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Haunted Summer (1988)

eric stoltz,haunted summerHaunted Summer is a 1988 drama directed by Ivan Passer from a script by Lewis John Carlino. The film is based on a novel by Anne Edwards.

It was released on DVD in June 2011.


Based on the infamous Summer of 1816 when Mary Shelley wrote “Frankenstein”, the film chronicles the mind games and manipulations that were the hallmarks of the intense and neurotic relationships that existed among Byron, Shelley, Mary, and her step-sister Claire Godwin.


Eric Stoltz (Percy Shelley), Aleice Krige (Mary Godwin), Philip Anglim (Lord Byron), Laura Dern (Claire Clairmont), Alex Winter (Dr. John William Polidori)

eric stoltz,haunted summer,alice krige

… And he’s made some interesting, little-seen movies he can be proud of, like Ivan Passer’s Haunted Summer, in which he played the Romantic poet Shelley, with Alice Krige as Mary Shelley, Philip Anglim as Byron, Laura Dern as Claire Clairmont and Alex Winter as John Polidori. “Actually, Laura Dern got me that role. She brought me the script and told me that I should meet the director. Passer took us to dinner and offered me the role. Some directors just want to hire you after getting a sense of who you are and others want you to read a million times. Either way is fine with me. Although it’s a lot more fun to just go out to dinner.”

Stoltz’s technique was a painless one on Haunted Summer. “We lived this sort of bohemian existence during that film. We thought of those people as the rock and roll stars of their day, young, hedonistic people pursuing anarchic lifestyles, shocking society. We were all passionate about it. I already had a knowledge of the Romantic poets, but I didn’t know much about Shelley. So I read every book about his life. I read this man’s mail. I went to the places he went. I had a great time. I remember one night on Lake Como when there was an incredible thunderstorm. All the power went out in our hotel. I went out on the balcony and saw Laura and Philip on a balcony, and Alex on the balcony next to them, watching the lightning. And I thought, this was what life should be like.” — Movieline, June 1992

DVD ON AMAZON: Haunted Summer


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