The Past Is Never Gone: Revisiting “Summer of ’42”

Releases last year on DVD and Blu-ray as part of the Warner Archive Collection, the blockbuster coming-of-age favorite Summer of ’42 remains a compelling work of nostalgia about love and times that have long gone away. Writer Herman Raucher based his long-in-gestation screenplay on his own youthful experiences, result in a film that rings true. The film follows the writer’s surrogate, Hermie (Gary Grimes) as he and best friends Oscy and Benjie idle away the titular summer of 1942 in Nantucket Island. Over the course of a few months during which Hermie completes the transition from the innocence of childhood into the complexities of adulthood, he befriends the beautiful, married Dorothy (Jennifer O’Neill). When Dorothy’s husband is called to serve in World War II, Hermie makes it his mission to get to know her better — falling in love and having his life forever changed in the process.