Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams

Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams is a 1973 American Technicolor drama film directed by Gilbert Cates, starring Joanne Woodward, Martin Balsam, Sylvia Sidney and Tresa Hughes, and written by Stewart Stern. It tells the story of a New York City housewife who rethinks her relationships with her husband, her children and her mother.

Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams
Directed byGilbert Cates
Produced byJack Brodsky
Written byStewart Stern
StarringJoanne Woodward
Martin Balsam
Sylvia Sidney
Tresa Hughes
Music byJohnny Mandel
CinematographyGerald Hirschfeld
Edited bySidney Katz
Distributed byColumbia Pictures
Release date
  • October 21, 1973 (1973-10-21)
Running time
93 minutes
CountryUnited States

Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams garnered nominations for Academy Awards for Best Actress in a Leading Role (Joanne Woodward) and Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Sylvia Sidney).

Plot summary

Rita Walden is a depressed middle-aged New Yorker. Always tired, Rita is prone to nightmares, and when she does dream more pleasant thoughts, they are of her childhood on the family farm. In her mind, she settled for second best when she married her ophthalmologist husband, Harry, as she still thinks about what life would have been like with the older farm-boy on whom she had a crush at age 12½. She is constantly bickering with her mother, her sister Betty and her grown-up daughter Anna, who has issues of her own. Rita is also estranged from her son Bobby, upon whom she is in denial about his homosexual orientation. After Rita's mother dies suddenly, Rita is on the verge of a nervous breakdown in dealing with her mother's estate, especially when the family talks about selling her beloved farm which she still intends on passing on to Bobby. Harry thinks that a European vacation would help Rita clear her mind, with the possibility of visiting Bobby who is currently living in Amsterdam. Although Rita faces some crises on the trip, much of her thoughts do clear after seeing Harry revisit Bastogne, his first time there since his World War II battle days.


See also

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