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29 movies that scream summer

Grace Lynch and Amy Montebello watch the Jungle Book Tuesday, July 10, 2017, during Fargo Parks Movie Night at Island Park.David Samson / The Forum

This time of year encompasses an array of life's beautiful things: stargazing and bonfires; grilling out and backyard games; fresh herbs and corn on the cob; baseball games and sunflower seeds; bikinis and tan lines.

But when those summer thunderstorms move in, you might be at a loss for what to do. (Who wants to be cooped up inside during the Midwest's most beautiful season?)

Luckily, summer-themed movies keep us occupied until the storm blows over.

When the sky crackles with thunder, grab some popcorn (or better yet, a popsicle) and hunker down with one of these 29 movies.


Inevitably, some movies stand the test of time — movies that generations will recognize as must-see flicks, no matter when they were first released. When it comes to summer-themed movies, these are the classics.

• "The Parent Trap" (1961, 1998)

• "Caddyshack" (1980)

• "Stand By Me" (1986)

• "Sandlot" (1993)

• "Dazed and Confused" (1993)

• "Now and Then" (1995)


Few things are better than snuggling up to a loved one as the skies turn gray and a summer thunderstorm thrashes outdoors. Among some of the most notable romance films are anything written by Nicholas Sparks, including "The Notebook," "Dear John" and "The Last Song." Your heart may echo the rain's rhythm, so it's not a terrible idea to grab a box of tissues.

• "Grease" (1978)

• "Dirty Dancing" (1987)

• "Summer Catch" (2001)

• "The Notebook" (2004)

• "500 Days of Summer" (2009)

• "Adventureland" (2009)

• "The Last Song" (2010)

• "Dear John" (2010)


These flicks trump the rest when it comes to laugh-so-hard-you-cry entertainment. Whether you dive into one of Chevy Chase's "National Lampoon's Vacation" from 1983 or choose a newer hit starring Christina Applegate and Ed Helms — "Vacation," you're sure to bust a gut.

• "National Lampoon's Vacation" (1983)

• "Wet Hot American Summer" (2001)

• "Heavy Weights" (1995)

• "50 First Dates" (2004)

• "Fool's Gold" (2008)

• "Vacation" (2015)


It just so happens that some of summer's best action movies happen to be surf-related. Let's face it, there's no better time to catch a wave than when the sun's shining (and the beach isn't covered in snow). With shark week nearing, I can't think of any movie more appropriate than "Jaws." (That is, unless you frequent the ocean.)

• "Jaws" (1975)

• "Blue Crush," "Blue Crush 2" (2002, 2011)

• "Into the Blue" (2005)

• "Lords of Dogtown" (2005)

• "Soul Surfer" (2011)


While they can't be categorized as comedies or romance films, movies about baseball most definitely fit with the summer theme. In fact, I couldn't even list them all. (It's also likely I scrapped some of your favorites.) For all you ocean animal fans out there... "Free Willy" never gets old.

• "A League of Their Own" (1992)

• "Rookie of the Year" (1993)

• "Free Willy" (1993)

• "Angels in the Outfield" (1994)

Grab a spot on the couch. Breathe, let the rains fall and sink into the solace of these summer flicks. Sunshine, sunburn and mosquitos will smite us tomorrow.

Alexandra Floersch

Alexandra Floersch has worked for Forum Communications since February 2015. She is a content producer and photographer who enjoys writing about finance, fashion and home.

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