Summer and Smoke (1961)

118 mins | Drama | 16 November 1961

Director:

Peter Glenville

Producer:

Hal B. Wallis

Cinematographer:

Charles Lang Jr.

Editor:

Warren Low

Production Designer:

Hal Pereira

Production Company:

Hal Wallis Productions
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HISTORY

The 17 Nov 1961 Var noted that Peter Glenville previously directed a stage version of Tennessee Williams’s 1948 play, Summer and Smoke, in England.
       Between Aug 1958 and Nov 1960, DV briefs noted the following actors and actresses were under consideration for leading roles: Carolyn Jones; Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman, as possible co-stars; Jean Simmons and Rock Hudson, as possible co-stars; Dolores Hart; and Yvette Mimieux. Geraldine Page’s casting was announced in the 16 Mar 1960 DV, and shortly after the 22 May 1959 DV stated that producer Hal B. Wallis was pursuing George Cukor to direct. The 2 Jul 1959 DV announced that Meade Roberts had signed on to adapt the screenplay, and two months later Var reported that Jack Clayton was attached to direct. Peter Glenville ultimately replaced Clayton.
       Principal photography began 12 Dec 1960, as reported in the 16 Dec 1960 DV. Five days of shooting were scheduled to take place on the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc. (MGM) studio lot in Culver City, CA, beginning 19 Dec 1960, as noted in the 16 Dec 1960 DV. Two months later, items in the 21 and 22 Feb 1961 DV indicated that filming was nearing completion or had just finished.
       Summer and Smoke was selected as one of two U.S. entries to play at the Venice Film Festival, where it debuted on 26 Aug 1961. The 5 Sep 1961 DV reported that Geraldine Page was in the running for the festival’s Best Actress award but was “edged out” by French actress Suzanne Flon for ...

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The 17 Nov 1961 Var noted that Peter Glenville previously directed a stage version of Tennessee Williams’s 1948 play, Summer and Smoke, in England.
       Between Aug 1958 and Nov 1960, DV briefs noted the following actors and actresses were under consideration for leading roles: Carolyn Jones; Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman, as possible co-stars; Jean Simmons and Rock Hudson, as possible co-stars; Dolores Hart; and Yvette Mimieux. Geraldine Page’s casting was announced in the 16 Mar 1960 DV, and shortly after the 22 May 1959 DV stated that producer Hal B. Wallis was pursuing George Cukor to direct. The 2 Jul 1959 DV announced that Meade Roberts had signed on to adapt the screenplay, and two months later Var reported that Jack Clayton was attached to direct. Peter Glenville ultimately replaced Clayton.
       Principal photography began 12 Dec 1960, as reported in the 16 Dec 1960 DV. Five days of shooting were scheduled to take place on the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc. (MGM) studio lot in Culver City, CA, beginning 19 Dec 1960, as noted in the 16 Dec 1960 DV. Two months later, items in the 21 and 22 Feb 1961 DV indicated that filming was nearing completion or had just finished.
       Summer and Smoke was selected as one of two U.S. entries to play at the Venice Film Festival, where it debuted on 26 Aug 1961. The 5 Sep 1961 DV reported that Geraldine Page was in the running for the festival’s Best Actress award but was “edged out” by French actress Suzanne Flon for her performance in Thou Shalt Not Kill (a.k.a. Tu ne tueras point, 1961). A 15 Nov 1961 benefit screening in New York City was billed as the world premiere in an 18 Oct 1961 DV item, which noted the screening would raise money for the American Theatre Wing’s scholarship fund. The New York City opening followed on 16 Nov 1961.
       Critical response was generally favorable, with Page’s performance receiving consistent praise. The National Board of Review named Summer and Smoke one of the Top Ten films of 1961, and the picture received the following Academy Award nominations: Best Actress (Page); Actress in a Supporting Role (Una Merkel); Art Direction (Color); and Music (Music Score of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture). Geraldine Page won a Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama, and Golden Globe Award nominations went to Pamela Tiffin for New Star of the Year – Actress, and Elmer Bernstein for Best Original Score – Motion Picture. The soundtrack, featuring Bernstein’s score, was released by RCA Victor. A 22 Aug 1961 DV brief stated that a single version of the film’s theme would be recorded by pianist Peter Nero.
       The following actors were named as cast members in DV items published Jan-Feb 1961: Myrna Ross; Irene Calvillo; Hank Delgado ; Dan Nunez; Sam Glahs; Tom Hernandez; Tony Rosa; Raymond Foster; Eve Cotten; Allen Emerson; Dick Bernie; Larrian Gillespie; Lester Maxwell; Rickie Sorenson; and Betty Budzak.

