Sun, fun and not a solitary teacher in sight; summer certainly is a special season, provided you're under the age of 18, otherwise you might just end up bemoaning a broken desk fan for 3 months before liquefying in the office. Still, there's a very particular ambience that surrounds the summertime, a kind of holdover from childhood that speaks of freedom, excitement and boundless possibility. It also doesn't hurt that the days last a lot longer and the weather is generally better. Plus, ice creams, and roller coasters and pool temperatures that aren't likely to result in painful amputations. Huzzah!
Today's big list of stuff looks at the very best in summer movies, those films that capture what it is to experience the season in all of its promise and eventual 'back-to-school' malaise. Enjoy.
50. Grease (1978)
Looks like summer Yes, yes, this is set during term time but it does feature the movies best song about summer. A-well-a-well-a-well-a-HUH!
Hottest moment According to Danny (John Travolta), She got friendly, down in the sand..." but according to Sandy (Olivia Newton-John), they did nothing dirtier than hold hands.
If it was set in winter... Everybody at Rydell High would already know exactly what had happened.
49. Weekend At Bernie's (1989)
Looks like summer When not even the death of their boss will stop Larry (Andrew McCarthy) and Richard (Jonathan Silverman) from enjoying Bernies (Terry Kiser) beach house hospitality.
Hottest moment Bernie might be going cold, but he sure knows how to throw a party. Youve never looked so relaxed! one guest tells the corpse.
If it was set in winter... Itd take longer for Bernie to decompose, so Larry and Richard would be able to enjoy a longer vacation.
48. Addams Family Values (1993)
Looks like summer Even the Addams kids Wednesday (Christina Ricci) and Pugsley (Jimmy Workman) arent exempt from the seasonal rite of passage that is summer camp.
Hottest moment Playing Pocahontas in the end of camp play, Wednesday stages a coup that sees the stage burnt to cinders.
If it was set in winter... Really, its always winter in the Addams household.
47. Summer Holiday (1963)
Looks like summer Its raining in Britain (of course) so Don (Cliff Richard) borrows a London bus and heads for Europe.
Hottest moment Picking up a runaway boy and realising that he is actually a she.
If it was set in winter... Blighty would be even wetter so, to be honest, Cliff and friends would be best advised to do exactly the same thing.
46. Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008)
Looks like summer When else are preppy Americans Vicky (Rebecca Hall) and Cristina (Scarlett Johansson) going to have the time to visit Barcelona?
Hottest moment Christinas threesome with Juan Antonio (Javier Bardem) and Maria Elena (Penlope Cruz).
If it was set in winter... Vicky Cristina Home doesnt have the same ring.
45. Wet Hot American Summer (2001)
Looks like summer It's the last day at Camp Firewood, and everybody is desperate to cop off before going home.
Hottest moment The camp counsellors head to town. Within an hour, they have descended into drugs and prostitution.
If it was set in winter... There would be no hope for any of these people.
44. Summertime (1955)
Looks like summer When middle-aged teacher Jane Hudson (Katharine Hepburn) fulfils her lifelong dream of a trip to Venice.
Hottest moment A kiss with suave antique shop owner Renato (Rossano Brazzi).
If it was set in winter... The nearest Jane would get to Venice would be marking her pupils' homework about the place.
43. The Parent Trap (1998)
Looks like summer When an upscale summer camp enables long-lost twin sisters Hallie and Annie (both played by Lindsay Lohan) to meet and plot to reunite their parents.
Hottest moment A fencing duel between deadly rivals takes a weird turn when they lift their masks and reveal theyre identical.
If it was set in winter... Theyd have to wait until the invention of Facebook to become friends.
42. Taking Woodstock (2009)
Looks like summer When motel owner Elliot Tiber (Demetri Martin) realises he can pay off his debts by hosting the Woodstock Festival.
Hottest moment Elliot enjoys his first acid trip in a VW campervan.
If it was set in winter... Elliot would be lucky to get his festivals attendance into double figures. But speaking of Woodstock, read on...
41. Woodstock (1970)
Looks like summer When America strips off, drops a tab and listens to some of the greatest names in rock.
Hottest moment Hendrix finally shows up on the Monday morning, after most people have already left.
If it was set in winter... In a word--Altamont.
