With the official start of summer arriving this coming Monday (June 20, to be exact), we cobbled together some ideas for your viewing pleasure throughout the season. Summer seems to always bring visions of late night pool parties, daytime BBQs, sandy beaches, exotic locales, family vacations and even quiet times of personal contemplation. With these 19 titles (20 is soooo predictable), we cover the gamut of comedies, dramas, romances, actioners, some teen flicks (with just the right amount of cheese) and everything in-between that give off those perpetual summer vibrations. We hope you have a great and safe season and be sure to check out these offerings from the Warner Bros. Library.
If you're looking for an excellent binge-watch this summer, you can't go wrong with all four seasons of The O.C., which was a pop culture phenonmenon during its initial run from 2003-07 on The CW. The O.C. is an often hilarious and whip-smart series about the trials and tribulations of families in Newport Beach, California, so if you missed it the first time around, it's waiting for your visit. And if you were a fan back in the day, you'll fall in love all over again (just like we did when compiling this list). And we've got even better news: CW Seed, The CW's digital home is currently offering every single episode for free viewing. Yep!
Loosely based on the personal experiences of director John Milius and co-writer Dennis Aaberg during their younger days in Malibu, California, Big Wednesday has grown to become a cult classic since its 1978 release. Starring Jan-Michael Vincent, Gary Busey and William Katt as three surfers, whose passion for riding the waves in the early '60s is threatened by the draft for the rapidly growing Vietnam War and their impending adulthood. A most excellent seasonal time capsule.
Dudley Moore is George Webber, one-half of a successful yet aging songwriting team, who finds himself in a mid-life crisis that takes him from his mansion in Bel-Air to the beaches of Mexico in pursuit of a nameless new bride played by Bo Derek (who became one of the world's biggest sex symbols because of this classic). Too many memorable comedic scenes to fit in here, but Moore's pharmacutically-enhanced conversation with two members of the LAPD is still one for the ages.
It's all about golf and ritzy seaside parties at the ever-exclusive Bushwood Country Club, but it remains a cinematic treasure from the late, great director/writer Harold Ramis (in his directorial debut). Featuring an iconic cast of comedic legends like Rodney Dangerfield, Bill Murray, Chevy Chase and Ted Knight, Caddyshack is guaranteed to still tickle that funnybone, no matter how many times you've seen it.
What better scenery for a comedic crime caper than a beach resort run by Oscar-winner Morgan Freeman? It's all in the 2004 remake of The Big Bounce, based on Elmore Leonard's novel (the first screen version took place in 1969 starring Ryan O'Neal). Owen Wilson stars as a surfer and part-time thief who gets entangled in a complex web of deceit (and laughs) when he takes a job working at the resort and catches the eye of Sara Foster, who plays the mistress of a corrupt millionaire (Gary Sinise). A fun cinematic tale with the right summer vibes.
For most families, summer means vacation and there's never been a more dedicated (or fallible) family man than Clark Griswold (played by Chevy Chase in his most iconic role). Determined to drive his family on a cross-country trip—Chicago to Los Angeles—to the now famous, albeit fictional, Walley World amusement park. This box-office blockbuster remains a comedy standard that any family who has ever been stuck together in a car for days on end can relate to. Whether it's visiting those "special" relatives or mediating inner-family rebellions, screenwriter John Hughes and director Harold Ramis captured it all perfectly in this one film.
A year after John Cusack and Demi Moore first became hot properties (Cusack in the off-beat comedy Better Off Dead, Moore in About Last Night), they were teamed together in this rom-com tale of a group of teens thrust together on the summer island of Nantucket. Cusack is a recent high school grad whose parents' dreams of him getting a college basketball scholarship are shattered while he hopes to pursue his own dream of being an illustrator. Along the way to vacation with his friend (Joel Murray) and little sister, they cross paths with a rock singer (Moore) being pursued by a gang. It's all light-hearted fluff, but seeing Cusack and Moore in their early days makes it a fun watch.
This 1967 beach comedy romp, which was virtually ignored during its theatrical release, has grown into a cult favorite with critics like Leonard Maltin calling it a "gem" of a movie. Starring Tony Curtis, Don't Make Waves is the first film released with burgeoning actress and stunning beauty Sharon Tate, who would tragically receive infamous public notice as one of the murder victims of the notorious family led by Charles Manson. But here we get to see what might have been with Tate's scene-stealing presence and humor on full-color display.
