Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams (1973)

PG | 87 or 90 mins | Drama | October 1973

Director:

Gilbert Cates

Writer:

Stewart Stern

Producer:

Jack Brodsky

Cinematographer:

Jerry Hirschfeld

Editor:

Sidney Katz

Production Designer:

Peter Dohanos

Production Company:

Rastar Productions, Inc.
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HISTORY

The working titles of the film were Death of a Snow Queen and Souvenir . The following written statement appeared onscreen: " Wild Strawberries sequence courtesy Mr. Ingmar Bergman and Svensk Filmindustri." A written acknowledgment also appeared in the closing credits: "The producers wish to express their grateful appreciation to the people of New York, London and Bastogne for their help in the making of this film." Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams marked the return to the big screen of actress Sylvia Sidney ("Wanda Pritchett"), who had not appeared in a feature film since the 1956 Universal production Behind the High Wall (see above). Sidney had spent the intervening years appearing in a variety of television and theatrical productions. Although a Dec 1972 HR news item indicated that the film marked the feature debut of Dori Brenner ("Anna"), she appeared in a small role in New Line Cinema's 1972 production Scarecrow in a Garden of Cucumbers (see above). For their performances in the film, Sidney and Joanne Woodward, who portrayed "Rita Walden," were nominated for Academy Awards for Best Supporting Actress and Best Actress, ... More Less

The working titles of the film were Death of a Snow Queen and Souvenir . The following written statement appeared onscreen: " Wild Strawberries sequence courtesy Mr. Ingmar Bergman and Svensk Filmindustri." A written acknowledgment also appeared in the closing credits: "The producers wish to express their grateful appreciation to the people of New York, London and Bastogne for their help in the making of this film." Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams marked the return to the big screen of actress Sylvia Sidney ("Wanda Pritchett"), who had not appeared in a feature film since the 1956 Universal production Behind the High Wall (see above). Sidney had spent the intervening years appearing in a variety of television and theatrical productions. Although a Dec 1972 HR news item indicated that the film marked the feature debut of Dori Brenner ("Anna"), she appeared in a small role in New Line Cinema's 1972 production Scarecrow in a Garden of Cucumbers (see above). For their performances in the film, Sidney and Joanne Woodward, who portrayed "Rita Walden," were nominated for Academy Awards for Best Supporting Actress and Best Actress, respectively. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
5 Nov 1973
p. 4637.
Hollywood Reporter
3 Oct 1972.
---
Hollywood Reporter
13 Oct 1972.
---
Hollywood Reporter
27 Oct 1972
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
1 Dec 1972
p. 16.
Hollywood Reporter
19 Dec 1972.
---
Hollywood Reporter
18 Oct 1973.
---
Los Angeles Herald Examiner
21 Dec 1973
Section C, p. 3.
Los Angeles Times
21 Dec 1973
Section IV, p. 1, 32.
New York Times
22 Oct 1973
p. 46.
Newsweek
19 Nov 1973.
---
Time
12 Nov 1973.
---
Variety
18 Oct 1972.
---
Variety
6 Dec 1972.
---
Variety
24 Oct 1973
p. 17.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Rastar-Gilbert Cates Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d asst dir
3rd asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
Cam op
Asst cam
Asst cam
Key grip
Cam grip
Best boy
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Scenic artist
Asst art dir
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Asst film ed
Asst film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Prop master
Side prop
COSTUMES
MUSIC
SOUND
Mixer
Boom op
Boom op
VISUAL EFFECTS
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
Makeup artist
Hairdresser
Hairdresser
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod supv
Casting
Scr supv
Asst to the prod
Asst to the prod
Prod secy
Dir's secy
Asst to the prod
D.G.A. trainee
Unit pub
Teamster capt
Unit mgr
Unit mgr
Accountant
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Death of a Snow Queen
Souvenir
Release Date:
October 1973
Premiere Information:
San Francisco Film Festival: 17 October 1973
New York opening: 21 October 1973
Production Date:
late October--early December 1972 in New York
Copyright Claimant:
Persky-Bright Associates
Copyright Date:
21 October 1973
Copyright Number:
LP43942
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Technicolor
Duration(in mins):
87 or 90
MPAA Rating:
PG
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

