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Summer of ’67

By Chris Salce | March 24, 2019

Three young couples are impacted by the unfortunate events of 1967 also known as the Vietnam war.

A young wife and mother Milly (Rachel Schrey) is forced to live with her mother-in-law while her husband is off at war.  Kate (Bethany Davenport) is in a love triangle between her high school sweetheart and her new hippie lover. Ruby Mae (Sharonne Lanier) finds true love in Reggie (Jerrold Edwards), but the couple will be crushed once the draft hits home. Each woman will have to face the harsh reality of how war impacts those they love.

The sixties was a very turbulent time due in large part to the Vietnam War that was countered by free love and protests. The Summer of ‘67 tries to capture this important time in history but falls short at a very important depth that a film like this needs – emotion.

Each woman will have to face the harsh reality of how the Vietnam War impacts those they love.”

In a film about war and heartbreak, I would imagine that it should have some tear-jerking moments. Well, there are plenty of moments in the film that should be emotionally felt, but I just never felt it. Without giving too much of the film away, there is one scene in particular that proves this point. The scene is of multiple funerals that take place, during the funerals not one character appears to shed a tear. Something that helps capture emotion in a film is if you are invested in the characters and you see the figures show emotion. It was rare to see these characters enough emotion that would make me feel what the character is feeling. With that said, I do not think the acting in this film is terrible. I think that director Sharon Wilharm could have asked for more emotion at times.

A unique thing about the film is that it’s not about the exact war and the soldiers. It’s about the women whose husbands and lovers went to war. I was expecting there to be some war shots of some kind, but there weren’t. The focus on the women behind the soldiers gave the film a different feel for a film that takes place during this era.

“…shots filled with beautiful tones that make the already vibrant colors pop even more.”

What Summer of ‘67 does well is remain accurate with the unforgettable style of the 60s. From the unique wardrobes to the rock/folk music, the psychedelia music is the key standouts of the film. Another thing that stands out and helps capture the 60s style is its camera work. The shots filled with beautiful tones that make the already vibrant colors pop even more.

Being that I’m a fan of the 60s era and war films, I truly wanted to like this film. I feel like there were many missed opportunities for a film with this particular subject matter.

Summer of ‘67 (2018) Directed and written by Sharon Wilharm. Starring Rachel Schrey, Bethany Davenport, Sharonne Lanier, Cameron Gilliam, Christopher Dalton, Sam Brooks, Jerrold Edwards, Alexandra Sedlak.

5 out of 10

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  1. Sharon Wilharm says:

    Thank you, Chris, for taking the time to review Summer of ’67. We spent a lot of time on the wardrobe, colors, and music. Most of the psychedelic music was original, created specifically for the movie. It’s nice to have it appreciated.

    I’m sorry you found the movie lacking in emotion. It seems to get the greatest emotional response from veterans and their families who lived the Vietnam War. For them, it brings as much emotion as they can handle.

    Thanks for helping spread the word about indie films.

    Sharon Wilharm, Writer/Director

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