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A Plumm Summer
A Plumm Summer
Actors: Jeff Daniels, William Baldwin, Henry Winkler, Lisa Guerrero, Chris Massoglia
Director: Caroline Zelder
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Kids & Family
PG     2009     1hr 39min

Genre: Family Rating: PG Release Date: 5-MAY-2009 Media Type: DVD


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Movie Details

Actors: Jeff Daniels, William Baldwin, Henry Winkler, Lisa Guerrero, Chris Massoglia
Director: Caroline Zelder
Creators: Caroline Zelder, Doug Metzger, Douglas Kahelemauna Nam, Frank Antonelli, T.J. Lynch
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Kids & Family
Sub-Genres: Action & Adventure, Religion, Family Films
Studio: Paramount
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen
DVD Release Date: 05/05/2009
Original Release Date: 01/01/2007
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2007
Release Year: 2009
Run Time: 1hr 39min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
MPAA Rating: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

A charming family film that combines mystery, suspense and h
Dennis A. Amith (kndy) | California | 04/28/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

""A PLUMM SUMMER" is a heartwarming family film that combines mystery, suspense, action and a homage to the classic family films of yesteryear.

The film is a first for Director Caroline Zelder (who has worked as an editor and involved in casting for films such as "The Patriot") and also a film she co-wrote with T.J. Lynch and Frank Antonelli.

Based on a true story, the film revolves around the theft of Froggy Doo, the popular frog marionette owned by TV host Happy Herb. His television show "Happy Herb & Froggy Doo" was among the popular kids shows on television and the theft happened in Billings, Montana (the hometown of screenplay writer T.J. Lynch).

"A PLUMM SUMMER" focuses on a family and their two children Elliott Plumm (Chris Massoglia) and his younger brother Rocky (Owen Pearce).

Elliott is a shy young teenager who is constantly called names because of his quiet and shy demeanor. He may seem that way in front of his classmates but at home, Elliott is a child that enjoys Hardy Boys mystery novels and photography.

His younger brother Rocky on the other hand is a typical child who is addicted to the television show "Happy Herb and Froggy Doo" and believes that Froggy Doo is real character and loves the character so much that his side of the bedroom which he shares with his brother is plastered with Froggy Doo merchandise.

As for the Plumm's family life, his mother Roxie (Lisa Guerrero) tries to keep the family going strong,while her husband Mick (William Baldwin), a former boxer who tends to hang out with a bad crowd of guys and constantly gets drunk.

Roxie worries that her husband is out drinking all the time while not working and not spending time with the children. And worry that the man she loves is becoming a drunkard and spending his hard earned money on alcohol. The family is having a tough time paying their bills as it is.

While mom tries to keep the family together, the truth is that Mick and his son Elliott really don't get along for some reason. His father rarely interacts with him and nor does he even look at him. Where boxing is everything to Mick, Elliott dislikes boxing. If anything, Elliott has been like the man of the family because his father is rarely ever home and always getting drunk at the bar.

One day after coming home from a day at the poo, the Plumm boys notice that someone has moved next door to them. A trailer is parked next door and with their binoculars, both boys spot a teenage girl.

We learn that the girl is named Haley Dubois (Morgan Flynn) and her father, Wayne, is a new sheriff in town (Tim Quill). Wayne introduces himself to the Plumm family and invites Elliott to be friends with his daughter Haley because she hasn't really made many friends since the death of her mother.

With the "Happy Herb & Froggy Doo" show to be done live at the park, Elliott and his brother prepare for the big day. But for Elliott, since the first day he saw Haley, he was immediately smitten by her. So smitten that he takes photos of her. During an encounter between the two young teens, Elliott learns that Haley shares the same interests in mystery novels. But being the shy guy that he is, Elliott is at a loss for words.

Meanwhile, little Rocky and many other kids watch Happy Herb (Henry Winkler) on stage. While he and his wife Viv (Brenda Strong) are on stage and having fun with the kids in the audience, when Herb goes to introduce his Froggy Doo, he notices that his marionette is missing. Someone has stolen the frog.

All the children start crying and without Froggy Doo, Herb is devastated and because "Happy Herb & Froggy Doo" is a live show, the television network has no choice but to take the show off the air.

As for trying to find out who captured the marionette, the small town is not equipped to deal with this large of a situation, so the FBI sends their two of their own, Agent Hardigan (Peter Scolari) and Agent Brinkman (Rick Overton) to investigate.

The following day, Elliott decides to take the new Sheriff's advice to become friends with his daughter, so Elliott starts having a conversation with Haley and invites her to join him and Rocky in finding the missing marionette.

