|It's more of an ensemble film than|
suggested by the poster!
The story unfolds in Boston around the turn-of-the-century, with the Carey family packing up their belongings to move to more affordable accomodations. The recently-widowed Margaret Carey (Dorothy McGuire) has little time to mourn her husand as she copes with what her daughter Nancy calls "reduced circumstances." Mom soon learns that the enterprising Nancy (Hayley) has inquired about a vacant house in rural Maine, where the family vacationed in happier times. Nancy easily convinces the family to leave Boston behind and take up residence in "the yellow house" in the charming town of Beulah.
Summer Magic was based on Kate Douglas Wiggin's 1911 novel Mother Carey's Chickens, which was adapted for the stage in 1917. RKO mounted a screen version in 1938 with Fay Bainter as Margaret Carey, Ann Shirley as Nancy, and Walter Brennan as Ossian Popham. It was intended as a Katharine Hepburn vehicle, but she bought out her contract with RKO that year.
|Ives and Mathers.|
While far from a Disney classic, Summer Magic will appeal to fans of its performers and to anyone in the mood to visit the kind of innocent small town where the worst crime is the theft of a 25-cent haircut.