Summer Lovers (1982) from Tuna and Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

Tuna's notes in white:

Summer Lovers (1982) stars Peter Gallagher as a young man, probably just out of college, summering on a Greek island with his steady girlfriend, Daryl Hannah. He is sort of a pre-yuppie, and has always done what was expected of him. Although he loves Hannah, he has a vague feeling that there might be more to life. Hannah is quiet, with a self-image problem, and is very modest, but she too wants more from their relationship. She is reading books about how to have a more exciting sex life, and hopes the vacation will kindle magic between them.

The first day there, Gallagher meets Valerie Quenessen, a French born archeologist, uninhibited, but afraid of commitment and relationships. She has come to Greece to "simplify her life." Gallagher follows her to the beach, where they end up having sex. After, he is surprised at himself, and confused about his feelings. He confesses to Hannah, who is jealous and threatened, and tells him to go get it out of his system. Hannah goes into town, and almost "gets even" with a local, but changes her mind. The fact that IMDB calls this Threesome will give you an idea how it ends up. On one level, it is a Hollywood formula love story -- couple meets girl, couple loses girl, couple finds girl, but all three characters seem very real, and react and grow in ways that have the ring of truth. That, and the fact that the film is full of nudity, explains why I like this film very much.

Scoop's notes in yellow:

The most interesting question related to this film is this - whatever happened to Valerie Quennessen?

Her two young co-stars, Daryl Hannah and Peter Gallagher, went on to be mid-level stars. Valerie disappeared altogether. Without a trace. For years.

She made this movie (August 1982 release) and Conan the Barbarian (May 1982 release), did some French TV work about the same time, and then seemed to disappear from the face of the earth. As of 1997, nobody in the world seemed to have any information about her whereabouts in the previous 15 years. Then this story appeared in the newsgroup alt.obituaries in June of 1998:

...a while back I became acquainted with one of the cast members of the charming 1979 flick FRENCH POSTCARDS who had told me one of his co-stars, the French actress Valerie Quennessen (who later appeared in SUMMER LOVERS and CONAN THE BARBARIAN) had been killed in a car crash close to ten years ago. Later, I heard that the crash had taken place sometime in March of 1989, and that she had two children who survived her.

The story concludes as follows, with a letter from one of my readers:

Hi Scoopy
Unfortunately, the news of Valerie's death has been confirmed by her daughter Elsa who said her mother died on March, 1989 and was buried in the Cimetière Montparnasse, Paris. I went there myself. At the Conservancy, I was given the date of her burial : 24/03/1989. I eventually found the grave on which are inscribed the words : Valérie Quennessen, 3 décembre 1957-19 mars 1989. The tomb is situated in the Jewish section of the cemetery (division 30). So sad…



As for the movie. It was the only full-length film in Randall Kleiser's career which he wrote and directed. After this attractively photographed movie, he was still in demand as a director, but he was asked to leave his scripts home. Kleiser is no Marty Scorsese, but he can still get work as a workmanlike director-for-hire, mostly for TV and "B" movies. In 1998, for example, he directed Shadow of Doubt, the film where critics questioned the casting of Melanie Griffith as a brilliant defense attorney.


Valerie Quenessen shows everything. Hannah shows breasts and buns, and countless unidentified women show various body parts including full frontal nudity, mostly in beach scenes.

DVD info from Amazon

  • Unfortunately, it is a bare bones DVD, and is presented in 4/3 aspect ratio, and it's a pan-n-scan version. The transfer is outstanding, however.

I think Summer Lovers effectively demonstrates his career strengths and weaknesses. As far as I can tell from the pan-n-scan DVD, he did a satisfactory job in the director's chair. In the writing capacity ... well,  the story isn't so bad, but the characters are superficial and the man could not write dialogue at all.

The Critics Vote

  • no major reviews.

The People Vote ...

The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. (C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by genre fans, while C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie although genre addicts find it watchable). D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-.

Based on this description, Tuna says, " C+. Yes, the themes are frankly sexual, and there is a lot of nudity, but it is a frank yet entertaining look at relationships, all set in a beautiful location. I suspect that people who watch this new DVD release will raise the score at IMDB.  One of my favorite movies, but based on the score, clearly not everyone feels that way. Scoopy says, "C, I guess, maybe a C-, but certainly not lower that that. It is a film with great pluses and minuses. The greatest minus is the acting, which is sub-high school level, closely followed by the dialogue and characterization, which are genuinely uninteresting and superficial. The greatest plusses are: gorgeous and exotic Greek locales, and a monumental amount of nudity. I couldn't get into the characters or story at all, and you can consider the film an "E" if you see it on broadcast TV with the nudity removed. If you see it uncut, however, the beauty of the bodies and the scenery make it a solid watch. You can fast-forward through the insipid dialogue and make it a solid hour of hot cinema nudity."

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