Summer of ’67 Movie Review

Summer is the perfect time to catch a movie! And I’m so excited to share my thoughts on the awesome inspirational, historical movie— Summer of ’67!

 You know that feeling you get when you’re reading a novel, and the words make the visual come alive before you? Almost as if endorphins have been released, you gaze upon it and sink into it? That’s how I felt as I watched The Summer of ’67, as though art unfolded before me.

I don’t usually watch Indie movies, nor do I prefer Vietnam era films, but I loved this!

Based on real life events, Summer of ’67 brings to life the turbulent times of the sixties and the struggles faced by the men and women impacted by the Vietnam War.

Young wife and mother Milly (Rachel Schrey) is forced to live with her mother-in-law (Mimi Sagadin) while her husband Gerald (Cameron Gilliam) is away on the USS Forrestal.

summer screenshots07Kate (Bethany Davenport) must choose between Peter (Christopher Dalton) her high school sweetheart kate-peter-summer-of-67

and Van (Sam Brooks) her new hippie boyfriend.summer screenshots15Ruby Mae (Sharonne Lanier) finally finds true love with Reggie (Jerrold Edwards) only to have him whisked away by the draft.summer screenshots06

Each woman faces the question of whether or not their man will return, and even if he does, will life as they know it ever be the same?

The Vietnam war was before my time. And most of what I’ve seen from other movies depicts hippies and drugs, or our troops at war then returning to an angry America. Which never seemed to fit with the conservative military town where I grew up. We loved our troops, and it was rare to meet someone who maintained the 60’s “Woodstock” lifestyle. Society was different, and I couldn’t imagine how I’d fit in that world.

Until I watched this movie.

Summer of ‘67 isn’t a hyped-up Hollywood dramatization of the extremes. It’s about community gathering together to support each other, of drawing inspiration and encouragement from church and friends.

For the first time, I realized our worlds weren’t that different. I connected with each of the women’s stories and could imagine myself responding in a similar fashion. The young woman praying for a husband, while another tries to discover where she fits, the young-married just starting a family when tragedy hits—all powerful performances!

Summer of ’67 made me recognize American’s been through hard times before, but we have a history of coming together, supporting each other, and drawing on a higher power. Thankfully, God is larger than our trials and is never surprised.

Summer of ‘67 premiers on June 29th. Here’s a link for screening locations.

The experience sparked an interest in the era and history of the time I didn’t have before. And I’m excited to learn what will come next for the screenwriter/director, Sharon Wilharm, as she plans to turn her energy to writing historical novels!

Sharon and Fred on SetFred & Sharon Wilharm (Filmmakers)

Summer of ’67 is the seventh feature film for husband and wife filmmaking duo Fred and Sharon Wilharm. Their movies have screened in film festivals across the globe, accumulating dozens of festival accolades, sold in bookstores and online outlets, released to select AMC theaters, and aired on multiple television networks. In addition, Sharon has a film industry blog and is a popular speaker at film and writing events.

Summer of ’67 Social Media

Summer of ’67 websiteSummer of ’67 on FacebookSummer of ’67 on TwitterSummer of ’67 on InstagramSummer of ’67 on Pinterest

12 thoughts on “Summer of ’67 Movie Review

  1. Interesting post, Robyn. I was unaware of this movie and will look for it. I laughed when you called it a historical film because 1967 is the year I graduated from high school. I had friends that went to Viet Nam and others who went to Canada. Viet Nam was a horrible war that scarred so many people. Children, who in some states weren’t even legal to buy an alcoholic drink, were sent into battle believing they were fighting for freedom. Some lives were ended, others were changed forever and they effected more than one generation.

    It is the first time that I am aware of hearing the term Post traumatic stress disorder and PTSD was a bad label for men (and women) to have.

    Part of the problem was that soldiers didn’t go in and come out with their units like they had in other wars. Each man cycled out according to the date he was drafted, so when they went home they were without the moral support/camaraderie of their units. Plus, while in, each man counted the days on his calendar separately from everyone else. It made people feel very alone.