In New York, middle-aged Rita Walden dreams that she is in a plummeting airplane falling through stormy skies as she exchanges helpless looks with her son Bobby, a few rows ahead of her. The next morning, Rita visits the office of her physician husband Harry to have her eyes examined as a possible cause for her numerous headaches and persistent insomnia. Although Rita complains about having to meet her mother, Wanda Pritchett, for lunch and shopping, Harry remains unruffled by her irritability and urges her to purchase whatever she likes for remodeling their apartment. Before lunch, Rita baby-sits for her daughter Anna and law student son-in-law Joel. When Anna returns, she shows her mother a picture of Bobby, who is living in Amsterdam, and Rita wonders who took the photo. Later, Rita joins Wanda for lunch where her mother spends the meal bemoaning the inferiority of American service compared to that in England. After visiting numerous stores later, the women decide to see a movie but while crossing a street, Wanda unexpectedly experiences sharp chest pains. Although both Rita and Wanda are initially alarmed, they decide the episode was an indigestion attack and proceed to the theater. During the movie, the Swedish film Wild Strawberries by Ingmar Bergman about an elderly man reflecting on his life and coming death, Rita falls asleep and dreams that she finds Bobby in her apartment with a young man who proceeds to go through various ballet movements while Bobby insists that he is alone. When the young man puts his arm ... +


