By Jessica Pickens
The summer season brings sunshine, high temperatures, and a carefree feeling. But what if you want the feeling of summer without getting a sunburn by the pool?
There are a few classic summer films that will allow you to stay inside in the air conditioning. Dive into these films:
Starring: Betty Grable, Carole Landis, Don Ameche, Robert Cummings, Charlotte Greenwood
Sisters Kay and Barbara Latimer (Grable and Landis) and their Aunt Susan (Greenwood) think they are inheriting a great fortune from a relative. When the inheritance ends up only being $4,000, the three hatch a plan to head to Miami, with Kay pretending to be an heiress, Barbara her secretary and Susan her maid. Kay meets two millionaires – Jeff (Cummings) and Phil (Ameche) — and she has to decide which she likes better and if they have as much money as they say.
Starring: Esther Williams, Richardo Montalbán, Peter Lawford, Cyd Charisse, Jimmy Durante, Xavier Cugat, Leon Ames
Actress Rosalind Rennolds (Williams) is making a film in Hawaii with her fiancé Ricardo Montez (Montalban). But other romances put a halt to their marriage. Rosalind’s co-star Yvonne (Charisse) is in love with Ricardo, and the Navy technical advisor for the film, Lt. Lawrence Y. Kingslee (Lawford), is in love with Rosalind. Lt. Kingslee met Rosalind during World War II when she was entertaining troops. To prove his love, Lt. Kingslee’s kidnaps Rosalind in order to be alone with her on an island.
Starring: Sandra Dee, James Darren, Cliff Robertson, Arthur O’Connell,
Teenage tomboy, Francie Lawrence (Dee), isn’t boy crazy like her friends, which leaves her isolated over the summer. She finds her place amongst a group of male surfers who aren’t interested in having her around until she shows she can hold her own in the sport of surfing. She earns the nickname “Gidget” – the girl midget and is the mascot of the group. The leader, Big Kahuna (Robertson), coaches her in the sport and Gidget falls for a moody surfer, Moondoggie (Darren).
Starring: Sandra Dee, Troy Donahue, Dorothy McGuire, Richard Egan, Constance Ford, Arthur Kennedy
Sylvia and Bart Hunter (McGuire, Kennedy) run a Maine summer resort with their son Johnny (Donahue). The resort was once a posh location but has now fallen into shambles, and Bart is an alcoholic. One summer, Ken Jorgensen (Egan) visits a the resort with his wife Helen (Ford) and daughter Molly (Dee). As a teenager, Ken worked at the resort as a lifeguard and had a romance with Sylvia. Ken and Sylvia rekindle their old romance, and Sylvia’s son Johnny and Molly also fall in love.
Starring: Elvis Pressley, Joan Blackman, Angela Lansbury, Roland Winters, Jenny Maxwell, Nancy Walters, John Archer, Howard McNear
Chad Gates (Elvis Pressley) has returned home to Hawaii from the Army. While Chad wants to relax and surf, his parents (Angela Lansbury, Roland Winters) want him to start working in the family business, the Great Southern Hawaiian Fruit Company. Instead, Chad decides to work with his girlfriend Maile (Joan Blackman) at her Hawaiian tour company as a tour guide. For his first group, Chad is stuck with a school teacher and four teenage girls, including bratty Ellie (Jenny Maxwell) who develops a crush on him.
Starring: Hayley Mills, Dorothy McGuire, Burl Ives, Deborah Walley, James Stacey, Peter Brown, Una Merkel, Eddie Hodges, Michael J. Pollard
Set at the turn of the century, Margaret Barrey (McGuire) finds that she and her children are penniless after her husband dies. The family moves from Boston, Mass. to Beulah, Minn. to a home that her daughter Nancy (Mills) remembers the family admired on vacation. When they arrive, the home is run-down, but postmaster Osh Popham (Ives) helps the family fix up the home, much to the chagrin of his wife (Merkel). In the process of the renovations, the Carey’s snobby orphan cousin Julia (Walley) comes to live with them. Julia and Nancy both fall for the new school teacher (James Stacey).
Jessica Pickens is a North Carolina-based writer. She has a degree in print journalism and now works in public relations. Outside of work, she writes about pre-1968 films at CometOverHollywood.com with a special interest in musicals, films released in 1939, and World War II-era films. You can follow her Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.