic island in New England during World War II. During his time there, he becomes infatuated with Dorothy, an older woman whose husband is away at war. The film explores the complexities of young love, loss, and the emotional awakening of Hermie.

2. Is Summer of ’42 based on a true story?

No, Summer of ’42 is not based on a true story. However, it is loosely inspired by the experiences of the film’s screenwriter, Herman Raucher, who spent a summer on Nantucket Island during World War II.

3. What is the significance of the film’s title, Summer of ’42?

The title refers to the summer of 1942 when the story takes place. It signifies a time of innocence, growth, and discovery for the main characters in the film.

4. Who directed Summer of ’42?

The film was directed by Robert Mulligan, known for his work on other renowned films such as To Kill a Mockingbird and The Other.

5. What awards did Summer of ’42 receive?

Summer of ’42 was nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Original Score, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Cinematography, and Best Art Direction. The film won the Academy Award for Best Original Score.

6. How has Summer of ’42 impacted popular culture?

Summer of ’42 has left a lasting impact on popular culture, inspiring numerous references and tributes in other films, television shows, and songs. It has often been cited as one of the best coming-of-age stories in cinema history.

7. Can children watch Summer of ’42?

While the film explores mature themes and contains some adult content, it is generally considered suitable for teenagers and older audiences. Parental discretion is advised.

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