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Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams

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Director  Gilbert Cates
Music director  Johnny Mandel
Country  United States
6.6/10 IMDb

Genre  Drama
Screenplay  Stewart Stern
Writer  Stewart Stern
Language  English
Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams movie poster

Release date  October 21, 1973 (1973-10-21)
Cast  Joanne Woodward (Rita Walden), Martin Balsam (Harry Walden), Sylvia Sidney (Mrs. Pritchett), Tresa Hughes (Betty Goody), Dori Brenner (Anna), Ron Richards (Bobby Walden)
Similar movies  Love Is Strange, I Killed My Mother, The Crying Game, Every Day, Taboo, The Sum of Us
Tagline  Beautiful. Frigid. She is Called a Snow Queen.

Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams is a 1973 Technicolor film which tells the story of a New York City housewife who rethinks her relationships with her husband, her children and her mother. The movie stars Joanne Woodward, Martin Balsam, Sylvia Sidney and Tresa Hughes, was written by Stewart Stern, and directed by Gilbert Cates.


Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams movie scenes

Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams garnered nominations for Academy Awards for Best Actress in a Leading Role (Joanne Woodward) and Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Sylvia Sidney).

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Plot summary

Rita Walden is a depressed middle-aged New Yorker. Always tired, Rita is prone to nightmares, and when she does dream more pleasant thoughts, they are of her childhood on the family farm. In her mind, she settled for second best when she married her ophthalmologist husband, Harry, as she still thinks about what life would have been like with the older farm-boy on whom she had a crush at age 12½. She is constantly bickering with her mother, her sister Betty and her grown-up daughter Anna, who has issues of her own. Rita is also estranged from her son Bobby, upon whom she is in denial about his homosexual-orientation. After Rita's mother dies suddenly, Rita is on the verge of a nervous breakdown in dealing with her mother's estate, especially when the family talks about selling her beloved farm which she still intends on passing on to Bobby. Harry thinks that a European vacation would help Rita clear her mind, with the possibility of visiting Bobby who is currently living in Amsterdam. Although Rita faces some crises on the trip, much of her thoughts do clear after seeing Harry revisit Bastogne, his first time there since his World War II battle days.


  • Joanne Woodward as Rita Walden
  • Martin Balsam as Harry Walden
  • Sylvia Sidney as Mrs. Pritchett
  • Tresa Hughes as Betty Goody
  • Dori Brenner (in her screen debut) as Anna
  • Ron Richards as Bobby Walden
  • Win Forman as Fred Goody
  • Peter Marklin as Joel
  • Nancy Andrews as Mrs. Hungerford
  • Minerva Pious as Woman in Theatre
  • Sol Frieder as Man in Theatre
  • Helen Ludlam as Grandmother
  • Grant Code as Grandfather
  • Gaetano Lisi as Student in Theatre
  • Lee Jackson as Carl
  • References

    Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams Wikipedia
    Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams IMDb Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams