That Certain Summer (1972)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Family Drama, Gay & Lesbian Films, Coming-of-Age  |   Run Time - 73 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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The Emmy-winning writing team of Richard Levinson and William Link was the creative forced behind the landmark TV movie That Certain Summer. Hal Holbrook stars as a middle-aged divorced man, whose son Scott Jacoby cannot fathom the reason for his parents' split. During a summer visit, Jacoby meets his father's much-younger "best friend," Martin Sheen. Holbrook hedges, but finds he can no longer hold back the truth from his son: Sheen is Holbrook's male lover. Hope Lange costars as Holbrook's ex-wife, who struggles to come to grips with her former husband's sexual preferences, and who encourages him to reveal all to his son. Originally telecast on November 1, 1972, That Certain Summer was the first TV film to take a mature and non-remonstrative approach to the subject of homosexuality--and like many "firsts," the film seems a bit timid when seen today. Levinson and Link were compelled by the network to include short self-deprecating speeches describing the gay life as something of a sickness, one that Holbrook would in his heart of hearts prefer not to pursue. Still, it was as adult as a TV movie could get in those more restrictive times, and doesn't date as badly as it might. In fact, the only truly dated element of That Certain Summer is the self-consciously arty direction of Lamont Johnson.




divorce, family, father, homosexual, man, relationship, relative, reunion, son, Summer