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When Every Day Was the Fourth of July

When Every Day Was the Fourth of July is a 1978 American made-for-television drama film about a Jewish-American family in 1937 Bridgeport, Connecticut. Narrated in first person flashback, the story follows a 12-year-old boy and his family who find themselves defending the town "misfit" after he's accused of murder. The film was written, produced and directed by Dan Curtis, and stars Dean Jones, Geoffrey Lewis, Chris Petersen, and Katy Kurtzman. It was followed by the 1980 ABC television film sequel The Long Days of Summer.

When Every Day Was the Fourth of July
Fourth of July - Days of Summer DVD cover.jpg
DVD cover art
GenreDrama
Written byDan Curtis
Lee Hutson
Directed byDan Curtis
StarringDean Jones
Louise Sorel
Chris Petersen
Katy Kurtzman
Geoffrey Lewis
Narrated byCharles Aidman
Music byWalter Scharf
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
Production
Producer(s)Dan Curtis
Steven P. Reicher
CinematographyFrank Stanley
Editor(s)Dennis Virkler
Running time104 minutes
Production company(s)Dan Curtis Productions
DistributorNBC
Release
Original networkNBC
Original releaseMarch 12, 1978 (1978-03-12)

Contents

PlotEdit

It's the summer of 1937 in Bridgeport, Connecticut and 12-year-old Daniel Cooper (Chris Petersen) along with his 10-year-old sister Sarah (Katy Kurtzman) are looking forward to summer vacation, most particularly, the annual 4th of July festivities. Sarah soon befriends the town's gentle misfit, Albert Cavanaugh, known by the town's children as "Snowman" (Geoffrey Lewis), a highly decorated and now brain-damaged World War I veteran, after she defends him from the town's resident bully, "Red" Doyle (Eric Shea). When Snowman finds himself accused of a terrible murder, Sarah, believing him to be innocent, convinces her successful attorney father, Ed Cooper (Dean Jones) to defend him. Amid courtroom allegations of communism and insinuations of a potentially inappropriate relationship with Sarah, Ed Cooper and the town's children must try to prove Snowman's innocence, before he can be sentenced to jail for the murder.

CastEdit

ProductionEdit

Although fictionalized, Dan Curtis wrote the story based on his own childhood growing up in Bridgeport, Connecticut, with the character of Danny representing himself as a child.[1][2] Many of the characters are based on real people Curtis knew growing up, including Danny and Sarah's friends in the film, who are each named after Curtis' own childhood friends, however, Curtis did not have a sister, and instead, the role of Sarah was based on co-writer/producer Lee Hutson's sister of the same name.[3]

Curtis had originally wanted to shoot the film in his childhood hometown of Bridgeport, but for financial and logistical reasons, the decision was made to film in California, using Echo Park, Los Angeles for the outdoor "neighborhood" scenes.[3]

Just one day before principal photography was set to begin, Curtis had still yet to find a boy who was right for the part of Harold "Red" Doyle, when veteran child actor Eric Shea came in to read for the role and was hired on the spot.[3] 17 years old at the time of filming, this would be Shea's final role before leaving show business.[4]

Matt Groening has stated that his first job in Los Angeles was as an extra in this film.[5]

AwardsEdit

Year Award Category Recipient Result Ref.
1979 Edgar Allan Poe Award Best Television Feature or Miniseries Lee Hutson (writer) Nominated [6]

See alsoEdit

The Long Days of Summer (1980 sequel)

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Dan Curtis - Variety". Variety.com. 2006-03-27. Retrieved 2011-03-25.
  2. ^ "When Every Day Was the Fourth of July - The New York Times". NYTimes.com. Retrieved 2011-03-25.
  3. ^ a b c "Dean Jones and Dan Curtis DVD Commentary". When Every Day Was the 4th of July/The Long Days of Summer. 2005. Missing or empty |url= (help)
  4. ^ "Eric Shea - IMDb". IMDb.com. Retrieved 2011-03-19.
  5. ^ "Matt Groening interview - June 2007". Playboy Online. June 2007. Archived from the original on 16 June 2007. Retrieved 17 March 2014.
  6. ^ "The Edgar Allan Poe Awards - Winners & Nominees". TheEdgars.com. Retrieved 2011-03-19.

External linksEdit