A Hot Summer Night Series: Cult Movies

It’s officially summertime! And if we don’t really know what Summer 2020 is gonna look like, we know that we can always count on movies to make us feel better, to make us dream and to make us travel. And there are some movies that really have this warm, summery feeling to them. The kind of movies you wanna watch at a Drive-in theatre with your friends, or laid down on a blanket spread out on the grass. We gathered for you 4 classic summer movies to enjoy during those hot and long summer nights, while also giving you some anecdotes and fun facts to really rediscover these cinematic masterpieces.

Let’s dive right into it!


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1: First hit success of the director Steven Spielberg, Jaws grossed more than $470 million worldwide when it came out in 1975, making it the first and biggest box office hit until the release of Star Wars in 1977.

2: Spielberg often told that the making of Jaws was extremely complicated. Technical problems were slowing down the production of the movie (the mechanical shark was practically never working properly). It was also shot in open water in the Atlantic, which made the filming much more hazardous and complicated. Spielberg even said ” I was naive about the ocean, basically (…) but I was too young to know I was being foolhardy when I demanded that we shoot the film in the Atlantic Ocean and not in a North Hollywood tank.” Although looking back, Spielberg said “Had I to do it all over again I would have gone back to the sea because it was the only way for the audience to feel that these three men were cast adrift with a great white shark hunting them.”

The shooting of the film was scheduled to last around 65 days but it actually took 159 days and it also went way over budget. The shoot was so disastrous that Spielberg said “I would work through my own trauma, because it was traumatic. I would just sit in that boat alone for hours, just working through, and I would shake. My hands would shake.”

3: Spielberg hired two shark photographers, Ron and Valerie Taylor, in order to get some footage of a real Great White Shark. The scene in which the shark is attacking Hooper’s cage took about a week to be filmed. Indeed, the sharks they were filming did not seem interested in attacking the cage. However, one day, a shark got entangled in the cables holding the cage. It obviously panicked and attacked the cage, making it possible for Ron Taylor to film the scene, which was then used in the final cut of the film.


1: Faking a real and strong friendship isn’t always an easy thing to do. When Rob Reiner cast the four boys (Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, Cory Feldman and Jerry O’Connell) he asked them to stay together at a hotel for about a week to play games based on Viola Spolin’s ‘Improvisations for the Theater’. The four actors bonded this way and came on set as four best friends.

2: Stephen King (who wrote the book the film is based on) cried when watching the film for the first time. He said “it was true to the book… It was moving. I think I scared… Rob Reiner. He showed it to me in the screening room at the Beverly Hills Hotel (…) When the movie was over, I hugged him because I was moved to tears, because it was so autobiographical.”

3: During the campfire scene, where River Phoenix’s character has to cry, the director pushed the young actor to make the scene very realistic. Reiner asked Phoenix to remember a day where he had been disappointed and let down by an adult. That’s why his crying in the scene is so realistic. The young actor even continued crying long after the scene and had to be comforted by Rob Reiner.


1: As an accomplished skydiver, Patrick Swayze did more than 50 jumps himself in order to get the perfect classic skydiving scene we know.

2: The movie was not always called Point Break. It was first named Johnny Utah, as the main character played by Keanu Reeves. It was then renamed “Riders on the Storm” and finally named “Point Break” half way through production.

3: During the foot chase scene, Keanu Reeves is not actually running after Patrick Swayze. Indeed, the actor was unavailable to film this scene as he was promoting his other iconic film, Ghost. They used a stunt double to wear the Reagan face mask instead.


1: At the end of the movie, Sloth tears off his jacket to reveal a Superman T-Shirt. The scene is a reference to Richard Donner’s career. Indeed, the director of the Goonies also directed the film Superman in 1978, starring Christopher Reeve.

2: The Langford Surf Coaster Corporation built a real life water slide the actors had to take in order to get to One-Eyed Willy’s ship. Richard Donner and the crew enjoyed the slide after wrapping up on a busy day.

3: One-Eyed Willy’s ship was built as a full size pirate ship. Richard Donner didn’t want the kids to see the ship before their characters actually discovered the ship, in order to get a genuine reaction from the young actors on camera. The director said “The day we were going to film them first seeing it we backed them all into the water and set the cameras. On ‘action’ they knew what they were going to see, but they didn’t know what it was going to look like.” Indeed, their reaction was so genuine that it involved a lot of cursing words and the sequence we see in the movie is actually the second take. Sean Astin even said ” My mouth dropped open.  The whole adventure we had gone through had a happy ending – The Ship!”
-One-Eyed Willy’s ship was destroyed after the wrap up of the movie, as no one was interested in buying a real life pirate ship-

What is your favorite movie on this list? Let us know in the comments your go-to summer movie!

Written by Maëlle Beauget-Uhl

Reporter and news writer with an educational background in broadcast journalism at the New York Film Academy and a professional background in entertainment reporting and news writing.