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  • While John Hughes seems to have the monopoly on 80s teen comedies, anyone who loved Ferris Bueller etc... should check out this Carl Reiner masterpiece. Great writing, flawless direction and perfect performances from the lead roles help this film portray summer, school, (as you could guess from the title)and teenage rebellion with charm and wit. Mark Harman is widely considered to have made his name on his looks, but the performance he gives in Summer School is one of a comedy master, with subtle hints of a father figure who never grew up himself. A timeless feel-good classic.

    two thumbs up.
  • pattersonsmith23 December 2001
    This is not a great movie and it got bad reviews, but it stays in the movie rotations of many television stations. Why? Because it is funny. Just watch it and enjoy. It is really aimed at young teens and they will probably like it best.
  • This movie is truly a blast from the past. The characters are funny and the plot is very interesting. Personally, the best character's are Dave and Chainsaw due to their "laid back" attitudes in the film. Mark Harmon also does a good job in his role. The movie is in the mid 80's but thats what makes it so interesting.If you have not seen the movie... go rent it, you just might enjoy it. Two thumbs wayyy up.
  • This has to be the funniest film I have ever seen - no matter how many times I watch it I still laugh in all the same places. I love all the characters, but especially Freddy who has the right mix of cheese and charm and slobiness with a heart of gold and dashing good looks. And I love his dog too. He's soooo cute. Chainsaw and Dave are inspired, especially the scene where they turn the classroom into a horror scene, and their faces when the exchange student doesn't quite remove her bikini top. The only criticism I have is that at the beginning of summer the class is about twice the size, but mysteriously shinks until the exam at the end, and oh yes, it should have been twice as long. I really hope it gets released on DVD at some point.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Freddy Shoop (Mark Harmon) is an easygoing Phys. Ed. instructor who has big plans for the summer, intending to travel to Hawaii with his girlfriend. But he ends up roped into teaching remedial English to a group of delinquent kids instead. Initially he's as reluctant to be in a classroom for the summer as they are, and they have a wacky series of "field trips" before he realizes that these kids aren't really that dumb, and he begins to take the assignment seriously - and manages to inspire them to do their best.

    This very likable comedy holds up pretty well 27 years later, with a first rate cast creating an engaging and memorable set of characters. Harmon does well in his first starring vehicle; he COULD have just coasted through this thing on his looks and charisma, but he shows a nice comic ability as well. Kirstie Alley is endearing as the teacher whom he persistently tries to win over, and Robin Thomas Grossman is just right as the nemesis character (the uptight vice principal of the school) who you enjoy booing all the way through the thing.

    The two best characters, certainly for a horror fan such as this viewer, are the laid back Francis "Chainsaw" Gremp (so nicknamed because of his love for Tobe Hoopers' "The Texas Chain Saw Massacre"), played by Dean Cameron, and his friend Dave (Gary Riley). Their love of gore climaxes in a truly fun moment as the students scare away a substitute teacher with a classroom full of splatter; naturally, a viewing of the Hooper classic occurs along the way. The other kids include football player Kevin (Patrick Labyorteaux), surfer Pam (Courtney Thorne- Smith), the dyslexic Denise (Kelly Jo Minter), underage male stripper Larry (Ken Olandt), pregnant Rhonda (Shawnee Smith), nerdy Alan (Richard Steven Horvitz), and luscious Italian exchange student Anna-Maria (Fabiana Udenio). Director Carl Reiner, who'd previously done another seasonal comedy, "Summer Rental" with John Candy, has a cameo early in the movie. Amy Stock (the "Bill & Ted" movies), Laura Waterbury ("Better Off Dead"), and Duane Davis ("Beetlejuice") all have small roles.

    "Summer School" sometimes get silly, but never goes overboard in that regard. It remains an upbeat and watchable story from start to finish, with some serious (but not too serious) moments, and it follows the formula of "misfits make good" stories pretty well. The soundtrack also helps to add to the good vibes.

