Summer Dreams: The Story of the Beach Boys (1990)

Summer Dreams: The Story of the Beach Boys (1990)
  • 375
  • R
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release year: 1990 ()
  • Running time: 90 min
  • Original Title: Summer Dreams: The Story of the Beach Boys
  • Voted: 375

This biopic chronicles the continuing saga of the Beach Boys from 1961 to 1985. Mainly focuses on the Beach Boys resident wildman Dennis Wilson and in a slightly less capacity big brother Brian Wilson.

1Bruce GreenwoodDennis Wilson
2Greg KeanBrian Wilson
3Arlen Dean SnyderMurry Wilson
4Casey SanderMike Love
  • Enjoyable and fairly accurate by 9

    I thought this was a good film that captured the essence of the Beach boys. The conflict with the Father and his unreasonable behaviour was well acted out as were the many changing faces, moods and music of this great band.

    Of course in a 90 minute film covering many decades there will be omisions and errors but I was amazed at how much this film did cover. Most of the great songs are included and the actor playing Dennis Wilson was particularly good, although the Mike Love character was probably the most like the man himself, his role was underplayed.

    My only real criticism is I would have liked to have heard and seen more songs and maybe some of the more joyful times that this band no doubt would have had, but overall a damn good film I'd say.

  • Credible version of the band's story. by 7

    Considering the natural constraints that are built into a TV-movie, this one does a pretty good job of telling the Beach Boys' story. One might almost call it admirable. The script is based on Steven Gaines book about the group, 'Heroes and Villains,' and for the most part it deals honestly and straightforwardly with the band's roller-coaster ride over a couple of decades, a ride which unfortunately had more than its share of steep declines. Main themes include the struggle for creative control of the band between head of the Wilson clan Murray and eldest son Brian, the struggle for Brian Wilson's sanity as he tries to handle the responsibility of being the band's leader, and Dennis Wilson's problems with drugs and relationships that prove self-destructive.

    It was easier to depict Dennis' earthy lifestyle than to delve into Brian's complex psyche, I suppose, so this turns into more of the Dennis and Brian show than one might imagine. The other group members Mike Love, Carl Wilson and Alan Jardine accordingly clear the stage for the most part. The music proves a bit problematic, too. Apparently unable to use original Beach Boys material, the imitations are not so terrible, but any true fan of the group will immediately note the difference. Love's voice proves a lot easier to recreate than does Brian's falsetto. One good scene has the boys performing their first song, 'Surfin',' for Mr. Wilson. The best musical sequence is designed to show Brian's blossoming genius at composing and arranging, and this occurs when the band is seen recording 'God Only Knows.' They even correctly showed Carl doing the vocal! But it seems the movie's producers didn't have the nerve to try and take on the Beach Boys' biggest hit and Brian's most glorious creation, 'Good Vibrations.' It's nowhere to be heard in this film.

  • Certainly no good vibrations by 7

    I saw this film a couple of years ago and being a Beach Boys fan, i was hoping the film would be a half decent biography. But as soon as they finish "God Only Knows" the film just becomes boring. It hardly documents on Brian's health problems and his road to recovery with the help of Dr. Eugene Landy, and it focuses on Dennis' involvement with Charlie Manson a bit too much. I just think it is too brief and it is hard to watch with interest when the songs finish. The film could have been so much better if they had gone more in depth and brightened it up with more songs. So much happened in the Beach Boys career that wasn't even shown in the film.

  • First Class Unauthorized Bio of this Super Band! by 7

    I've only seen this film twice, and will look forward to #3, as it is an excellent film. The acting is superb, the actors have the looks of each of their characters down pat, as well as the mannerisms, and the musical group, whoever they are, do a spectacular job of sounding as close as they do to the real "McCoy." I recommend this movie highly, especially if you love The beach Boys!

  • I lived through the beach boys era. by 10

    I lived through the beach boys era, I was just a kid when it began but spent many a great summer at beach boys concerts throughout the 70's Including one memorable concert in the former Foxboro stadium (now the Gillette stadium) Where they performed with the band Chicago and their combined vocal and instrumental talents shone. While the movie has been panned by many I would say it is the closest thing (in motion picture form) to a real view of their history. It in some ways minimizes their impact on both the music of the time and future musicians, but is a good start for anyone interested in learning about the band and what they still mean for so many even to this day.

1Paul Onoratocinematographer
2Jay Levycomposer
3Michael Switzerdirector
4Joel Fieldsproducer
5Steven Gaineswriter
6Charles Rosinwriter