40. The Green Ray (1986)
Looks like summer When all of Delphines (Marie Rivire) friends pair up with fellas and leave her to fend off sleazy suitors while shes travelling.
Hottest moment Delphine observes the green ray'--a flash of light that is said to reveal everybodys secret thoughts.
If it was set in winter... Everybody would stay in Paris to keep Delphine company.
39. The Great Outdoors (1988)
Looks like summer Chalk-and-cheese in-laws - easygoing Chet Ripley (John Candy) and snobbish Roman Craig (Dan Aykroyd) - are forced to share a camping holiday.
Hottest moment Chet goes mano-a-mano with the legendary bald-headed bear.
If it was set in winter... Somehow we doubt Chet and Romans relationship is any easier at Christmas.
38. Breaking Away (1979)
Looks like summer Bored high school grad Dave (Dennis Christopher) takes up cycling as a hobby and starts training for the Indiana University Little 500 race.
Hottest moment Dave pretends to be an Italian student to serenade a local hottie.
If it was set in winter... Mind those icy roads.
37. The Hot Spot (1990)
Looks like summer Harry Madox (Don Johnson) moves to a Texan town to plan a bank robbery, but finds himself distracted by the charms of two different women.
Hottest moment Jennifer Connelly topless. 'Nuff said?
If it was set in winter... Jennifer Connelly clothed. Not quite the same.
36. I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997)
Looks like summer When you start getting death threats from a hook-handed fisherman who witnessed last years unfortunate hit-and-run accident.
Hottest moment Sarah Michelle Gellar getting chased by the killer... at least until you remember she isn't playing Buffy and won't escape this one.
If it was set in winter... I Have A Pretty Good Idea What You Did Last Winter, But I Cant Be Sure Because The Weather Was Lousy.
35. Almost Famous (2000)
Looks like summer Wannabe teenage journo William Miller (Patrick Fugit) gets mistaken for the real thing, so he goes on tour with '70s rockers Stillwater.
Hottest moment Never mind rock'n'roll when there's a near-death experience aboard a crashing plane.
If it was set in winter... William would be doing his homework, not writing a magazine feature.
34. Dirty Dancing (1987)
Looks like summer The Houseman family take a trip to Kellermans resort, but Baby (Jennifer Grey) is more interested in dance instructor Johnny Castle (Patrick Swayze).
Hottest moment Johnny stands up for Baby in public... Nobody puts Baby in a corner.
If it was set in winter... Johnny would be in panto. Baby wouldn't be impressed.
33. Summer With Monika (1953)
Looks like summer The girl that Harry (Lars Ekborg) fancies (Monika played by Harriet Andersson) gets in trouble, so he nicks a boat and takes her to an island.
Hottest moment Free love and nudity. They are Swedish, after all.
If it was set in winter... Cmon, this is Ingmar Bergman were talking about. The films second half explores what happens after Monika gets pregnant.
32. The Wackness (2008)
Looks like summer Bored high school grad Luke Shapiro (Josh Peck) bums around in NYC 1994, dealing drugs and getting stoned with his therapist Jeffrey Squires (Ben Kingsley).
Hottest moment Squires stepdaughter Stephanie (Olivia Thirlby) helps Luke lose his virginity on the familys Fire Island summerhouse.
If it was set in winter... Nobody would be putting Summertime by DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince on a mixtape.
31. Meatballs (1979)
Looks like summer Depressed summer camp visitor Rudy (Chris Makepeace) forges an unlikely friendship with head counsellor Tripper Harrison (Bill Murray).
Hottest moment Rudy becomes the North Star Camps hero after beating rival Camp Mohawk in a cross-country race.
If it was set in winter... Tripper would probably be unemployed and most likely caning it on whatever drugs he could find.
30. Die Hard With A Vengeance (1995)
Looks Like Summer That moment John McClane (Bruce Willis) realises that trouble doesnt wait until Christmas to come looking for him.
Hottest Moment McClane and accidental buddy Carver (Samuel L. Jackson) narrowly escape a tanker blowing up.
If It Was Set In Winter... Nakatomi Plaza? Dulles Airport? Cmon, people, keep up.
29. Before Sunrise (1995)
Looks Like Summer American tourist Jesse (Ethan Hawke) persuades French student Celine (Julie Delpy) to get off the train and wander around Vienna with him.
Hottest Moment Jesse and Celine confess all on improvised phone calls to imaginary friends.