    Seven out of 10.
  • "Summer School" is a prime example of a film that over-achieves. It appears to be a typical teen comedy, but its screenplay is so smart that it is hard dislike. Carl Reiner's direction is substantial as he never tries to make the film more than it is. Mark Harmon does some of the best work of his ho-hum career as a high school physical education instructor who must teach a group of lazy students who all have more personality than brains. Kirstie Alley stars as the next-door teacher who teaches Harmon a few things about education. All of the students have their moments as well. However, it is Dean Cameron as "Chainsaw" who steals every scene and makes the film fun throughout. A strange over-achiever. 3.5 out of 5 stars.
  • When this movie came out, i was only 4, so i didn't see it when it came out in the theater. I happened to stumble upon it 3 years ago and i've watched it above 100 times since. The best part is when Dave and Chainsaw do everyones make-up and they do their rendition of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Classic!!
  • Summer School is not your typical Carl Reiner film because it doesn't contain much of the ridiculous stupid-comedy you'd find from say, The Cheap Detective or Fatal Instinct. But Reiner presents a nice film, and a fantastic 80s movie, even if he doesn't stick to his formula.

    Summer is approaching at a California high school. Gym teacher, Freddie Shoop, a laid-back surfer type, has the misfortune of having to teach summer school remedial English. He has no choice, as he is up for tenure. Says Shoop, pleading to get out of the dreaded responsibility of having to spend summer in a classroom rather than in Hawaii, "I'm not a real teacher. I had out basketballs, check for jock straps. I'm like real challenged."

    And Harmon's students don't help to add any enthusiasm. Many are underachievers who are just as interested in finding more interesting ways to spend their time. It starts out with nothing but good times as Shoop and his class ditch school for fieldtrips to the beach, the petting zoo, and the amusement park. But, Shoop, threatened to be fired after the Vince Principal Gillis (Robin Thomas) learns of this. Desperate to keep Gillis from telling the Principal when he returns from vacation, Shoop bargains with Gillis that he will get every student in his class to pass the English skills test at the end of the term. This isn't going to be easy with a class like Shoop's. It isn't that they're dumb. It's just that they're not interested. It's the summer and summer means good times. So, Shoop, already good with bargaining at this point, must also strike deals with each of his students, who promise to help Shoop fullfill his promise to Gillis, if Shoop grants each of them a favor in return. And this is where the fun begins as Shoop clearly gets in way over his head.

    This movie is great because of the various characters. Harmon is perhaps the best I've ever seen him as the happy-go-lucky guy trying to get the attention of fellow teacher, Robin Bishop (Kirstey Alley) who is likewise a good match for Shoop. The students themselves are equally enjoyable, with the most hilarious being Chainsaw (Dean Cameron) and Dave (Gary Riley) two guys with a fondness for grossing people out with a handy supply of fake blood and latex. Surprisingly, the movie never seems to have achieved the recognition of other 80s teen movies, though it should have as it is a film that delivers a load of laughs.
  • After reading through the reviews on here to date, there's not a single bad one !

    NO! WAY! Party all-the-time! Party all-the-time!

    This film really is as cool as everyone says. Dated 80's stuff doesn't get in the way of great characters and sharp wit. If you've not seen it yet, rent it & marvel at the goriest sequence in a high school comedy ever - these people are PSYCHOPATHS !

    Particular favs of mine are the 'I don't know anything' dream gag, the Rick Baker essay sequence and the 'War puts a man through many, many changes' gag from Dave. Top stuff.

  • I watched this film again for the first time in many years, and what I thought was funny then, I still think is funny now. I expected to be slightly embarrassed and disappointed with it, but the years haven't taken away what made the film so appealing to me as a teenager - it has a witty, quotable script, the comic acting from all the cast is excellent and it has a real heart. It's not a great surprise to see it was directed by a comic master - Carl Reiner (responsible for all of Steve Martin's best films) he directs it a perfect pace and tone. It's not high art and he knows it, so he just has a ball with his cast. It reminds me in many ways of the first Police Academy - silly, good-natured and extremely funny.

