Summer Holiday (1962)

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Released 11-Feb-2003

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Musical Main Menu Audio
Theatrical Trailer
Rating ?
Year Of Production 1962
Running Time 103:30
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Peter Yates
Herbert Ross
Elstree Distributors
Universal Pictures Home Video
Starring Cliff Richards
Lauri Peters
Case ?
RPI Box Music Peter Myers
Ronald Cass

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.40:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.40:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

     Starring Sir Cliff Richard before he was knighted, Summer Holiday is a somewhat fun musical romp. Four British friends (Cliff and the other three member of his band The Shadows) decide to convert a double-decker bus and drive across Europe. Along the way, they pick up a few British women and a female stowaway poorly disguised as a young boy.

     Set in the 60’s, I found that I simply could not get all the set designs, costumes and choreography of that period which Mike Myers so deliciously satires with his Austin Powers movies out of my head long enough to take this seriously. I kept expecting a velvet suit clad spy with a frilly shirt to pop up out of the set and start making exclamations like “Yeah, baby! Yeah!”. Of course that never happens, although some of the characters in the film come very close to it.

     Also, there seems to be a whole lot of inadvertent homoerotic dialogue and references that make it even harder to take this film remotely seriously, and which makes me believe that somewhere this film has earned gay icon status. Explaining this further would involve too many spoiler tags and really it’s not worth the effort. I’ll just assume for the time being that this film was made in simpler times and analyse it from that standpoint.

     So, Summer Holiday is enjoyable enough if you like musicals, and a decidedly different breed to those produced by Arthur Freed at MGM. So, while I’d much rather sit through Larry Clark’s new film Bully, I will give this film its grudging dues and be done with it. Although it’s touted as family entertainment, I wouldn’t let my kids watch it. I imagine it would totally screw them up. Feed them better classics like It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.

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Transfer Quality


     Presented in 2.40:1, 16x9 enhanced, this is the original aspect ratio for the film.

     The picture is a little soft throughout, which probably has more to do with the source material than the actual transfer. Colours are generally rich and well saturated, though not particularly vibrant, and there is only the barest of background noise. Shadow detail is fairly good, although sometimes a little grainy. This is no surprise given the age of the source material.

     There does appear to be some minor aliasing going on, particularly in curved edges in the background. However, this is not terribly distracting and goes largely unnoticed.

     There were a couple of flecks of dirt and the like on the print, but on the whole this was pretty clean, particularly when measured against the quality of the trailer.

     This is a single layered disc.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


     There is a sole English Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo soundtrack on this disc. This track is fairly good, but nothing special.

     Dialogue (while often atrocious) is always clear and easy to understand. There were no real audio sync problems that I detected, which is surprising for a film this old. Obviously, the musical tracks were pre-recorded in a studio, but they’re synced pretty well regardless.

     There is no real surround presence, and, of course, the subwoofer was not used.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use



     The menu is a static shot. It is 16x9 enhanced.

Theatrical Trailer (3.52)

     Presented in 2.40:1, 16x9 enhanced. Very gritty. Indeed, utterly filthy, and not in a good way. And if I saw this ad, I wouldn’t go see the film. Advertising has come a long way.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

     These versions appear to be identical except for the NTSC/PAL formatting. Much of a muchness, really.


     Summer Holiday is just so dated it’s impossible to take it in any way seriously. The homoerotic references make it that much harder. My general reaction: whatever.

     The video transfer is acceptable, though a little soft.

     The audio transfer is fairly average, although given the age of the film this is hardly surprising.

     The extras are pretty much worthless.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Edward McKenzie (I am Jack's raging bio...)
Monday, March 17, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDPanasonic DVD-RV31A-S, using S-Video output
DisplayBeko 28" (16x9). This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver.
AmplificationMarantz SR7000
SpeakersEnergy - Front, Rear, Centre & Subwoofer

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Comments (Add)
Commentary on R2 Version - Chris W (read my bio)