White Water Summer

White Water Summer is a 1987 American drama film directed by Jeff Bleckner and starring Kevin Bacon, Sean Astin, Jonathan Ward, and Matt Adler.

White Water Summer
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJeff Bleckner
Produced byManya Starr
Written byErnest Kinoy
Music byJourney
Polar Entertainment
Distributed byColumbia Pictures
Release date
  • July 10, 1987 (1987-07-10) (Pacific Northwest)
Running time
90 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$300,859 (US)[2]


School is out for the summer, and a group of young teenagers go on a hike with Vic, an experienced guide. One teen, Alan, butts heads with Vic during the film, as the life lessons Vic attempts to teach annoy him. The more defiant Alan gets, the more extreme the lessons come from Vic. Alan's defiance and Vic's aggressive lessons culminate in disaster and Vic winds up breaking his leg. Alan then has to use his skills and some of Vic's to get down from the mountain.

Production and release

White Water Summer was originally produced as Rites of Summer in 1985,[1][3] and given its current name upon release in 1987.[1] The film's action is framed by commentary from the now-older character of Alan (Sean Astin), as he remembers a camping trip led by Vic (Kevin Bacon). The narration was filmed two years after the film itself; Astin is noticeably older.[1]

The film was photographed by John Alcott, a frequent collaborator of Stanley Kubrick. Alcott died shortly before the release of the film, which is dedicated to his memory. Scenes were shot in California's Sierra Nevada mountains, as well as in western Quebec, Canada, at the small French Quebec town of Fort-Coulonge, and New Zealand locales.[4]

Columbia Pictures released the film theatrically in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States;[1] a wider release was planned, but never carried out.[5]


Nine songs are included in the film:

  • "Wild Frontier"

Written by Bruce Hornsby and John Hornsby Performed by Bruce Hornsby and The Range Courtesy of The RCA Records Label of BMG Music

  • "On the Western Skyline"

Written by Bruce Hornsby and John Hornsby Performed by Bruce Hornsby and The Range Courtesy of The RCA Records Label of BMG Music

  • "Be Good to Yourself"

Written by Steve Perry, Jonathan Cain and Neal Schon Performed by Journey Courtesy of CBS Records

  • "Aphrodisiac Jacket"

Written by Ian Astbury and Billy Duffy Produced by Rick Rubin Performed by The Cult Courtesy of Sire Records by arrangement with Warner Special Products and Beggars Banquet Records Limited

  • "Life in a Dangerous Time"

Written by Nick Van Eede (as Nicholas Eede) Produced by Terry Brown & Cutting Crew Performed by Cutting Crew Courtesy of Siren Records Ltd.

  • "Streetwalker"

Composed, Produced and Performed by Michael Boddicker

  • "Paradise"

Written by Kaylee Adams and Charlie Mitchell Produced by Charlie Mitchell Performed by Kaylee Adams Courtesy of Warner Bros. Records

  • "Hot Shot"

Written by Mike Slamer, Roy Ward and John Luttrelle Produced by Mike Slamer Performed by Roy Ward

  • "Restless Heart"

Written by Mike Slamer and Mark Boals Produced by Mike Slamer Performed by Mark Boals


  1. Beck, Marilyn (June 30, 1987). "Celebrities: Time after time". Bangor Daily News Magazine. p. 4. Retrieved November 8, 2011.
  2. "White Water Summer", Boxofficemojo.com
  3. Maltin, Leonard (2007). "White Water Summer". Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide 2008. Signet Books. p. 1522. ISBN 978-0-452-28978-9.
  4. Andersen, Soren (July 21, 1987). "Getting into the spirit of 'White Water'". The Spokesman-Review. McClatchy News Service. p. F6. Retrieved November 8, 2011.
  5. Beck, Marilyn (August 1, 1987). "Marilyn Beck's Hollywood: The best-laid plans". Anchorage Daily News. p. D9. Retrieved November 8, 2011.
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