    Mark Harmon is totally charming and is so at ease in this film it's impossible not to be taken along by him with a grin on your face. All the students do a great job - Dean Cameron as Chainsaw is hilarious and who would have thought the sexy little blond playing Pam would grow up to be so scarily square-jawed as Georgia in TV's 'Ally McBeal'. What I really love are the small details that raise this film out of the usual 'drop-out high school' comedies. The horror fixation of Chainsaw and Dave is brilliant and produces one of the most memorable scenes in 80s comedy. Finally, and most importantly, Wondermutt is one of the all-time great screen dogs. The return of Bob is daft feel-good genius. If you haven't already, see this film, and if you have, see it again!
  • Overjoyed23 July 2000
    Summer School is one of those movies where everything clicks, good story, good characters and tons of situations that just are down right hilarious. Can't ask for more then that in a comedy can you? While not a very memorable movie, I still think this was very well done and if you ever get a chance to see it, whether it be on television or a last minute rental from your movie store, you won't regret it.
  • This is an excellent addition to the canon of Dean Cameron works. This proves why he is now the hottest upcoming young star of the '80's. Rumor has is that he got the role through his friendship with Bruce Willis. Joel Siegel wrote in his last book that this movie is his closet favorite. It's mine too. And it should be yours. 10/10, Five Stars. Look for KIrsty Alley in her pre-Veronica's closet days.
  • Summer School is one of my undeniable favorites of the 80's. I saw this movie when I was in seventh grade and I really can't think of a movie that has made me laugh more. Mark Harmon was adorable as the drifting P.E. teacher who is roped into teaching remedial English for a summer. His class consist of a variety of personalities who probably all could be diagnosed with ADD. Chainsaw, played by a very under appreciated Dean Cameron, and Dave steal the show with their over the top dedication to being class clowns and slackers. The best thing about this movie is over ten years later I still find it a riot. If you haven't given this little comedy a chance you have to run to blockbuster and rent it.
  • Summer School is a great movie. I am a very big fan of Mark Harmon and this is one of his best films. In most of his movies he plays a strict but sometimes funny man but in this movie he acts very stupid and makes this such a good movie. Hope you will rent or by this movie if you haven't seen it yet. ***Must Watch Movie***

    If you like this movie you may like some of Mark Harmon's other movie like The Presidio, Local Boys, and Casulties. Also if you liked this movie you may like NCIS on CBS which Mark plays the boss and can be very strict at times but very very funny at others. This is my comment on Summer School hope you enjoy/enjoyed the movie.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I have never been a fan of teen comedies for many reasons that I can't possibly list here. Most are menial, mediocre movies that have little or no effort put into them and usually just fall down the pits into low brow comedy including but not limited to scatological humor and/or perverse sexual jokes. Am I saying all comedies of this nature are like that? No, absolutely not. I really enjoyed "American Wedding". Though there are others like "The New Guy" that are just plain awful. While "Summer School" has nothing to offer the film medium in terms of new stuff, it manages to be an enjoyable romp.

    The story concerns a gym teacher, who goes by the name "Shoop" (Mark Harmon). School has ended for summer vacation and students and teachers alike are eager to get out. The exception is for the teachers who have to teach the summer school students. When the original English teacher supposed to teach the summer school students bails out, the Vice Principal (Robin Thomas), puts Shoop on the job. If all goes well, Shoop will get tenure. But considering the type of kids Shoop will have to deal it, it will be a long road ahead. Shoop also strikes an unsuccessful string of dates with another summer school teacher, Ms. Bishop (Kristie Alley). Will Shoop be able to get the kids to study and not only get a date with Ms. Bishop? It's one of the hardest to things to review a film that is good, but offers little in being able to be discussed. The actors overall seem to be having a fun time with the characters they portray. They aren't dull for a moment and everyone brings they're own amounts of energy to the roles they play. Mark Harmon in particular has not only a lot of energy, but has charisma that helps to add to his characters enjoyable nature. This not only helps with his on-screen chemistry with Kristie Alley's character. They play well off one another in key scenes very well, and are overall fun to watch. Robin Thomas also does well as the stereotypical evil principal.

    The comedy works for the most part in this movie because it deals with clichés and stereotypes, and plays exactly off of both. The students all have "Breakfast Club-like" stereotypes including a jock, nerd, losers, and outcasts. The writers and director Carl Reiner seem to enjoy these clichés and go far to make them funny, but not crossing that edge into annoyance and stupidity. All of this culminates into somewhat of a non-stereotypical which satisfied me and partly surprised me, which I'd prefer not to give away as it help adds more to this funny movie.