So, while the FBI agents try to search the town and find out who stole the marionette, Elliott, Haley and Rocky go to visit Happy Herb and to get some clues and finding out who may have stolen the marionette. As for Happy Herb, because he is without his marionette (which he looks at almost like a child), the TV network takes the show off television and thus starts to sadden young Rocky and many of the other kids who miss the show.

Suddenly, Happy Herb receives a package on the doorstep and it's Froggy Doo's bowtie with a message for him to not contact the police or else Froggy Doo will be sent back all in pieces.

So, the investigation for Froggy Doo continues but with many twists and turns along the way, who will find Froggy Doo first? Our team of amateur sleuths or the bungling FBI agents?


"A PLUMM SUMMER" is an Independent film shot in Montana. The crew did what they can to capture that small town, mountains in the background, fields of green lush plants and if anything, capture the innocence of a small town during 1968. A lot of outdoor shots which gives a nice colorful view and overall picture quality was well-done. Video is presented in widescreen and is enhanced for 16:9 TV's.

As for audio, the film is dialogue driven and thus front channel heavy. But there is a utilization of music from classic late 60's music and other contemporary artists. Audio is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround and dialogue can be clearly heard.


The following special features for "A PLUMM SUMMER" are included:

* Commentary: Audio Commentary with writer/director Caroline Zelder & writer/producer Frank Antonelli - The commentary offered some insight on how financing for the film fell and in a rare situation, the actress and host of "Inside Edition" Lisa Guerrero and her husband, former New York Yankees pitcher Scott Erickson went ahead and financed the film. The two discuss various talent and how some were cast for their roles and insight on the script and filming certain scenes.
* GAG REEL: (3:51) Featuring many bloopers with the kids, especially Owen Pearce (who plays Rocky Plumm).
* Deleted Scenes: (2:29) Featuring three deleted scenes, with one that actually explains that the Froggy Doo show is being taken off television because of the sign of the times in network television.
* Behind the scenes music video: (2:40) The behind-the-scenes video of the crew and talent working on set.
* Behind the scenes on the red carpet: (6:13) This featurette showcases the various talent and how they felt being part of the film. A fun featurette and seeing various celebs who attended the red carpet event.
* Theatrical Trailer: (2:16) The original theatrical trailer


I enjoyed "A PLUMM SUMMER" a lot. It is one of those family films that reminds me of the type of family films we watched on the big screen of yesterday. Stories that involved comedy, action and suspense but compared to children's films of today, most family films with children are typically animated or feature full on digital special-effects.

And so, part of the enjoyment of this film is that it is a genuine and heartwarming film with believable characters and most of all, a type of family film that you only wish Hollywood made more of.

For one, I was really impressed by the casting for this film. Because this film is an independent film, you're not going to catch Hollywood's big names but nevertheless, there are key talent that signed on and really gave the film a level of believability.

On the adult side of things, Lisa Guerrero is typically known for hosting entertainment shows but as an actress, she did a good job. William Baldwin's (as Mick) appearance on film is very limited and I think if there was one problem, his character and his relationship with Elliott is not fully explored. I would like to see a little more friction and showing why Elliott and his father didn't get a long so well and when we do see the friction, it is near the final quarter of the film.

Henry Winkler as Happy Herb is definitely a good choice, Brenda Strong looks absolutely lovely in this film and it's great to see Peter Scolari again. Also, it was a nice touch to have Jeff Daniels provide the narrative voice of a grown up Elliott.

Whereas the adults did a very good job, the young talent did a phenomenal job! Chris Massoglia as Elliott was a good choice as he is definitely will be a person to watch for in future films. Morgan Flynn who plays Haley has appeared in several films but this film really goes farther for the young actress emotionally and last but not least, Owen Pearce as Rocky Plumm. His pronunciation of words to his overall cuteness, hope to see this child get cast for more roles in the future.

For Caroline Zelder's directorial debut and T.J. Lynch's first major screenplay, a very good effort thus far. It was very interesting to see a person who handles the casting side jump into the directorial chair and for her first major effort, Zelder did a pretty good job.

If anything, I think that with this film being released during the beginning of the Summer films in 2008 and the fact that the film didn't sport any big names probably hampered its theatrical debut.

The film could have gone in various directions and focusing on the father and son relationship or lack of one. I also used the word "believability", I meant that in terms of the characters and what they brought to the film. But as for the storyline's believability, would there have been such a massive hunt for marionette? And there are other scenes near the end that seemed quite a bit farfetched but needless to say, it's the charm factor that makes "A PLUMM SUMMER" so fun and enjoyable.

