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sheptapes Posted - 06/08/2005 : 05:11:22
I caught part of this one on cable the other day. Charles Grodin is better than I originally gave him credit for as the Old Man. The kids are rather non-descript though.
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raccoonradio Posted - 02/11/2007 : 22:19:44
By the way I also enjoyed the tax assessor scene. I now know what
John Fogerty meant with that line in CCR's "Fortunate Son": "But when
the taxman come to the door, the house look like a rummage sale"
raccoonradio Posted - 02/11/2007 : 22:07:59
I think I also agree about the other kids and their "play acting" (their lines didn't sound too convincing) but I thought it was entertaining. Yes, it did seem like a string of vignettes but basically I saw it as
one summer in a boy's life, related to us the way only Shep can.
I had recognized the "dish night" bit from another Shep project I
saw (Fourth of July, I think?) but it was done well here, as was
the Bumpus clan.

At the end (spoiler alert) Ralph thinks he's becoming a man
but realizes he's still a kid when he gets hustled off to bed.
Jean's narration here is very well done; you picture yourself
as Ralphie, wanting to become a man--but you wish you could
tell him, enjoy your childhood while you have it, full of wins,
losses--and ties. You can reminisce about it later but once it's
gone you never really get it back (other than in your mind...)

Dan Posted - 12/05/2006 : 15:06:36
I know it's not a great comedy but I still enjoyed seeing some of Shep's stories on film. It's a movie strictly for Shepherd fans. Was it a straight to video movie? I don't ever remember it as being shown in theaters, at least not in the NYC area, but I may be wrong.
1rkamin Posted - 01/29/2006 : 01:05:20
I was actually an extra in "My Summer Story." A friend of mine is a big Jean Shepherd fan and showed me this site.

I was around 8 or so at that time and was in a total of two scenes. The first was when school was starting up for the year so we were all told to drudgingly tread up the steps of the school. The other one was where school was out for the summer, so we were all running and screaming out of the doors down the steps.

After shooting one day, on the way home, my dad took me to Little Ceasar's pizza and we got some "supreme" style - I got really sick from it and vomited when I came home.

That's my claim to fame.

ErikRP Posted - 01/17/2006 : 14:03:10
I agree - I think the movie stands up pretty well on its own, although it definitely pales in comparison to ACS. I think there are two main reasons for that.

Lack of definite theme Unlike ACS, and to a lesser degree, OHHoB, there is not a real thread to the movie, it's more a series a vignettes rather than one continuous story. One could argue maybe it's Ralph's search for a top but that ends well before the end of the movie and is ultimately a letdown. Imagine if ACS had ended either with Ralphie not getting the Red Ryder rifle or, worse, shooting his eye out for real! So without a real quest, or a real purpose, the movie just moves along until the last story is told then the credits roll by. Like the movie popcorn, it's enjoyable but ultimately leaves you wanting a bit more.

The Cast
I think the cast of MSS was quite good. I'm definitely not a big Charles Grodin fan, but there were moments that I thought he was the Old Man.
Mary Steenburgen was adorable although I'm not sure if she was exactly what I would have expected Ralph's mother to be like.
The kids I thought were, by and large, forgettable. Flick and Schwartz were next to awful - some of their acting seem so bad I thought I was watching an under-rehearsed school play. Okay, they're kids, maybe I was expecting more, but having seen it in ACS and plenty of other movies, I don't know what their excuse was. Even Ralph wasn't all that great. And let's face it, if you can't empathize with the kids in the movie, you don't have much of a movie.

Otherwise I thought the stories were quite good. Leopold Doppler and The Orpheum was terrific ("Screen-O!"). The scenes with the Bumpuses was hilarious - my only gripe being not seeing more of Cassie, whom Jean Shepherd referred to in his book as a girl who "made Daisy Mae look like Orphan Annie"!

On the Shep quality scale, I'd give it a 7.5 out of 10. Definitely worth watching and having seen it several dozen times I can say it does have "rewatchability".
fudge Posted - 09/11/2005 : 03:59:08
It was just missing...something. felt bland and uninspired. any film would suffer in comparison to acs, but this one just missed the mark totally with me-i was so disappointed. The Culkin kids are usually fine actors (except mac) and Grodins a hoot in the right role and this seemed like good casting but something just didnt click...
m10bob Posted - 08/10/2005 : 07:25:49
I heard Shep being interviewed on the radio, and he said he did not care for Charles Grodin as "the old man", but I thought he played the role quite well.
I was dismayed the critics did not care for this film, since I think the episodes with the BUMPUS family has got to be one of the funniest tales on film !!!! Love the entire narration of the "old man" confronting the Bumpus's in their backyard over the building of the "outdoor convenience".
Quote:"That's not an outdoor convenience...Hell...that's an OUTHOUSE ! "

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