Last Summer

Director: Frank Perry
Year Released: 1969
Rating: 2.0

Two male teens (Bruce Davison and Richard Thomas) flirt around with a frenetic young lady (Barbara Hershey) while on vacation in New York - their weirdo trio gets interrupted when a lonely, homely prude (Catherine Burns) starts hanging around them. The symbolism of the seagull is both obvious (and obnoxious) and the editing is choppy and crude, but it's not so much a coming-of-age story as it is about the cruelty of teenagers towards their 'less cool' peers - when Burns' plump loner turns into the seagull and gets brutally raped in the words (and presumably murdered), it shows just what kind of sociopathic nut the Barbara Hershey character is (and I question the notion that suppressed sexual desire turns into psychosis). Davison, Thomas and Hershey, still novices, overact a great deal ... or they could just seem garish and unpolished compared to the brilliant performance put on by Burns: her character's speech about her dead mother is one of the movies' great haunting monologues.