    Overall, if you just want to see a movie that you know you will have a goodtime at, "Summer School" might just be the selection for. Just don't go in any with any expectations. I went in with bad and came out with good. As Alfred Hitchcock would say "It's only a movie."
  • This is one of those movies; If you're looking for intelligence or an Oscar worthy movie, forget it; With this movie, you won't get it. However, if you're looking for a movie where you're looking to be entertained, and laugh out loud, you've found it in this movie.

    The characters were a "mixed bag" of people from the jock who got kicked off the football team; The pregnant girl; The boy whose hormones are in overdrive; The suffer girl and of course "Chainsaw" and Dave; the 2 borderline psychos with warped minds, sense of humor and they love the move, "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" (they were my favorites). They all flunked the English skills test and have the opportunity to retake it, but they have to take a remedial English class in summer school. And then there's Freddie Shoop; The gym teacher looking for tenure, and is forced to teach these kids.

    What makes this movie funny, is Freddie Shoop (in addition of the above mentioned), gets in trouble with the school's Vice Principal, when he took his students on "Field trips" to the beach, the petting zoo, amusement parks (to name a few places). So he makes a deal with the Vice Principal; To have them all pass the English skills test; So he will be granted tenure and not be fired, while making a deal with the students; So they will study and pass as well. All this while trying to win the love and affection of a fellow summer school teacher.

    What makes this movie interesting now, is this movie has 7 actors who have moved on to bigger and better things. Besides the obvious, (Mark Harmon), there's Kirsty Alley, in her Pre "Cheers" days. Then there's Patrick Labyorteaux (Bud from "Jag"), Ken Oldnt, Cortney Thorne-Smith, of "Melrose Place" and "Ally McBeal" fame and "According to Jim", Shawnee Smith (Linda, From "Becker")and Richard Steven Horovitz whose done many voice characterizations for various Saturday morning cartoons.

    Great Movie. I bought this years ago for my video library and will purchase the DVD soon.
  • jep83124 January 2005
    I'm not a big fan of comedies, or romances, or, romantic comedies. But I had a chance to catch this on television last weekend, and I enjoyed it as much as when I first saw it.

    Yes, it was utterly predictable (which is why I usually don't watch romantic comedies). But it had something that so many comedies, particularly the newer ones, don't -- heart -- what with how the main character (the under-rated Mark Harmon) and his students helped each other grow up. And it was clever and funny without being dirty or vulgar -- it has not a smidgen of the potty humor that infects more recent offerings. And there was no sex, but it showed a young single pregnant girl making the mature choice to have her baby adopted. If you like this movie, or this kind of movie, try also the original Meatballs, a similar story with the fabulous Bill Murray in the lead.
  • Being directed by Carl Reiner does not always mean an automatic hit. This is a typical high school flick with the usual teacher(Mark Harmon)that does not want to be there. Add in the misfit students that damn sure don't want to be in summer school. Somehow the "teach" hones in on the right wave length and actually gets the students to learn. Of course there has to be a love interest and it is Kirstie Alley looking probably her best. Goofy and off beat. No great shakes. Also in the cast are Robin Thomas, Courtney Thorne-Smith, Dean Cameron and the hot Shawnee Smith.
  • Lol..Just typing my summary line brings a smile to my face. Summer School is one of those movies that I continually drift back to every now and then for a good pick-me-up. It has very memorable gags and situations involving Chainsaw(Francis Gremp) and Dave are priceless. Mark Harmon does very well as the laid back remedial English teacher,Freddy Shoop. And Kirstie Alley as Robin Bishop is good in her scenes. The real star of the movie for me is Dean Cameron as the aforementioned Chainsaw. Cameron does his usual slacker bit that he does in Ski School and Miracle Beach. But in this movie, it really worked as his dead-pan enthusiasm for horror flicks makes me crack up every time. There are several stereotypical high school people in here but that's part of the 80's. Basic premise is a bunch of misfits have to take English again in summer school and Mr. Shoop has to teach them in order to get a tenure. However,he is a kid at heart himself and has to grow a little with his students who agree to study only if he does them favors. I was elated to see this film finally out on DVD and I picked it up at FYE for only 9.99. "Remember I'm Chainsaw. I'm Dave. We'll see you at the movies".
  • SUMMER SCHOOL (1987) **1/2 Mark Harmon, Kirstie Alley, Robin Thomas, Courtney Thorne Smith, Dean Cameron, Gary Riley, Shawnee Smith. Harmon stars engagingly as a high school gym instructor forced to give up his Hawaii summer vacation and teach remedial English with the usual assorted motley student rejects.