If It Was Set In Winter... Lets hope they pick a warmer country than Austria.
28. Glastonbury (2006)
Looks Like Summer When the travellers head for Stonehenge, and everyone else pitches a tent in Michael Eavis' field.
Hottest Moment Take your pick but, really, you had to be there.
If It Was Set In Winter The world's best ever documentary about dairy farming.
27. In The Heat of the Night (1967)
Looks Like Summer When big city cop Virgil Tibbs (Sidney Poitier) arrives in Mississippi to solve a murder, and local police chief Gillespie (Rod Steiger) forgets his manners.
Hottest Moment Virgil's temper flares when Gillespie asks him what Northern folk call him. "They call me Mister Tibbs!"
If It Was Set In Winter Actually, this title's misleading. Tibbs would encounter just as much racism whatever the season.
26. Brokeback Mountain (2005)
Looks Like Summer Ennis Del Mar (Heath Ledger) and Jack Twist (Jake Gyllenhaal), all alone on the mountain, find themselves attracted to each other.
Hottest Moment The reunion kiss, as four years of repressed passion boils over.
If It Was Set In Winter The mountain would be impassable, and so would societys taboos.
25. Friday The 13th (1980)
Looks Like Summer Camp Crystal Lake is re-opened 20 years after a slasher murdered a counsellor. Big mistake.
Hottest Moment Jack (Kevin Bacon) and Marcie (Jeannine Taylor) have bunkhouse sex, unaware one of their buddies has had his throat slashed in the bed above them.
If It Was Set In Winter... The lake would be frozen, so Jason Vorhees wouldnt be able to emerge for the sequels.
24. Point Break (1991)
Looks Like Summer FBI agent Johnny Utah (Keanu Reeves) is chasing bank robbers the Ex-Presidents, but gets seduced by their leader, Zen surf dude Bodhi (Patrick Swayze).
Hottest Moment Utah has Bodhi in his sights, but likes the guy too much to shoot.
If It Was Set In Winter... Bodhi would be safely in the Southern Hemisphere, and Utah would be working from a desk.
23. My Summer of Love (2004)
Looks Like Summer Theres nowt to do in Yorkshire for posh girl Tamsin (Emily Blunt), so she starts a love affair with local lass Mona (Natalie Press).
Hottest Moment: Semi-naked skinny-dipping in the river.
If It Was Set In Winter... Tamsin would be at boarding school, so shed have to play with her classmates instead.
22. A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)
Looks Like Summer When delicate flower Blanche Dubois (Vivien Leigh) goes weak at the knees over brutish brother-in-law Stanley Kowalski (Marlon Brando).
Hottest Moment Blanches first sight of Stanley, all rippling biceps in a tight-fitting vest.
If It Was Set In Winter... Blanche might have stayed cool enough to keep her sanity.
21. Body Heat (1981)
Looks Like Summer Ned Racines (William Hurt) libido overheats when he catches sight of sultry femme fatale Matty Walker (Kathleen Turner).
Hottest Moment Any of Ned and Mattys sweaty couplings.
If It Was Set In Winter... Itd be pretty much the same. Have you seen Matty Walker?
20. Independence Day (1996)
Looks Like Summer Aliens are destroying American landmarks, but theyve chosen the wrong day to do it.
Hottest Moment President Whitmore (Bill Pullman) vows that no killer ETs are gonna spoil the holiday. Today, we celebrate our independence day!
If It Was Set In Winter... Whitmores speech writers would be hastily crowbarring in references to Christmas.
19. Caddyshack (1980)
Looks Like Summer Students like Danny Noonan (Michael OKeefe) take jobs caddying at Bushwood Country Club, but their eyes are on the women rather than the green.
Hottest Moment Crazed greenskeeper Carl (Bill Murray) blows up the course in a failed attempt to kill a malicious gopher.
If It Was Set In Winter No need for caddies.
18. Y Tu Mama Tambien (2001)
Looks Like Summer When two bored and horny teenagers (Gael Garca Bernal and Diego Luna) talk a hot older woman (Maribel Verd) into travelling with them to an exotic beach. The catch? They've made it up.
Hottest Moment The drunken threeway, of course.
If It Was Set In Winter... We very much doubt Luisa would get in the car with them.
