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Top 10 Summer Must-See Movies

Written by: Editorial Staff

July 26, 2010
Filed Under Movies 


Contributed by Sara Shea, Info Guru

When sunscreen, snow cones and vogue sunglasses still can’t help you to beat that summer heat …

when the days are simply too long, sticky and lazy, when summer days turn into summer daze … then it’s time to plan for indoor activities. When temperatures top the charts, its time to break out the sizzling blockbusters and classic summer movies. Get ready to dim the lights, pour some icy drinks, and chill out with the top ten summer-themed movies of all time.

10. Summer School (1987, rated PG-13)

Although you may cringe at the thought of wasting the season in summer school, you certainly won’t regret watching this lighthearted comedy. One of the funniest and most endearing characters in the movies is Mr. Freddy Schoop (Mark Harmon) a goofy high school gym teacher who gets roped into canceling his summer vacation plans in order teach a remedial summer English class to a bunch of flunk-out, misfit students. Ironically, his humorous antics and unique teaching style helps him to finally connect with the kids.

9. One Crazy Summer (1986, rated PG)

When a group of friends (including stars such as John Cusack and Demi Moore) decide to spend the summer on Nantucket, there a plenty of adventures in store! This movie incorporates a slew of crazy summertime island adventures, from comic book love stories to basketball, motorcycle gangs, sailing, rock singers, beach scenes and greedy real estate developers… there is no telling what will happen next… and non-stop laughter!

8. Adventureland (2009, rated R)

Carnivals and amusement parks are trademarks of summertime, and serve as the setting for this contemporary summer-themed film. The main character of the movie, James Brennan is forced to take a dead end job in a local amusement park, Adventureland, in order to help pay for expenses after his parents suffer career setbacks. James’s plans for a European tour and Ivy League college experience are put on hold. In the midst of his bizarre summer job with the carnies, James learns real-life lessons about love, friendship, trust and personal values.

7. 500 Days of Summer (2009, rated PG-13)

500 Days of Summer is a contemporary romantic comedy… featuring a nonlinear narrative. This means the chronological sequence of the story has basically been jumbled up… which makes for a wacky, funny, appealing and very unique mishmash of events. While this film became a summer blockbuster hit in theaters after its release in July of 2009, it is actually not a film about summertime, but rather about a woman named summer. However, if you are looking for a film about summer love, then 500 Days of Summer is, quite literally, the perfect film.

6. Friday the 13th (1983, rated R)

If you need a horror movie to get your blood pumping this summer, Friday the 13th may be just the film. The film is set in 1979 at a spooky summer camp called Camp Crystal Lake. After the mysterious 1957 drowning of a young boy, the murder of two camp counselors, and several fires and floods, a new owner decides to re-open the camp. A series of grisly, nightmarish murders ensue. While Friday the 13th is celebrated as the original “scary movie” it might not be quite the right flick to show your kids before they depart for summer camp!

5. Vacation (1983, rated PG-13)

Hailed as the classic comedy about a summertime family vacation, this film may be just the thing to watch if you are in the midst of planning your own summer vacation. Or, maybe not! No matter how challenging family vacations may be… just keep your fingers crossed that they don’t get as wacky as this family’s cross country trek! Everything seems to go wrong for the Griswold family, starring Chevy Chase, Randy Quaid and Beverly D’Angelo, as they plan to drive from Chicago, pick up Aunt Edna, visit some cousins and travel to Wally World, a theme park on the west coast. Regardless of whether you have your own summer vacation planned, this film provides a suitcase-full of laughs for the whole family.

4. Dazed and Confused (1993, rated R)

Dazed and Confused has been described as a liberating comedy glorifying teenage rites of passage of the 1970s. The movie begins on the last day of school at Lee High School in Austin, Texas in 1976, where the seniors are plotting and preparing the annual hazing rituals for incoming freshmen. The movie soundtrack features classics such as “Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo” by Rick Derringer, “Slow Ride” by Foghat, and “School’s Out” by Alice Cooper. This summer, rent Dazed and Confused to relive the music and mayhem of the 1970′s.

3. Dirty Dancing (1987, rated PG-13)

Dirty Dancing is another classic film about forbidden summer love. While enjoying a family summer vacation at a lodge in New York’s Catskill Mountains in 1963, seventeen year-old Baby (Jennifer Grey) falls for the camps dance instructor Johnny Castle (Patrick Swayze). This sultry summer film is set to soundtrack of rock and roll songs from the early 1960s.

2. Grease (1978, rated PG)

Grease is the original high school musical, about teen love and summer time romance in California in 1959. Fortunately, the movie has been re-release this summer. Some theaters around the country are even running a sing-along version of the hit, which was released on July 8th of 2010!

Reminisce about summertime high school romance as Danny Zuko (John Travolta) and Sandy Olsson (Olivia Newton-John) struggle to rekindle their summertime love. Grease, which features one of the most dynamite movie soundtracks of all time, also features the classic “schools out for summer” scene at the end of the movie, replete with a carnival on the school grounds.

1. Jaws (1975, rated R)

Okay, so you may have some trepidation about that trip to the seashore after watching this classic summertime thriller. However, even if you have seen Jaws before, its well worth watching again, and here’s why: the 2010 summer marks the 35th anniversary of Jaws, which opened in theaters nationwide between June and July of 1975.

In fact, Jaws, directed by Steven Spielberg, has been hailed as the very first summertime blockbuster movie phenomenon, as it grossed over $470 million during its premier. This summer, don’t be surprised to see 35th anniversary collectible Jaws merchandise appearing in seaside boutiques. Dim the lights and prepared to be scared silly by great white shark terrorizing seaside tourists.

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  6. JoshG on December 19th, 2011 10:11 pm

    Jaws is PG not R and Vacation is R not PG-13.