Summer of '42 (1971) (NTSC)

If you create a user account, you can add your own review of this DVD

Released 17-Apr-2002

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by

Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Main Menu Audio
Biographies-Cast & Crew
Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1971
Running Time 103:52
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4 Directed By Robert Mulligan

Warner Home Video
Starring Jennifer O'Neill
Gary Grimes
Jerry Houser
Oliver Conant
Katherine Allentuck
Christopher Norris
Lou Frizzell
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $29.95 Music Michel Legrand

Video (NTSC) Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 480i (NTSC)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    This is an autobiographical true story of a boy's coming of age in the Summer of '42. The screenplay is written by Herman Raucher, and it is based on his book of the same name.

    Hermie (Gary Grimes) is a 15 year old boy spending his summer holiday with his friends Oscy (Jerry Houser) and Benjie (Oliver Conant) on an island off the coast of New England. They spend their days at the beach, eating ice cream, staring at girls bathing, and desperately trying to acquire sex education from stealing their parents' books.

    One day Hernie spies a young woman (Jennifer O'Neill) living in a beach house with her husband. He becomes infatuated with her, especially since her husband leaves shortly thereafter to join the war as a soldier.

    One day, he notices her having problems carrying two heavy grocery bags from the local store. He offers to carry the bags for her. She is grateful and offers him a cup of coffee. He learns that her name is Dorothy.

    Shortly after that, Dorothy asks Hermie if he doesn't mind moving some large boxes into the attic for her and their friendship deepens.

    In the meantime, Oscy is doing his best to lose his virginity with a girl he met at the movies - Miriam (Christopher Norris). He sets up a double date and pairs Hermie with another girl called Aggie (Katherine Allentuck). However, Hermie keeps thinking of Dorothy.

    One day, Hermie decides to visit Dorothy at her house but discovers that something terrible has happened ...

    This is a sweet and unassuming story that many people will identify with. It's probably a bit slow moving by today's standards but if you have fond memories of watching it in the 70s then you may want to check this DVD out.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality


    The transfer is in widescreen 1.78:1 and is 16x9 enhanced. The intended aspect ratio is presumably 1.85:1, based on a 35mm film source. The video format is NTSC rather than PAL.

    Given that the story is about the nostalgic recollections of Herman's boyhood, the filmmakers has opted for a very soft, diffused, low contrast look. And that is precisely what the transfer gives us.

    So don't adjust your contrast settings, don't complain, this is exactly how the film is supposed to look.

    The use of filters and soft lenses means the overall picture is not only soft, but rather "cloudy" with smeared luminance and reduced colour saturation/contrast levels.

    Grain is quite prominent during the opening titles, but I suspect that is intentional. Grain is also present in the rest of the film, but at fairly minor and non-annoying levels.

    The film source appears to be relatively clean, marred only by the occasional black blob and various white scratches.

    There are a number of subtitle tracks: English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, Chinese, Thai, and Korean. In addition, NTSC closed captions are also available if your display device supports it. I turned on both closed captions and the English subtitle track. The closed captioned subtitles are marginally more accurate (and include hearing impaired features such as dialogue attribution and non-verbal captioning).

    This is a single sided single layered disc.

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


    There are two audio tracks on the disc: English Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s), and French Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s).

    The mono English soundtrack is okay, but not exceptional.

    Dialogue was reasonably clear throughout, and there were no issues with audio synchronization.

    The audio track did not sound too "thin", but extreme low and high frequencies have been attenuated.

    The original music score is by Michel Legrand, and the opening title theme, which is a piano instrumental supported by a light orchestral arrangement, should be familiar to many. The background music is mostly the title theme repeated over and over again in different variations and orchestral arrangements.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


    Extras are fairly minimal.


    The menus are 16x9 enhanced but static. The main menu includes background audio.

Biographies-Cast & Crew

    This contains biographical stills for the following cast and crew:

Notes- Awards

    This is a single still documenting an Academy Award and British Academy Award (both for the film score) given to the film.

Theatrical Trailer (1:04)

    This is presented in 1.78:1 (16x9 enhanced) and Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s).

R4 vs R1

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

    This is a Warner NTSC re-release of the R1 disc into R4, therefore the two versions are identical.


    Summer of '42 is a nostalgic story of an eventful summer in a boy's life when he became a man and fell in love for the first time.

    The video transfer is okay.

    The audio transfer is okay.

    Extras are minimal.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Christine Tham (read my biography)
Friday, April 02, 2004
Review Equipment
DVDCustom HTPC (Asus A7N266-VM, Athlon XP 2400+, 512MB, LiteOn LTD-165S, WinXP, WinDVD5 Platinum), using RGB output
DisplaySony VPL-VW11HT LCD Projector, ScreenTechnics 16x9 matte white screen (254cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials/Ultimate DVD Platinum/AVIA. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationDenon AVC-A1SE (upgraded)
SpeakersFront and surrounds: B&W CDM7NT, front centre: B&W CDMCNT, surround backs: B&W DM601S2, subwoofer: B&W ASW2500

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add)
A must see movie!! - mickle