6.7/10
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354 user 87 critic

Summer of Sam (1999)

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1:46 | Clip
Spike Lee's take on the "Son of Sam" murders in New York City during the summer of 1977 centering on the residents of an Italian-American Northeast Bronx neighborhood who live in fear and distrust of one another.

Director:

Spike Lee

Writers:

Spike Lee, Victor Colicchio (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Popularity
3,438 ( 3,464)
6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John Leguizamo ... Vinny
Adrien Brody ... Richie
Mira Sorvino ... Dionna
Jennifer Esposito ... Ruby
Michael Rispoli ... Joey T
Saverio Guerra ... Woodstock
Brian Tarantina ... Bobby Del Fiore
Al Palagonia Al Palagonia ... Anthony
Ken Garito ... Brian
Bebe Neuwirth ... Gloria
Patti LuPone ... Helen
Mike Starr ... Eddie
Anthony LaPaglia ... Detective Lou Petrocelli
Roger Guenveur Smith ... Detective Curt Atwater
Ben Gazzara ... Luigi
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Storyline

Spike Lee's take on the "Son of Sam" murders in New York City during the summer of 1977 centering on the residents of an Italian-American Northeast Bronx neighborhood who live in fear and distrust of one another.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

No one is safe from son of sam See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong graphic violence and sexuality, pervasive strong language and drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Italian

Release Date:

2 July 1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Son of Sam See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$22,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,952,452, 4 July 1999

Gross USA:

$19,288,130

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$19,288,130
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sarah Michelle Gellar was originally cast as Ruby. See more »

Goofs

Set in 1977, a 1990-92 Cadillac Brougham stretch limousine is seen outside the disco. See more »

Quotes

Arresting Officer: Now that I've got you, who've I got?
Son of Sam: [smiling] You know.
Arresting Officer: No, I don't. Why don't you tell me?
Son of Sam: [still smiling] I'm Sam. Dave Berkowitz.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The credits are in the form of newspaper headlines. See more »

Alternate Versions

After they are refused entry into Studio 54, the sex scene between Dionna (Mira Sorvino) and Vinny (John Leguizamo) included more explicit shots in the original cut. This scene was edited a bit after the MPAA threatened the film with an "NC-17" rating. See more »

Connections

References The Get-Man (1974) See more »

Soundtracks

Come Rain or Come Shine
(1946)
Music Harold Arlen
Lyrics by Johnny Mercer
Performed by Mike Starr
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

pointless and long
12 August 2001 | by jbelkin800See all my reviews

Not sure what Spike was trying to say - that Son of Sam was a product of the craziness of NY and the heat of 1977?

While movies don't have to have endearing characters, you have to relate to them on some level to empathize with them. So that even if the circumstances of their lives or are not ours but we have find a connection on some level to be interested in them - in this movie, there are no such characters.

Some of them we are just tired of them because this movie is so long and enough already. The scary thing is we can relate to Son of Sam's breakdown more than any of the characters because we are starting to wonder if this dreary mess is ever going to end. Each character is unpleasant because they lead small, petty lives and are just whiners - we get it - let's move on Spike. Not interesting. And any characters we care about just dissolve into a pornographic and sleazy means.

Spike was a great director for exactly two movies - Spike, what happened? - he starts the movie by placing his characters in front of a sign that reads Dead End - as if that's not bad enough, in case we didn't get the pan on it or the lingering closeup, he cuts back to that sign about 50 times. In a local community college film class, you'd be derided as a rank amateur - let along a big budget movie.

Spike also appears in the film as a TV announcer - we know Spike can act - he choose not to act for his role - why? Who knows?

This movie is pointless, tiresome and dreary.


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