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Classic Movies for Summer

Most kids don’t need any help getting excited for summer, that time of the year when the responsibilities of school give way to carefree days in the sun. But watching these classic movies will make everyone in the family—even parents—anxious for the lazy, hazy days of summer.

“The Sandlot” (PG) 

This 1993 coming-of-age film has developed a strong cult following over the years, thanks to the way it perfectly captures the experience of being a 12-year-old kid on break from school. Set during the summer of 1962, “The Sandlot” stars Tom Guiry as “the new kid in town,” Scotty Smalls, who quickly befriends a group of neighborhood boys that play baseball in an empty sandlot. The gang’s adventures will prove nostalgic for parents and relatable for kids, while staying fun for the whole family. 

“Summer Stock” (NR)

The 1950 film “Summer Stock” is certainly one of the most fun and seasonally appropriate MGM musicals. Pairing the iconic singing voice of Judy Garland with the legendary dancing of Gene Kelly, this Technicolor classic focuses on a theatre troupe rehearsing its show inside a barn. The paper-thin plot is nothing impressive, but the whole family should enjoy memorable numbers like Gene Kelly’s creative newspaper dance and Garland’s show-stopping performance of “Get Happy.”

“Jaws” (PG)

The original summer blockbuster, “Jaws” is a fun and tense thriller about a gigantic shark that terrorizes a small beach community. Based on a crackerjack novel by Peter Benchley and directed by a young film school dropout named Steven Spielberg, “Jaws” was a massive hit when it reached movie theatres in June 1975. Now over 40 years old, “Jaws” still has the power to terrify, meaning you may not want to watch this classic with especially young viewers –especially if your family is planning a beach vacation!

“Meatballs” (PG)

This 1979 comedy performed the invaluable service of introducing Bill Murray to movie audiences everywhere. In his first starring performance, Murray plays Tripper Harrison, the head counselor at a cut-rate summer camp that carries a slobs-versus-snobs grudge against the rich kids at a wealthier camp across the lake. Director Ivan Reitman would later reteam with Murray for superior films like “Stripes” and “Ghostbusters,” but none of their later collaborations would become summertime staples like “Meatballs.”

“Finding Nemo” (PG)

A 2003 computer-animated adventure produced during the Golden Age of Pixar, “Finding Nemo” tells the exciting and heartwarming tale of a clownfish journeying across the ocean to find his lost son. With beautifully rendered animations of the Great Barrier Reef, the East Australian Current and Sydney Harbour, this entertaining cartoon doubles as a gorgeous travelogue for tropical, summery spots. With a sequel, “Finding Dory,” set for June 2016, now is the perfect time to re-watch this summer classic.

From old school Technicolor dances to computer-animated underwater adventures, there is no shortage of summertime Hollywood movies from which to choose. Get the whole family excited for the season by watching a few of these classics.


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