Classic Summer Movies

Whether you want to spend your holiday on the Riviera, in the Tuscan hillside or at a Catskills resort (hello, Baby and Johnny!), here are the summer movies that will take you there

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Summertime (1955)

Katharine Hepburn stars as a lonely spinster who has a romance with a married man (a very sexy Rossano Brazzi) against the enchanting backdrop of Venice in David Lean’s classic drama.


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Jaws (1975)

The movie that forever made us paranoid about going into the ocean past our ankles. Steven Spielberg’s terrifying thriller about a man-eating shark also has one of the best scores ever.


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Bull Durham (1988)

Susan Sarandon and Kevin Costner sizzled in this baseball movie, which really wasn’t about baseball at all but about “long, deep, slow, wet kisses that last for three days.” Sigh.


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American Graffiti (1973)

One night in the lives of a group of high school graduates perfectly captures the summer of 1962, complete with hot rods, teen angst and what might be the best soundtrack of all time.


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Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008)

Woody Allen’s comic saga centers on two friends (Rebecca Hall and Scarlett Johansson) summering in Spain, where they meet up with a mesmerizing artist (Javier Bardem) and his sexy, loco ex (Penelope Cruz, who won an Oscar).


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Dirty Dancing (1987)

Spend summer in the Catskills with Baby, Johnny and a whole lotta dancing—both on the dance floor and between the sheets. The movie that made Patrick Swayze an icon for the ages.


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Bonjour Tristesse (1958)

Exquisitely shot in Paris and the Côte d’Azur, this movie stars Jean Seberg as the spoiled teen daughter, David Niven as her aging playboy father and Deborah Kerr as the woman who comes between them.


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Wet Hot American Summer (2001)

This hilariously loopy send-up of summer camp movies stars Janeane Garofalo, Paul Rudd, David Hyde Pierce, Chris Meloni and Amy Poehler, among others. 


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The Flamingo Kid (1984)

Matt Dillon has never been sweeter or funnier as a Brooklyn kid from the wrong side of the tracks who scores a summer job as a cabana boy at the fancy El Flamingo Beach Club.



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Stealing Beauty (1996)


Spend the summer in the glorious Tuscan countryside with Jeremy Irons, Sinead Cusack (offscreen partners as well) and gorgeous Liv Tyler, who’s intent on losing her virginity to her Italian childhood sweetheart.


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Rocket Gibraltar (1988)



Set in the Hamptons, this under-the-radar gem stars Burt Lancaster as a patriarch hosting his family’s annual summer holiday. Kevin Spacey, Bill Pullman, Patricia Clarkson and a tot named Macauley Culkin are among the then unknown costars.



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Frankie & Annette MGM Movie Legends Collection

This compilation includes Frankie and Annette's five frivolously fun beach flicks (among them Beach Blanket Bingo, Beach Party and How to Stuff a Wild Bikini), in which they spend endless summers bickering, singing and making out. Guest stars like Don Rickles, Linda Evans and Buster Keaton join in the silliness. 


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