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10 Unforgettable Summer Films

Summer is almost here. It is that time of the year when, no matter how old you are, you can’t resist going on a vacation or visiting the cinema to see this year's summer specials. Unfortunately, because of the ongoing pandemic, visiting movie theaters still isn’t completely safe.

If you're looking forward to a similar experience this year, we have a great alternative. In this article, we list 10 unforgettable classic summer movies. Watching these gems - from goofy comedies to rollicking adventures - will surely be a nostalgic joyride! What’s more, all of these movies are available on various streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Disney Plus. Check them out today!

1. Roman Holiday (1953)

Roman Holiday is still one of the most enjoyable summer classics. Audrey Hepburn’s portrayal of a rebel princess Ann who feels overwhelmed with her royal life is delightfully charming; no wonder she won an Oscar for Best Actress for this role. On a tour of the European capitals, Ann manages to slip onto the streets of Rome. Here, she encounters an American reporter (Joe Bradley) who offers her his apartment for safety.

Interestingly, Ann tells him that she’s a student, but he soon uncovers her real identity. Thus begins a charming summer romance that will stay in your hearts long after the end credits have rolled. 

See Also: 10 Black-And-White Movies That Every Film Fan Needs To See

2. Jaws (1975)

We really don’t need to introduce this one, do we? The premise of this American classic directed by Steven Spielberg is pretty straightforward - a killer shark unleashes chaos on a beach community and it’s up to the local sheriff, a marine biologist, and an old ship captain to take it down.

It is the masterful direction that draws you into the story and makes you feel the dread of locals that face the menacing beast. Jaws paved the way for several other similar animal attack movies, but this old thriller stands the test of time and will certainly make for an entertaining weekend summer flick.

3. Caddyshack (1980)

For those who enjoy summer movies with a little dose of sports and comedy, Caddyshack is a perfect choice. ESPN once called it the "perhaps the funniest sports movie ever made," and rightly so. Caddyshack doesn’t offer a coherent plot or great character development, and it doesn't rely on the usual tropes that other comedy films follow either. Still, it is guaranteed to tickle your funny bone! 

The film is about an exclusive golf course and its snobbish members, who are forced to deal with the quirks of a couple of brash new members. Caddyshack, with its tagline of "the snobs against the slobs" is silly, goofy, hilarious, and nonstop entertainment.

4. National Lampoon's Vacation (1983)

National Lampoon's Vacation has rightly earned its name as a cult summer comedy over the decades. In this crazy adventure, the Griswold family decides to take a cross-country drive from the Chicago suburbs to a theme park as part of their summer vacation. Unfortunately for the Griswolds, anything that can go wrong does go wrong. 

Still, the family persists in their belief that getting to their destination is half the fun. Starring Chevy Chase as the well-meaning family head, the film is a relentlessly funny and wacky ride that will leave you in splits. The success of the film also spawned off other memorable sequels in the series that saw the Griswold family in more escapades like the European Vacation (1985), Christmas Vacation (1989), Vegas Vacation (1997).

5. Summer Rental (1985)

Summer Rental is an underrated classic starring the late comedic genius John Candy who plays Jack Chester, an overworked air traffic controller. To take a little break from work, Jack takes his family on vacation to the beach. Things, however, don’t go according to plan, as Jack ends up in a conflict with a local yachtsman.

Despite the hindrances, Jack is determined to save his family's summer holiday. Summer Rental is a good old-fashioned comedy that is simply about having a good time. It’s a feel-good and lighthearted movie that will make you feel nostalgic about the ‘80s. Give it a try if you haven’t already.

See Also: The 8 Feel-Good Movies That Will Surely Lift Your Mood

6. Stand by Me (1986)

Though it’s based on a Stephen King novel, Stand by Me isn’t a horror or a thriller. This almost forgotten film is the coming-of-age story of four young boys and their summer adventure. When they learn that a stranger has been accidentally killed near their rural homes, the boys decide to go see the body.

Along the way, they encounter weird characters and peculiar events while also learning a thing or two about each other. As the story unfolds, we see how the boys' adventure develops into the turning point of their lives. Few films are able to capture the true essence of youth and its trials like this film has, and for that alone, Stand by Me deserves a watch.

7. Weekend at Bernie's (1989)

Weekend at Bernie's is another iconic American comedy that never fails to provide a good laugh with its bizarre plot. The story starts off simply enough - two low-level employees have been invited by their boss to his beach house for the weekend. The two are naturally excited, thinking they will be in for a wonderful summer weekend getaway filled with sunshine and surfboards.

Upon their arrival at the house, they are shocked to discover that their boss is already dead. Instead of calling the cops, though, the less than bright duo decide to pretend that the boss didn't die and attempt to pass him off as alive. The plot of Weekend at Bernie's is ridiculous, but the film is a great semi-black comedy that will have you chuckling with all its silliness.  

8. The Great Outdoors (1988)

Another John Candy classic, The Great Outdoors is a memorable summer movie about Chester Ripley, a Chicago man who takes his family on a camping trip on a lakeside cabin. However, their plans for a peaceful family vacation are ruined when his obnoxious brother-in-law (played by Dan Aykroyd) arrives at the place along with his family.

Set in the heart of untamed nature, The Great Outdoors is the quintessential ‘80s film about a family on vacation that takes viewers on a fun romp filled with a series of misadventures, thirsty leeches, talking raccoons, and a mythical bald bear.

See Also: 10 Timeless Old Family Films You Can Enjoy With Your Kids

9. Thelma & Louise (1991)

Susan Sarandon, Geena Davis, a beautiful car, and an eventful road trip - what more can you ask for? Thelma & Louise is the story of submissive housewife Thelma (Davis) and her best friend Louise (Sarandon) who embark on a short fishing trip. In a series of unexpected circumstances, the two end up being on the run from the local police.

Along their cross-country ride, the two women rediscover the strength of their friendship, as well as aspects of their own personalities they didn’t know of themselves. Take this high-octane joy ride with this trouble-making duo that is bound to make you laugh and cry.

10. The Sandlot (1993)

This is a perfect summer sports movie that centers around a group of neighborhood kids who take a young baseball prodigy under their wings, leading to many fun adventures. Set in the summer of 1962, The Sandlot is pretty unpretentious and charming. The movie will remind you of your own childhood when things were so much simpler.

The film has many heartwarming and funny moments, and it captures the innocence and delight of being young as you are playing outdoor games in a small-town neighborhood. This feel-good family-friendly classic can be enjoyed by both kids and adults alike. 

Share these films with your loved ones! 

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