"Elvis Brings His Beat to the Beach!" proclaimed the promos for this 1965 musical farce that features The King "doing the clam!" Shelley Fabares is irresistible in the first of her three co-starring roles with Presley and if you're looking for some light-hearted fare from the mid-60s, Girl Happy more than fits the bill. Trivia Warning: Don't expect any topless Elvis scenes, because he is never shown sans shirt, even if he is on the beach. That Colonel Parker never really knew what the girls wanted.
Freddie Prinze Jr., Jessica Biel and Matthew Lillard star in this rather predictable rom-com from 2001 that follows a baseball player (Prinze Jr.) playing in a collegiate league on Cape Cod, who falls for the vacationing Biel (who wouldn't?). Fine performances from the cast make the slim storyline more enjoyable and not every movie has to have a lot of depth, right?
In this 1978 TV Movie, Suzanne Somers, who was at the height of television popularity as the bubble-headed Chrissy Snow on the classic series Three's Company, plays a fading pop star who escapes her troubles for a day at the beach to contemplate her life, but instead becomes intertwined with a group of teenagers who are assessing their own futures. The cast of then-young-unknowns is impressive, including Michael Bien, Rosanna Arquette, Timothy Hutton, Tanya Roberts and P.J. Soles, and well worth a viewing. A fun, heartfelt comedy/drama that is a great way to get motivated for your own visit to the beach this summer.
That's 1992's MTV Award's "Most Desirable Male" Keanu Reeves. Not a whole lotta other awards came in for this 1991 high-octane adventure, but it did do good business at the box office and has grown into a cult classic over the past 25 years.
A private cruise among friends in the Hollywood elite is a majestic treat for the eyes and a fun riddle for the mind in the vastly underrated mystery The Last of Sheila. The trips to exotic locales and the seductive allure of Raquel Welch and Dyan Cannon are the visual treats, but it's the all-star cast of James Coburn, Richard Benjamin, James Mason, Joan Hackett, Ian McShane (and Cannon and Welch) that makes this one-of-a-kind murder mystery a great way to spend a few hours.
This little movie that could was based on screenwriter Herman Raucher's memories of himself as a young teen (played by Gary Grimes) falling in love with a young war widow (played by then 22-year-old actress/model Jennifer O'Neill) during a vacation on Nantucket Island in the summer of 1942. The coming-of-age comedy/drama was box office magic and is one of the most successful films in history, based on the ratio of budget-to-gross. Ironically, to help market the movie, Warner Bros. asked Raucher to write a novel version of the film to release before the movie's opening. The book became a national bestseller and because it came out before the film, most people thought it was based on the book rather than the other way around.
Sandra Dee and Troy Donahue became cinema teen idols with their performances as two young lovers trapped in a bizarre tornado of passion when his mother (Dorothy McGuire) and her father (Richard Egan) rekindle their own childhood romance. A Summer Place received mixed critical reaction at the time of its release, but has had a renewal of popularity since then with high Rotten Tomato scores from both critics and audiences alike.
Feeling like flying to France this summer? Well, might be cheaper to take it all in 1969-style with this tale of a disgruntled architect (Albert Finney) who, on a whim, takes his wife (Yvette Mimieux) to the City of Lights in search of painter Pablo Picasso. With cinematography from future Oscar winner Vilmos Zsigmond, it's a visual treat for the senses, even if the story itself ends up not being all wine and roses.
And for more European travel, there's 1995's Before Sunrise. There's not much of a plot to discuss since this incredibly popular film follows two strangers—Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy—as they spend a day together in Vienna. It's a small film that attracted such a passionate audience that it spawned two sequels, each nine years apart, Before Sunset (2004) and Before Midnight (2013).
Of course, some people have more things on their mind during the summer than parties and vacations. Take Ana Garcia (America Ferrera in a memorable performance) for instance, who has graduated high school in East Los Angeles and is excited for the future, meaning "college." Her mom has other ideas, like working in the family business. It's going to be a long summer of contemplation in this memorable comedy/drama.
Finally, you'll get four vacations for the price of one as four girlfriends—Alexis Bledel, America Ferrera, Blake Lively and Amber Tamblyn—spend their first summer apart. One heads to Greece, one to Mexico, one to South Carolina and one stays home in Maryland. Excellent cinematography in all the locales makes this a summer delight. Another coming-of-age comedy/drama with a tremendous following.