Thursday, July 6, 2023

Thursday Film Picks- Summer Vacation


My friend is somewhere in Malaysia, just not sure where. Right now he is working, non stop being a Travel host either on a bus loaded with tourists who want to see Lake Louise, Jasper and Banff or taking day trips to Victoria, BC, Whistler or anywhere near Vancouver. He is off during the winter when he 5ake off to explore different parts of the world. I thought of my friend and  the end of school and the start of summer vacation. So many families decide to take the kids on a trip during the summer  and either go camping, take off to Disney, rent a cottage or go on a trip where they may meet my good friend V.J. With that in mind, I chose staying at a cottage/home with the family and here they are…


I did talk about this film before but I love Jimmy Stewart and I really enjoy this film about a father, Stewart, who takes his beautiful wife, Maureen O’ Hara, and their 2 kids to an old home right on the beach. The home has seen better days from the dust to the plumbing but they decide to enjoy what it has to offer. When a luscious blondie decides to sunbathe near their home, Stewart is polite and his son in law is a bit too nice. We have some great character actors in this movie and I love the bird watching scene. It’s sweet, funny and the start of a few movies Stewart made in this vein.


I have to see this movie again because I really liked it when I watched it many, many years ago. Sid Caesar and Vera Miles are a married couple who, along with their teenage son, rent a home for their summer vacation not realizing that it is already inhabited by 3 unruly ghosts whom only the teenage son can see. The ghosts do what they can to be disruptive and the teenager gets blamed for the ghosts’ antics. I found it funny, cute and worth a few looks. I miss these types of films that were made during this decade with the character actors often seen in many of the other comedy movies.


This is the weakest of the 3 but it’s still fun…dumb, but fun. You have John Candy who takes his wife and sons up to the cabin he used to go to and they are enjoying their time together until Candy’s brother and sister-in-law come up with their freakish twin girls. They all decide to enjoy the area even though they must deal with raccoons, bears and each other. Watching this again made me realize how much I miss John Candy who, apparently, was just the nicest to the people in the town who worked as extras ( as opposed to Annette Bening, in her first film role, who was a real b&@*). I love Bart the Bear, a famous bear who worked in quite a few movies, as the bear who causes some damage to Candy but gets a bum wrap ( nyuck, nyuck…you have to see the movie to get the pun). Whoever was the stuntman for Candy when on the waterskis, is amazing. 

Which summer movies can you think of?


  1. I've only seen your first pic. My first thought was 'A Summer Place'. I was twelve when it came out and had a crush on Troy Donahue. Sigh....

  2. Thanks for not mentioning National Lampoon's Vacation.
    I'm going with Meatballs! Bill Murray made that film.

    1. I LOVED Vacation...LOL.
      Also really liked Meatballs.

  3. My summer vacation trip is over for this year unless we decide to take a quick jaunt somewhere nearby.

    I've never seen your second pick, but the other two I have seen though I can't remember much about them.

    First thing that came to my mind was Dirty Dancing. My sisters both love that film, but me not so much. But it does fit into the vacation theme. Also any of those "Beach Party" type films with Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon. I used to go see every one of those when I was in junior high. I recently recorded several of them to watch with my older man brain. Not sure that I'll enjoy them as much as back then but I'm sure they'll bring back lots of memories.


  4. BIRGIT ~

    I've seen 'Mr. Hobbs...' of course (I'm a big fan of "Uncle Jimmy" and Maureen "The Angry Redhead" O'Hara); and I've seen 'The Great Outdoors' (and met John Candy once upon a lifetime ago). But I'm not sure I ever even heard of 'The Spirit Is Willing'.

    So, the first movie that popped into my mind was 'THE ENDLESS SUMMER', the Bruce Brown classic about two surfers following Summer around the world while looking for "the perfect wave".

    The second movie I thought of was 'THE ENDLESS SUMMER II'. Maybe not quite as great as the original, but still really good and fun. And it has the hardest rocking musical soundtrack I've ever heard (Gary Hoey just shredding guitar strings like the surfers shred waves!) Utterly fantastic water photography!

    Denise mentioned 'A SUMMER PLACE'. The movie itself wasn't really my kind of thing, but I am literally in love with Theme From 'A Summer Place' by Percy Faith and his Orchestra! I think it's one of the most beautiful and haunting pieces of music ever recorded. My Brother loves it as much as I do. So I brought it along with us on our journey across "The Loneliest Road In America" and we played and replayed it several times, out in the middle of gorgeous 'Nowhere, USA'.

    ~ D-FensDogG

  5. Love The Great Outdoors. A classic:) Sounds like your friend has a fun job. Sandra

  6. Hi Birgit!

    I wasn’t too crazy about The Great Outdoors, but The Spirit is Willing is a fun little escapist flick with a cast better than the script. I love Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation!! Such an amiable and sweet movie, Jimmy and Maureen O’Hara make a fine couple and I’m always happy to see both John Saxon and Fabian from this period.

    The three I thought of right away:
    How I Spent My Summer Vacation (1967)-a teaming of Robert Wagner and Jill St. John a couple of decades before their marriage. Wagner plays a young man who finds himself unexpectedly enmeshed in a deadly conspiracy during said time period. Sounds dramatic but is played more towards the lighter side.

    Having Wonderful Time (1938)-Ginger Rogers plays a bored New York city secretary who goes to Camp Kare Free for her summer vacation and has assorted adventures including meeting Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. for romance. Lucille Ball and Ann Miller are also in the cast.

    Marjorie Morningstar (1958)-Natalie Wood plays Marjorie Morgenstern, a young college student who on her summer break becomes a counselor at a Catskill resort. While she’s there she’s swept away by the entertainment director Noel Airman (Gene Kelly) who is both too old for her and a rake but who puts romantic notions in her head much to her parents (Claire Trevor & Everett Sloane) chagrin. Carolyn Jones plays Marjorie’s fellow counselor buddy.

  7. I remember the first and third ones, but did not see the second one. Summer vacation movies are always fun. Another John Candy one I liked is Summer Rental, also starring Richard Crenna and Rip Torn.

  8. I can think of other great summer movies but for summer vacation, for me there's one that stands above all others: "Stand by Me."

  9. National Lampoon's "Vacation." Now, THERE'S a bit of dumb, but fun. Come to think of it, John Candy is in THAT one, too!

  10. I haven't seen any of your picks! For some reason when I think of vacation movies, the Tiny Toons movie always comes to mind first. Haven't seen it in decades, but I watched it a lot as a kid.

  11. I thought I commented on this. I must have fallen into your spam folder...

  12. I'm in need of some summer vacation movies to minimize my cravings for travel! Malaysia is so near to Singapore, so it tends to be one of my go-to places to visit.