    Often funny and a nice turn by Cameron and Riley as a pre "Bill and Ted" afficionados of "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" making things lively for the dullness of being in school during the lazy, crazy days of summer. Directed by Carl Reiner (who cameos as the assigned teacher winning the lottery and skipping out of his assignment).
  • I love this movie. Obviously not serious fare, but just funny and entertaining as hell. Absolutely packed with VERY good jokes EVERYWHERE...every time I watch it I find new ones. And all the jokes work so well. So light-hearted and enjoyable, you can't help but love this movie. It's like watching old Simpsons reruns...never seems to get old.
  • Summer School (1987) was one of the many high school teen movies that were revived during the 80's. Unlike most of them this wasn't as exploitive or filled with gratuitous nudity or really foul language. The movie has become a cable t.v. staple and found an audience on video as well.

    The movie follows a bunch of misfits who failed to pass a basic high school English equivalence test. A gym coach (Mark Harmon) is given the unwanted assignment of teaching English over the summer. The cast is filled with several stars of the 80's (Dean Cameron, Kristy Alley, Courtney Thorne-Smith, Kelly Jo Minter and Shawnee Smith to name a few).

    Not a classic by any means but a fun time killer and you'll be entertained. Be careful about watching it on broadcast t.v. because the foul language is looped badly.

  • "Summer School" is a very funny movie about summer school.Actor and director Carl Reiner did a great job directing this movie,the cast are great in this film.I saw it in 1987 when it came out,I thought it was funny then,and still think it is funny today,my favorite characters in the film are Chainsaw and Dave.

    The movie starts out as school is getting out for Summer,Vice Principal Phil Gills,played by Robin Thomas(About Last Night,Jade,and The Contender)is looking for a teacher to teach Remedial English Class for the Summer cause the Remedial English teacher Mr. Dearadorian,played by Carl Reiner,resigns cause he won money off an instant Lottery ticket.Mr Gills ends up recruiting P.E. teacher Freddy Shoop,played superbly by Mark Harmon(St. Elsewhere,The Presidio,and Navy NCIS).Mr Shoop was on his way to Hawaii,but is blackmailed into teaching Summer School cause Gills is the one who can recommend him for a tenure.Mr Shoop meets Ms. Robin Bishop,played by Kirstie Alley(Star Trek II:The Wrath Of Khan,Cheers,and Runaway),a teacher who teaches History next door.