In New York, middle-aged Rita Walden dreams that she is in a plummeting airplane falling through stormy skies as she exchanges helpless looks with her son Bobby, a few rows ahead of her. The next morning, Rita visits the office of her physician husband Harry to have her eyes examined as a possible cause for her numerous headaches and persistent insomnia. Although Rita complains about having to meet her mother, Wanda Pritchett, for lunch and shopping, Harry remains unruffled by her irritability and urges her to purchase whatever she likes for remodeling their apartment. Before lunch, Rita baby-sits for her daughter Anna and law student son-in-law Joel. When Anna returns, she shows her mother a picture of Bobby, who is living in Amsterdam, and Rita wonders who took the photo. Later, Rita joins Wanda for lunch where her mother spends the meal bemoaning the inferiority of American service compared to that in England. After visiting numerous stores later, the women decide to see a movie but while crossing a street, Wanda unexpectedly experiences sharp chest pains. Although both Rita and Wanda are initially alarmed, they decide the episode was an indigestion attack and proceed to the theater. During the movie, the Swedish film Wild Strawberries by Ingmar Bergman about an elderly man reflecting on his life and coming death, Rita falls asleep and dreams that she finds Bobby in her apartment with a young man who proceeds to go through various ballet movements while Bobby insists that he is alone. When the young man puts his arm around a smiling Bobby, Rita begins shouting, only to awaken to find Wanda screaming in pain after another attack. While the management summons an ambulance, Wanda writhes in pain and pleads with Rita to hold her. When Rita can only grasp her mother’s hand, Wanda demands to know why she is unable to hold her, then passes out. At the hospital, doctors are unable to revive Wanda, who subsequently dies. Late that afternoon, Rita returns to the Waldens’ apartment where Harry greets her with sympathy and concern. Rita expresses amazement that she was arguing with Wanda only hours earlier then relates that she has already arranged the burial with the undertaker. A few days later, a limousine takes Rita, Harry, Anna, Joel, Rita’s sister Betty and her husband, Fred Goody, to the family burial plot. On the drive to the cemetery Betty complains that service seems cheap and perfunctory, Rita reminds her that is what their mother wanted. At the cemetery, the family discovers that the grave is only partially dug and no attendants are in sight. As they wait, Fred suggests they discuss selling Wanda’s farm, which sets off a family quarrel with Rita adamantly insisting the farm was intended for Bobby. Later at the farm, Rita wanders about the basement recalling her childhood with her beloved grandmother who read her poetry. In the barn loft, Rita recalls a young neighbor, Carl Hurlbutt, who she cared for and who was killed in the Pacific during World War II. After Rita ignores several entreaties by Betty and Anna to join the others, Anna finds her mother in the loft where she listens sympathetically to Rita reflect on her warm memories associated with growing up on the farm. When Anna gently suggests that selling the farm would provide much needed monetary help to each family member, Rita angrily refuses, prompting Anna to accuse her mother of selfishness. At home in New York, Harry surprises Rita with tickets to England, where he has a business conference. Although genuinely surprised and moved by Harry’s gesture, Rita is unable to thank him. On the flight to London, Rita dreams that Bobby returns home and awakens to remark to Harry that since Wanda died she has had no trouble sleeping. In London, Harry takes Rita to a park where he expresses his utter delight at its cleanliness and beauty, and recalls being posted there as a young soldier. The next day, Rita shops for family gifts, then while traveling on the subway, recalls her mother's rebukes for always buying things for people rather than giving of herself. As the rush hour crowds push through the subway tunnel, Rita grows alarmed and on the escalator is convinced that she sees Wanda several steps above her. When her mother points to the top of the long flight of stairs, shakes her head and is then overcome by the pushing crowds, Rita panics and collapses. A man offers her assistance and, at Rita’s request, contacts Harry at the hotel. Later, Harry finds Rita on a bench at the subway stop and consoles her when she explains her unreasoning fear that she would die at the top of the escalator steps. Rita then laments that she often dreams of being a child, yet feels old, and of the conflicting sense that she has let too much time go by and yet finds there is not enough time to do anything. When Harry assures her this is a common feeling, Rita muses darkly that she has come to the bitter realization that if she had her life to live over, she would still do the things she hated first rather than fulfill her dreams. Back at the hotel that evening, Harry admits to being pleased that Rita needed him when she was afraid. After Harry reflects on his days as a soldier, he and Rita discuss whether each has regrets about their lives. Harry admits that he does not, but Rita asks him why he never had an affair. Smiling, Harry relates that he saw an elegant woman recently who attracted him greatly and when he reveals it was Rita, she is pleased, but dubious. Angry when Rita rejects his embrace moments later, however, an exasperated Harry accuses her of waiting foolishly for Bobby to contact them and announces his plan to visit Bastogne, Belgium, where he had his most dramatic war experiences. The next day, Harry and Rita travel to Bastogne, the site of the last great offensive of the European war. At a war museum, Rita is startled to find Harry among the pictures of the American G.I.s. After describing some of his experiences in the village, Harry darts away to a large field where Rita finds him sitting under a tree. Harry recalls the names of several fellow soldiers who died there and admits he killed three Germans, after which he vowed he would never waste his life. Rita embraces her husband and tells him not to dwell on the past. That evening Rita and Harry agree they feel content and at peace with each other and Rita reveals that she has decided to sell the farm. Rita also acknowledges that she does not really believe Bobby will contact them, even though she knows Anna told him of their European visit. Cautiously, Harry reveals that he spoke with Anna the previous week and she disclosed that Bobby was living with his male lover in Amsterdam and although they were poor, he was very happy and wished his parents well but did not want to see them. Rita angrily storms out of the restaurant as Harry comments that Bobby did not say forever. That night in the hotel, as Rita and Harry lie apart in the dark in their separate beds, Rita abruptly rushes to Harry and fervently grasps and kisses his hand, wondering if she can apologize to her family for requiring them to be so patient with her. Admitting that she is dismayed that she could never tell her mother or Bobby that she loved them, she hopes she can say it to someone before she dies and insists she has feelings despite her inability to express them. When she acknowledges fearing her coldness forced Bobby to become a homosexual, Harry declares their son was who he was since birth. Harry then embraces Rita and she marvels that he could fight in a world war and how difficult it was for her merely to take his hand. When Rita says that she would like them to get a smaller place back home, Harry smiles and holds her close. +

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

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