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Beating the Summer Heat: Five Classic Films to Start Off the Season Right

Updated on May 12, 2012
Caddyshack poster
Caddyshack poster
National Lampoon's Vacation Poster
National Lampoon's Vacation Poster
Dirty Dancing Poster
Dirty Dancing Poster
The Great Outdoors Poster
The Great Outdoors Poster
The Sandlot Poster
The Sandlot Poster

It's official. Summertime has finally begun as of June 21st. The kids will be graduating from school and running amok around the house. If you can't get them into a summer camp or a summer job, make sure to keep them busy through going to the beach and the occasional waterpark. Unfortunately, the heat and overcrowding might make going to both an unlikely expensive option in today's chaotic economy. Instead of going outside, spend some time indoors this summer and check out some films to get you in the mood for the summer season.

Here are a list of five of the most memorable films to watch this summer that focused on laughs, family, romance and some youthful adventures. Watch these films for the first of the twentieth time. Each viewing brings a new thing to laugh over and an opportunity to reflect on your own youthful experiences. There is also a list of five honorable mentions that didn't make the cut. Some are current films while others are kid friendly and not so friendly. Read on and enjoy the summer season in cinematic style.

Caddyshack (1980)- This movie had an all-star cast in comedic heavyhitters Chevy Chase, Bill Murray and Rodney Dangerfield that was a miss when it first hit theatres in the 1980s, but it has since become a classic. Dangerfield perfected his comedy routine that he since perfected in Back to School. Caddyshack was the perfect summer comedy that mixed up golf and the classic battle between rich club members and the middle class caddies who worked there. It had a catchy tune with Kenny Loggins' "I'm Alright" and a dancing gopher that loved to tick off Murray. Sadly, this film couldn't make audiences forget the horrific sequel that came eight years later.

National Lampoon's Vacation (1983)- The film that introduced audiences to the Griswold family and their plight to reach Walley World on the road trip from hell. This movie will make audiences think about their own memorable road trips: the good and the disatrous ones. Chevy Chase was hysterical as a father who was obsessed with completely the trip no matter what. He was able to flirt with an eagerly game Christie Brinkley, as the beautiful woman who Chase was never going to have. This Vacation made it possible for America to see the Griswolds for a few more, but this one will still top them all.

Dirty Dancing (1987)- A movie that epitomized the 80s with its soundtrack and the chemistry between stars Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey as the mismatched leads. Swayze was in his prime as the rebel dance instructor and Grey was just breaking out as the fresh faced lead. Their previously contentious off-screen relationship during Red Dawn seemed to melt away each time the costars danced and proved to audiences that summer romance was a thing of beauty, even when it was shortlived.

The Great Outdoors (1988)- John Candy and Dan Aykroyd played guys from different classes who happened to be family. Middle class guy Candy takes his family on a long overdue camping trip that the wealthy Aykroyd and his family ended up crashing. It was a hilarious culture clash between the smugly polished Aykroyd and the irritated Candy that was either going to end with them making amends or killing each other. The audience didn't care either way as long as they were able to laugh.

The Sandlot (1993)- Sandlot was about a group of young boys who loved everything about baseball whether it was playing it or simply taking about it. One summer led to an adventure that involved a Babe Ruth signed baseball and a large dog capable of doing some serious damage. Running was definitely an option, but turning the channel definitely isn't. A must watch for kids and adults alike.

Honorable Mentions

Cars 2 (now in theatres)

Kung Fu Panda 2 (now in theatres)

Stand By Me


The Parent Trap (Original and Lindsay Lohan remake)

In the end, summer is about spending time with your friends and loved ones in whatever capacity you can. Going to baseball games or simply playing catch in the backyard helps to pass the time nicely. If you're unable to go outside for any reason, turn on your television and find a summer film to enjoy instead.


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