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GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
PERSONAL & COMPANY INDEX CREDITS
CREDIT
HISTORY CREDITS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
15 Aug 1958
p. 2
Daily Variety
28 Aug 1958
p. 2
Daily Variety
31 Dec 1958
p. 7
Daily Variety
28 Apr 1959
p. 2
Daily Variety
18 May 1959
p. 2
Daily Variety
22 May 1959
p. 2
Daily Variety
2 Jul 1959
p. 2
Daily Variety
16 Mar 1960
p. 2
Daily Variety
21 Mar 1960
p. 2
Daily Variety
19 May 1960
p. 2
Daily Variety
27 May 1960
p. 7
Daily Variety
21 Nov 1960
p. 2
Daily Variety
16 Dec 1960
p. 5
Daily Variety
16 Dec 1960
p. 8
Daily Variety
19 Jan 1961
p. 6
Daily Variety
20 Jan 1961
p. 17
Daily Variety
31 Jan 1961
p. 8
Daily Variety
10 Feb 1961
p. 3
Daily Variety
21 Feb 1961
p. 2
Daily Variety
22 Feb 1961
p. 9
Daily Variety
21 Aug 1961
p. 11
Daily Variety
22 Aug 1961
p. 5
Daily Variety
5 Sep 1961
p. 4
Daily Variety
18 Oct 1961
p. 11
Daily Variety
8 Nov 1961
p. 9
Daily Variety
17 Nov 1961
p. 2
Daily Variety
17 Nov 1961
p. 3
Los Angeles Times
22 Nov 1961
p. 11
New York Daily News
17 Nov 1961
p. 66
Variety
2 Sep 1959
p. 11
Variety
29 Jun 1960
p. 26
Variety
20 Var 1961
p. 4
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Hal Wallis Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
James Rosenberger
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
WRITERS
Scr
PHOTOGRAPHY
Col cons
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Unit art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dec
COSTUMES
Cost
MUSIC
SOUND
Phil Mitchell
Sd
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec photog eff
MAKEUP
Hairstyles
PRODUCTION MISC
Unit prod mgr
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the play Summer and Smoke by Tennessee Williams (New York, 9 Oct 1948).
LITERARY SOURCE AUTHOR
DETAILS
Release Date:
16 November 1961
Premiere Information:
Venice Film Festival screening: 26 Aug 1961; New York premiere: 15 Nov 1961; New York opening: 16 Nov 1961; Los Angeles premiere: 21 Nov 1961
Production Date:
12 Dec 1960--mid or late Feb 1961
Copyright Info
Claimant
Date
Copyright Number
Hal B. Wallis
16 November 1961
LP21509
Joseph H. Hazen
16 November 1961
LP21509
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Technicolor
Widescreen/ratio
Panavision
Duration(in mins):
118
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

Alma Winemiller is the fragile, lonely, and oversensitive daughter of a minister in a small Mississippi town shortly before the first World War. From childhood she has harbored an almost spiritual love for John Buchanan, who, though a physician like his father, resents being forced to follow in his father's footsteps. But the unruly John prefers livelier company than the timid Alma; in particular, he is attracted by Rosa Zacharias, the tigerish daughter of the owner of Moon Lake Casino. One night, John becomes intrigued by Alma's shy, inhibited gropings toward love, and he takes her to the casino. When he tries to seduce her, the horrified girl hysterically denounces him and runs away. A short time later, the elder Dr. Buchanan is called out of town, and John uses the occasion to throw a wild party celebrating his betrothal to Rosa. Alma frantically telephones Dr. Buchanan, who quickly returns, quarrels with Zacharias, and is accidentally shot and killed. Shattered by the tragedy caused by his carousing, John reforms and takes over his father's practice. As the months pass, Alma's brooding love erupts into passion; and she goes to John and offers herself to him. But it is too late; it is John who now regards their relationship as a spiritual one. After learning that John plans to marry Nellie Ewell, a young girl, the heartbroken and frustrated Alma wanders down to the park. There she strikes up an acquaintance with a lonely traveling salesman, Archie Kramer. When he asks what excitement can be found in the town, Alma smiles at him and suggests they take a taxi to Moon Lake Casino. As they drive off, Alma watches the ...

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Alma Winemiller is the fragile, lonely, and oversensitive daughter of a minister in a small Mississippi town shortly before the first World War. From childhood she has harbored an almost spiritual love for John Buchanan, who, though a physician like his father, resents being forced to follow in his father's footsteps. But the unruly John prefers livelier company than the timid Alma; in particular, he is attracted by Rosa Zacharias, the tigerish daughter of the owner of Moon Lake Casino. One night, John becomes intrigued by Alma's shy, inhibited gropings toward love, and he takes her to the casino. When he tries to seduce her, the horrified girl hysterically denounces him and runs away. A short time later, the elder Dr. Buchanan is called out of town, and John uses the occasion to throw a wild party celebrating his betrothal to Rosa. Alma frantically telephones Dr. Buchanan, who quickly returns, quarrels with Zacharias, and is accidentally shot and killed. Shattered by the tragedy caused by his carousing, John reforms and takes over his father's practice. As the months pass, Alma's brooding love erupts into passion; and she goes to John and offers herself to him. But it is too late; it is John who now regards their relationship as a spiritual one. After learning that John plans to marry Nellie Ewell, a young girl, the heartbroken and frustrated Alma wanders down to the park. There she strikes up an acquaintance with a lonely traveling salesman, Archie Kramer. When he asks what excitement can be found in the town, Alma smiles at him and suggests they take a taxi to Moon Lake Casino. As they drive off, Alma watches the dying leaves of summer blowing across the pavement.

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Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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