    Freddy Shoop's students is Francis Gremp,a.k.a. Chainsaw,played awesomely by Dean Cameron(Ski School 1 and 2,Bad Dreams,and Miracle Beach)and his friend Dave Frasier,played by Gary Riley(Stand By Me,Brotherhood Of Justice,and Fear).They both love horror films,especially "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre".Denise Green,played great by Kelly Jo Minter(Mask,A Nightmare On Elm Street 5,and The Principal),is a student who is Dyslexic.Alan Eakian,played by Richard Steven Horvitz(How I Got Into College and Deadly Weapon)is a student who gets sick easily.Larry Kazamias,played by Ken Olandt(Super Force,April Fool's Day,and Leprechaun)is a student who sleeps in class cause he is up late all the time working late at a strip joint.Rhonda Altobello,played by Shawnee Smith(Desperate Hours,The Stand,and Becker)a student who is pregnant.Kevin Winchester,played by Patrick Labyorteaux(Heathers,JAG,and Ski School)is a student who plays high school football.Pam House,played by the beautiful Coutney Thorne-Smith(Revenge Of The Nerds II,Melrose Place,and According to Jim)is a student who loves to surf,doesn't play attention in class and has the hots for Mr. Shoop.Anna-Maria Mazarelli,played by Fabiana Udenio(Babylon 5,Robocop 2,and In The Army Now),a foreign exchange student.Jerome Watkins,played by Duane Davis,is a student who ends up spending 6 weeks in the bathroom cause his zipper got stuck,,lol The Summer gets more interesting,especially Mr. Shoop's summer,they have some fun going on field trips,a party at Mr.Shoop's house,his couch gets set on fire,fish killed,car wrecked,Mr. Shoop gets thrown in jail cause he was supposedly giving Vodka to Chainsaw and Dave.The charges are dropped though cause of being a dedicated teacher.Mr Shoop resigns as the teacher cause he felt the kids were getting greedy.The kids convince him to come back,they study more and do better.They take the test,some past but some failed,but the Principal,Principal Kelban,played by Frank McCarthy(Action Jackson and Alien Nation)decide to give Shoop a tenure cause of how Freddy Shoop got the kids to improve on their skills.

    I think this movie is great,I give it 2 thumbs up,and 10/10 stars.

    The supporting cast include Beau Starr(Halloween 4 and 5,Goodfellas)as Chainsaw's father.

    Laura Waterbury(Better Off Dead and One Crazy Summer)as Chainsaw's mother.

    Amy Stock as Kim,Freddy Shoop's girlfriend at the beginning of the movie.

    Tom Troupe as the Judge.
  • Summer school has never looked so good, especially since it has been given the film treatment in this well-done comedy.

    Freddy Shoop (Mark Harmon) is a high school gym teacher in southern California who has big plans: A trip to Hawaii with his significantly younger girlfriend Kim. When the old English teacher (cameo by Carl Reiner) wins the lottery and retires, Principal Phil Gills finds Freddy and tells him to teach the remedial summer English class or not be granted tenure. So Freddy takes over the class of assorted oddballs, including slasher-flick carnessours, a pregnant girl, a jock, an out-of-place nerd, a 16 year old male stripper, a dyslexic girl, and a surfer girl. It will prove to be one crazy summer!

    "Summer School" has a plot that is reminiscent of all high school movies: The unwilling teacher, the misfit kids, but there is something in this that the other films seriously lack. My all-time favorite movie, "Fast Times at Ridgemont High," also contains this ingredient--believablity. You can relate to the main characters. These teenagers are very much like the ones that we went to high school with. We all had a teacher like Freddy Shoop, fun and easy-going, or downright attractive. Teachers like this come once in a while, and when they do, only then do they inspire us. I wish I had more teachers like Freddy Shoop--I probably would have done better in Math and Science.

    Now that I am out of high school, and almost finished with my first year of college, it is easy for me to look at this movie and laugh, because we are all like these characters. I can truly relate to the characters in the film, because they are real, not flat and one-dimensional. My favorite parts are when Freddy gets arrested on the beach and hauled off to jail on roller skates, wearing nothing but swim trunks (it sets this 19 year old's heart racing), the scene in the courtroom, the strip club scene ("Think about it, Mr. Shoop, what it you could be 16 again, only you knew then what you knew now."--that line was too perfect. I speak for everyone when I say that I've played "What if?" alot), the scene at the party, when Chainsaw and Dave set the couch on fire and expoded the fruit bombs for Anna Maria, and when the gang is watching "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" on the projector ("new film from the school board-"Safe Use of Powertools"). OF course, the whole movie was golden.

    If you love Mark Harmon, as I do, or just love comedies about high school, then definitely see this film. >
  • Hey, I was bored this morning, and being a Sunday, movies were on. So, I flipped around a bit and found this movie beginning. I figured I would give it a chance, at least for five minutes, and I found myself watching the whole thing. I loved this movie! The characters were so cool (especially Chainsaw and his buddy, "Two thumbs up."), and being a high school kid, I could identify with some stuff, mostly knowing someone like the teacher in the movie. The acting isn't great, but what do you expect? All that matters is that it works very well for the movie, and I recommend this to absoloutely anybody.
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