A Storm in Summer | Chicago Reader

A Storm in Summer

The heavy liberalism of Rod Serling's 1970 teleplay hasn't aged well. Set in the summer of '69, this new film adaptation concerns a curmudgeonly Jew (Peter Falk), the owner of a deli in an upstate New York resort, who's cajoled by a local socialite (Nastassja Kinski) into taking in a ghetto youngster for a spell. He and the strong-minded kid (Aaron Meeks) banter heatedly but grow to like each other, bonding over the deli owner's son, who died in World War II, and the kid's brother, who serves in Vietnam. Together they confound prejudices in a town that seems ignorant of any racial progress. Hollywood hand Robert Wise (West Side Story, The Sound of Music), directing for Showtime, accentuates Serling's didacticism by belittling the bigoted, though the genuine warmth between the two leads softens the simpleminded rhetoric (and Falk's hamming). With Andrew McCarthy and Ruby Dee. 98 min.

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