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Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams
     

Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams

Director: Gilbert Cates,

Cast: Gilbert Cates, Joanne Woodward, Martin Balsam, Sylvia Sidney

 
American GI Harry Walden (Martin Balsam) emerged from a harrowing experience in WWII to find himself living an outwardly-happy but inwardly-empty and tedious existence in the post-war U.S. He is an eye doctor, successful in his work, but unfulfilled spiritually and emotionally. He and his wife Rita (Joanne Woodward) have a boring existence, with their biggest issue

Overview

American GI Harry Walden (Martin Balsam) emerged from a harrowing experience in WWII to find himself living an outwardly-happy but inwardly-empty and tedious existence in the post-war U.S. He is an eye doctor, successful in his work, but unfulfilled spiritually and emotionally. He and his wife Rita (Joanne Woodward) have a boring existence, with their biggest issue being what kind of wallpaper to choose when they redecorate their apartment. They are dysfunctional, materialistic, and utterly lost. Rita is neurotic and unhappy, especially after her mother (Sylvia Sidney) dies. They decide to visit France and go to the battlefield where Harry once spent a night in the company of three dead German soldiers. The trip is intended to reawaken their deadened humanity. Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams is a challenging, slow and thoughtful depiction of the corroding effects of a materialistic lifestyle. ~ Michael Betzold

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Joanne Woodward and Stewart Stern, who had written the screenplay for her 1968 triumph Rachel, Rachel, re-teamed for Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams. Stern once again provided Woodward with a vehicle that demonstrated her remarkable ability as an actress. Woodward dominates the film, playing her big scenes full out but also using her intelligence and humor to lighten the film when it approaches dramatic overkill. Woodward's breakdown on the escalator of a London subway is remarkable, but so is her earlier, quieter scene when lunching with her mother (during which she sums up the disconnectedness she feels with life by asking, "Are we just two women who go to lunch once a week and complain about lemon?"), as well as her shocked reaction to her mother's sudden death. Sylvia Sidney is also quite good as her mother, and Martin Balsam's understated performance meshes very nicely with Woodward's. Although the film sometimes drags, Gilbert Cates handles the opening nightmare sequence expertly, and has nice moments throughout, but he is not able to overcome the tendency toward soap opera in Stern's script, nor its unsubtle psychology. These flaws ultimately damage the movie; rather than it becoming a truly insightful character study, it emerges as a well-made star vehicle.

Product Details

Release Date:
12/20/2010
UPC:
0043396372849
Original Release:
1973
Rating:
PG
Source:
Sony Pictures Home
Sales rank:
15,760

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Joanne Woodward Rita Walden
Martin Balsam Harry Walden
Sylvia Sidney Mrs. Pritchett
Dori Brenner Anna
Teresa Hughes Betty Goody
Grant Code Grandfather
Nancy Andrews Mrs. Pat Hungerford
Win Foreman Fred Goody
Sol Frieder Mr. Goldblatt
Lee Jackson Carl Hurlbutt
Gaetano Lisi Student in Theater
Helen Ludlam Grandmother
Marian Swan Nurse
Dave Thomas Chauffeur
Dennis Wayne Dancer in Dream
Peter Marklin Joel
Charlotte Oberley Waitress
Minerva Pious Mrs. Bimberg
Ron Richards Bobby Walden

Technical Credits
Gilbert Cates Director
Jack Brodsky Producer
Peter Dohanos Production Designer
Phil Feldman Producer
Gerald Hirschfeld Cinematographer
Anna Hill Johnstone Costumes/Costume Designer
Sidney Katz Editor
Johnny Mandel Score Composer
Stewart Stern Screenwriter

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