    Soldiers in many parts of the U.S. were spat on and were met with hate picketers as they got off airplanes to come home. Anti war hate was prolific and the soldiers were horribly denigrated. And we even had American actors fueling the hate.

    Add to that it was the first war that we could watch on TV in real time. It was the beginning of desensitizing the American public.

    Many other things went on during that time that were separate from the war—race riots, assassinations, the big changes in music, and questioning standards and tradition. It was a turbulent time to say the least.

    I’ll be interested in viewing this movie to see what the producers thought was important. Thanks for making me aware.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I loved hearing your thoughts, Barbara. You brought up some excellent points. This movie is unique because it’s from the prospective of the woman but some of what you mentioned is still covered. I’d love to hear your impressions after you see it. Thanks for commenting!

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  2. Being a high school graduate in 1964, I had not only many of my friends that went to war, but my brother was as well. He joined the Army right out of high school and newly married. I flew into Oklahoma from Eastern Arkansas to see him before he had to leave. He was in the intelligence division and in the fields of battle. All one could do was pray. He told us that that war could have been won handily, but politics got in the way! So sad! We were blessed that he was able to come home in one piece. I know a couple of guys that that had sever PTS and still suffer. One man from here was in a group where he and 3 or 4 others in his platoon made it out alive. The rest didn’t.
    Those poor loved ones just had to live in the moment.
    Thanks for the heads-up, Robyn. I will try to see it!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Robyn, I had no idea there were Indie Filmmakers. Thanks for telling us about this movie and those who made it happen. How exciting.

    Regarding the Vietnam War period. I had just graduated from high school when all this was happening. A lot of my fellow students were drafted and sent out to defend something they didn’t understand. I don’t have personal thoughts either way about the war, but I do know that it was true about our troops not being treated right when they got back. Your community must have been a special one. Men are still suffering from the effects of having served over there.

    I’ve signed up to get emails from Sharon’s site to keep up with their work. Thanks for introducing us to Fred and Sharon’s work.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you connected with Sharon! I’m looking forward to reading her novel. You’re right about my hometown not being the norm. We had a military base and three christian colleges in a city of less than 100k. Though, I’m sure others who lived there may have had a different prospective on the Vietnam war. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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  4. Thanks, Robyn, for your thoughtful review! Now I am eager to see the movie!
    That summer of ’67 I was newly 16, a farm girl in a rural Arkansas county. Vietnam was a place we had ever known existed, and even though my family and I listened to radio news and read the paper daily, I had no idea why our soldiers were even there. I could never have imagined that in another year my fun-loving school bus driver and our high school’s popular scholar/athlete would both be killed in that place, just weeks after their arrival.
    One of my cousins, who had been my first best friend, would follow a bad boyfriend to next year’s “Summer of Love” (anything but) in San Francisco, where her addiction to heroin would prepare the way for her tragic end; one of her brothers went along but soon planned a draft-escaping flight to Canada: “H…, No! We Won’t Go.”
    In three years I would marry and face the horror of my new husband’s draft notice. He would escape Vietnam only because, at his Army physical, he had a sudden spike in blood pressure.
    Two more years, and I spent my summer break working in a department store between college terms; we young workers were all relatively carefree. Not Susanne! Daily I watched her misery as she agonized over her husband’s tour in ‘Nam; not once did I see her smile.
    One of my U of A classes was next door to
    the ROTC building. I would look out my classroom window, wondering if one of the war protestors’ bomb threats would prove to be real. I never understood the rationale that a protest against military violence should be countered with civilian violence, whether actual or imaginary.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, Mary, I loved reading this. Your experience reminds me of the movie. What a blessing that spike in blood pressure! And how scary about the bomb threats. It’s so sad that violence still threatens kids today. It all feels so new to my generation, but the truth is the US has been in bad places before. Thankfully, we have God to get us through. Thanks for sharing!

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