I tend to be a bit nostalgic of those family films of yesteryear's past but this independent film is quite special and now that it's on DVD, it's definitely a fun and enjoyable family film worth catching."
Like Sunday family dinner hour...
Chris Roberts | 11/05/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

"A Plumm Summer is a sweet little indie film pulled off perfectly. There are some big names in the supporting cast who are all note-perfect, most notably Peter Scolari and Henry Winkler. Billy Baldwin also puts in a very good turn for the first time in quite a while. Newcomers Chris Massoglia and Owen Pearce couldn't be any cuter and more adorable as the brothers/stars of the film. Massoglia (credited as "Chris J. Kelly") is particularly outstanding considering it's his first jump from TV to film - you really like him and feel for his character. To me, A Plumm Summer hearkens back to 6:00 on Sunday when the family would gather around the TV with dinners in hand to watch the Wonderful World of Disney's weekly fare. This is like that... but better quality than most of what Walt served up. There's some real heart to this effort thanks to genuine drama that hits a message without becoming overwrought with itself. The mystery element to the story is none too deep or complex, but it doesn't need to be; it's just the vehicle that introduces some very likable characters and lets us get to know them. There's a laugh or two along the way and everything is generally light-hearted and fun. It's a good family film that entertains as well as confronts a serious note or two along the way. It won't change the landscape of movie-making, but it's awfully nice to see that somebody will still make a sweet, innocent film like this. Kudos to the folks responsible for doing that. A very sweet, endearing, charming, family film worth anyone's time."
Montana As It Used To Be
David McEldery | Plains, MT USA | 06/17/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I think the other reviewers pretty much said it all, even the curmudgeon who dissed the film. It all depends on your POV. Something to think about when you see this movie, yes it is shot in Montana, and it looks like the Montana that used to be, which back before the subdivision booms of the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s was rather idyllic. I've lived all my 61 years in Montana, in the north along the High Line, the southwest and southeast, and now the west side. The camera crew and cinematographers did a wonderful job of selecting locations that look as they did in the 1960s in and around Livingston and the Gallatin Valley near Bozeman. However, they had to be pretty careful and use tight shots and relatively unconnected locations to avoid showing you all the ticky-tacky neo-mansions and slick developments that have sprung up on the hillsides and old farms around these once lovely valleys. KULR TV was located in Billings, where I lived during the time Froggy Doo was losing viewers. The Daily Chronicle is printed in Bozeman. The mill scene was shot near Missoula, and the town of Livingston is the centerpiece.

Happy Herb type shows had been popular in the 1950s, when we squinted through the "snow" and made out shapes on B&W TVs. More sophisticated viewing fare and a plethora of cartoons claimed even the youngest viewers by the time we had a color TV in 1964. There were fewer people in Montana in those days, fewer cars, slower roads, and a slower pace of life. I lived in Bozeman and the Gallatin Valley for 6 years when my wife and I attended Montana State University in the 1960s. The Horseshoe Hills were devoid of subdivisions, as was Four Corners and the Gallatin Gateway area. Tom Brokaw et al. hadn't discovered the place, though Richard Boone had a hideaway outside Missoula, and Chet Huntley had a place here as well. The Hollywood set hadn't come in numbers. Ted Turner wasn't widely known, except for his yachting exploits in the sports pages. Our Governor, Brian Schweitzer, has a cameo in the film too. I'm sure he was hoping the movie would attract some sort of business, or more retirees from other states. The collapse of the economy last year has slowed growth in the retirement industry quite a bit.

If you're inspired to move to Montana by this film, just remember, you'll be helping to love it to death. If you're just dying to put a home on a hillside, to split up some farmland, to get a grand view of a river valley, stand in line. You'll be fighting with the neighbors over access and water rights soon enough. Make sure you have a job lined up before you come. The economy is lousy. Agriculture, logging, and mining were once the backbone of this state, and while ranching and farming is still struggling along, logging and mining are, for all practical intents and purposes, vestigial industries. There is growth in health care, as more doctors are moving in to take care of a rapidly aging population. The county I live in has a population where only half the income is generated by payroll. The rest of it is retirement, unemployment, disability, or welfare income. Half the population (not including the few kids in our shrinking schools) is unemployed. So come and visit, enjoy the views that are left, but think twice before you carve the land up some more and plunk a house down on a hillside or in the trees. The treasure is gone from the Treasure State, and the Big Sky is getting cluttered. My apologies to the realtors, I know you have to make a living too, but there it is."
Perfect family viewing!
Plooky Looky | Los Angeles, CA USA | 04/17/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I was one of the lucky few who caught this movie in the theaters before it was suffocated by the studio blockbusters. A great movie for all the family with a little bit of everything in it for kids and adults alike. Shot in glorious Montana, it was actually inspired by a true story. Who would have believed the FBI was sent in to investigate the kidnapping of a puppet! Some great performances and a movie you'll never get bored of watching! Well worth buying for one's library!"