Summer and Smoke (1961)

“At the moment, I’m a doctor on leave.  On leave from ice packs, quinine and bedpans.” – Jon Buchanan Jr.

Number of Times Seen – 1 (23 May 2019)

Brief Synopsis – A young doctor who is hotly pursued to try and settle down and have a family wishes to live a life without any commitment.

My Take on it – This is another film that I knew absolutely nothing about before coming across it during my quest to watch all films that have received Oscar nominations for the performances of the actors.

This film does a nice job of looking at the different ways men and women look at relationships at variant times over the course of their lives.

They manage to tell a very intriguing and timeless story and it makes no difference when this story takes place because it is and always will be very relevant in the world.

It’s a film that takes place at the beginning of the Twentieth Century, was written and filmed during the late 500’s and early 60’s and even now 60 years later feels very plausible in out day and age.

The fact that it can be an idea that spans over a Century and still seems realistic and understandable in each of those time frames helps make this film become even more interesting and intriguing to watch.

They present things really well and the story works within the context that it is shown.

The cast of this movie is extremely talented and they all mange to help keep the story moving along in an interesting way since they make the roles all feel so down-to Earth and relatable to the viewer.

Both Una Merkel and Geraldine Page were nominated for Oscars for their work here in the Supporting Actress and Lead Actress categories respectively, yet neither managed to win.

Bottom Line – Interesting look at the different ways men and women look at relationships at different stages in their lives. The issues dealt with here are quite timeless and were relevant back when this film was made (1960’s), at the time when this story takes place (turn of the 20th century) and even now over a Century after the time this takes place.  The story works really well within the context of how it is presented.  The cast is extremely talented and they all shine in these very down-to-Earth kind of roles.  Merkel and Page were both deservingly nominated for Oscars as Supporting Actress and Actress for their performances here. Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Hal Wallis Productions bought the film rights to the play in 1952, shortly before its Off-Broadway revival, for $100,000. (From IMDB)

Rating – Globe Worthy (7/10)


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4 thoughts on “Summer and Smoke (1961)

  1. It’s one of Williams loveliest plays. He later rewrote it as Eccentricities of a Nightingale, with a different ending, and not anywhere nearly as effective as here. Lovely performances.


  2. Pingback: Did They Get it Right? – Best Supporting Actress – Oscars 1961 | MovieRob

  3. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1961 | MovieRob

  4. Pingback: Did They Get it Right? – Best Actress – Oscars 1961 | MovieRob

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