Summer Movies

There are plenty of movies that take place during the summer time.  But there are a few movies that stand out as classic summer movies.  Below are five movies that you can find at the Davenport Public Library.  Not included in this list are any movies that take place at a camp.  For help on finding these movies or any other ones, contact the Reference Department.


NLVacationNational Lampoon’s Vacation

The Griswold family decides to go on vacation at Walley World, “America’s Favorite Family Fun Park” which is located in Los Angeles, California.  Clark, the head of the household, thinks it will be a great idea to drive the family across the country so that they can bond.  Right away, things start to go poorly.  Clark orders a new car for the family trip, but the car is not ready.  So, the family has to take an ugly old station wagon instead.  And so begins the misadventures of the Griswold family as they travel cross country.  This comedy stars Chevy Chase, Beverly D’Angelo, Anthony Michael Hall and Dana Barron.  This movie was directed by Harold Ramis and was released in 1983.



Stand By MeStand By Me

This coming of age film is based on a novella by Stephen King.  In 1959, four friends from the town Castle Rock embark on an adventure to discover the body of a missing local boy.  During their journey, their secrets and fears are exposed to one another.  Gordie thinks his parents hate him, Teddy’s father is crazy, Vern is bullied, and Chris is a kid from a “no good family”.  What started as a fun journey becomes a meaningful exploration of friendship and courage.  Filled with many memorable scenes, such as the pie eating contest, the leeches and the train bridge, this movie delights fans young and old.  Directed by Rob Reiner and starring Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, Jerry O’Connell and Corey Feldman. This film was released in 1986.




No, this film does not take place at the Adventureland Park in Altoona, Iowa.  And the main character, James Brennan (played by Jesse Eisenberg) is not having a “fun-filled day”.  In fact, his life seems bleak to him.  James had planned to go on the trip of a lifetime to Europe after graduating from college.  However, his parents are unable to give him the money that they had previously promised him and advise James to get a job.  James finds work at an amusement park called Adventureland.  He meets Emily, or Em, played by Kristen Stewart and they start a relationship. But this summer romance has misunderstandings and complications. This comedy-drama was directed by Greg Mottola and was released in 2009.



dirty dancingDirty Dancing

It’s 1963 and Frances “Baby” Houseman is on vacation with her parents at a resort in the Catskills.  One night, Baby discovers where the staff hangs out after hours and gets an eyeful of the staff dirty dancing.  The resort’s dance instructor, Johnny Castle, gives Baby an impromptu dance lesson.  Johnny’s dance partner, Penny, finds herself pregnant and can no longer perform a dance routine that is scheduled.  Baby volunteers to learn the dance routine and perform with Johnny.  Johnny has to teach Baby how to dance and teach her the routine.  The two cannot help falling for each other.  Directed by Emile Ardolino and starring Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey, this film was released in 1987.




The movie that terrified people so much that they stayed out of the ocean.  The movie begins with a young woman skinny-dipping in the ocean in New England.  Suddenly, she is pulled under the water.  The next day, her remains are washed up on shore and it is determined that she died from a shark attack.  More attacks follow and a bounty for the shark is posted.  Police Chief Brody, shark hunter Quint and oceanographer Hooper decide to hunt the great white shark terrorizing the town.  With one of the most memorable musical scores in cinema history, this film is full of suspense and thrills.  Directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw and Richard Dreyfuss, this film was released in 1975.




Blockbuster Summer Movies

Recently the magazine Time Out New York listed the 30 best summer blockbusters ever. Borrow some these DVDs from the library and stage your own summer film festival!

Here are the top 10:

10. Aliens (1986) Sigourney Weaver

Ripley returns to the alien planet to stop them from killing off an entire colony. But when she gets there along with a group of marines, they only find one survivor, a small girl. Now they must fight hordes of aliens to save her.

9.Face/Off (1997) John Travola, Nicolas

A federal agent assumes the identity of a presumed-dead terrorist who killed his son. When the terrorist wakes up, he assumes the identity of the agent.

8. Terminator 2 (1991) Arnold Schwarzenegger

A shape-shifting cyborg is sent to the past to kill young John Conner before he can grow up to lead the resistance. But the resistance manages to send a protector back in an attempt to save him.

7. The Empire Strikes Back (1980) Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill

Fleeing the evil Galactic Empire, the rebels abandon their new base on Hoth. Princess Leia, Han Solo, R2-D2 and C-3P0 escape in the damaged Millennium Falcon. Later, on Bespin, they are captured by Lord Darth Vader. Luke Skywalker, meanwhile, follows Ben Kenobi’s posthumous command and receives Jedi training by Yoda on Dagobah.

6. Fahrenheit 9/11

Using actual footage and declassified documents, Michael Moore examines the Bush administration’s financial ties to the bin Laden family, Saudi Arabia, and our involvement in Iraq, both before and after the attacks on the World Trade Center.

5. E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982) Henry Thomas, Drew Barrymore

Elliott is a young boy from a broken home who discovers an extra-terrestrial creature that has been stranded on Earth – light years from home. Together they form a universal friendship, and Elliott helps E.T. ‘phone home.’

4. Ghostbusters (1984) Dan Akyroyd, Bill Murray

After being kicked out of their university, parapsychology professors Spengler, Stantz and Venkman decide to go into business for themselves by trapping and removing ghosts from haunted houses. After some initial skepticism, business is soon booming as The Ghost Busters rid New York of its undead. When a downtown skyscraper becomes the focal point of spirit activity linked to the ancient god Gozer, however, the problem may be more than the team can handle.

3. Star Wars (1977) Mark Hamill, Sir Alec Guinness, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher

Star Wars: A New Hope opens with a rebel ship being boarded by the tyrannical Darth Vader. The plot then follows the life of a simple farmboy, Luke Skywalker, as he and his newly met allies (Han Solo, Chewbacca, Ben Kenobi, C-3PO, R2-D2) attempt to rescue a rebel leader, Princess Leia, from the clutches of the Empire. The conclusion is culminated as the Rebels, including Skywalker and flying ace Wedge Antilles make an attack on the Empires most powerful and ominous weapon, the Death Star.

2. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) Harrison Ford, Karen Allen

Indiana Jones battles fierce Nazis in hopes of stopping them from using the power of the lost Ark of the Covenant.

1. Jaws (1975) Roy Scheider

A Long Island vacation town is preyed upon by a man-eating shark. Recently appointed Police Chief Martin Brody faces domestic troubles and searing criticism for not closing the beaches in the wake of the deadly shark attacks. Now, Brody must decide how to retake the waters, employing the aid of a young ichthyologist and a vengeful fisherman.