17. The Endless Summer (1966)
Looks Like Summer Surfers Mike Hynson and Robert August travel the globe in search of 365-day-a-year breaks and beaches.
Hottest Moment African villagers are introduced to surfing--and they love it.
If It Was Set In Winter... Woah, dude. Who needs winter when you have surf?
16. Summer of Sam (1999)
Looks Like Summer Triple-figure temperatures are causing blackouts, which isnt exactly helping a paranoid population deal with the serial killer in their midst.
Hottest Moment Vinny (John Leguizmo) and Dionna (Mira Sorvino) indulge in group sex at an exclusive club.
If It Was Set In Winter David Son of Sam Berkowitz wouldnt be terrorising the neighbourhood.
15. Adventureland (2009)
Looks Like Summer When James Brennan (Jesse Eisenberg) cant afford that trip to Europe and has to get a job at Adventureland theme park instead.
Hottest Moment James gets a date with the parks sex siren Lisa P (Margarita Levieva).
If It Was Set In Winter... All of the rides would be closed.
14. Betty Blue (1986)
Looks Like Summer Casual work and casual sex by the beach for Jorg (Jean-Hugues Anglade) when he meets Betty (Beatrice Dalle).
Hottest Moment The opening scene. Dont arrive late.
If It Was Set In Winter... It wouldnt seem nearly as French.
13. Falling Down (1993)
Looks Like Summer Stuck in traffic and with the air con on the blink, D-Fens (Michael Douglas) suffers a fairly extreme case of road rage.
Hottest Moment D-Fens pulls a gun on the staff at Whammy Burger.
If It Was Set In Winter... Hed have driven home, and kept his problems to himself.
12. The Seven Year Itch (1955)
Looks Like Summer Businessman Richard Sherman (Tom Ewell) packs off the wife and kids to the coast, only to get the hots for his new neighbour, known only as The Girl (Marilyn Monroe).
Hottest Moment Marilyn cools down by standing over a subway vent...even though its worth pointing out that it is hot air that rises.
If It Was Set In Winter... Marilyn wouldnt need to keep her knickers in the fridge.
11. (500) Days of Summer (2009)
Looks Like Summer Bright, sunny and fresh as a daisy. Not the weather, but a girl: Summer Finn (Zooey Deschanel).
Hottest Moment Tom (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and Summer share sparks singing to the Pixies at a karaoke bar.
If It Was Set In Winter Re-read the title. This Summer lasts all year around.
10. M. Hulot's Holiday (1953)
Looks Like Summer M. Hulot (Jacques Tati) gets in his car and drives to the seaside, where every effort to chill out ends in disaster.
Hottest Moment Hulot accidentally lights a box of fireworks, waking up the entire resort.
If It Was Set In Winter... Hulot would do just as much damage at home.
9. 12 Angry Men (1957)
Looks Like Summer The jury box is a sweatbox, and 11 jurors have let the soaring temperature go to their heads. Thank goodness for juror #8 (Henry Fonda).
Hottest Moment Tempers flare as Juror #3 (Lee J. Cobb) has a pop at #8.
If It Was Set In Winter Same verdict, but theyd have reached it a lot quicker.
8. American Graffiti (1973)
Looks Like Summer Where were you in 62? Most likely enjoying one last night riding around and chasing girls before leaving Modesto, California.
Hottest Moment Curt (Richard Dreyfuss) shares a meaningful glance at a traffic light with The Blonde (Suzanne Somers) but then loses her in the traffic.
If It Was Set In Winter Theyd look foolish with the soft tops down.
7. National Lampoon's Vacation (1983)
Looks Like Summer When Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) drags the wife and kids on a cross-country road trip to visit the Walley World theme park.
Hottest Moment Clark meets temptation in the form of Ferrari-driving Christine Brinkley.
If It Was Set In Winter... Griswold is equally as accident-prone on his Christmas Vacation.
6. Dog Day Afternoon (1975)
Looks Like Summer Inept bank robbers Sonny (Al Pacino) and Sal (John Cazale) choose a muggy day in Brooklyn to stage their heist, ensuring a decent crowd when it all goes tits-up.
Hottest Moment Sonny gets the crowd going by taking the piss out of the polices notorious handling of the real-life Attica prison riot.
If It Was Set In Winter... People would have stayed at home and watched events unfold on telly.
5. Rear Window (1954)
Looks Like Summer L.B. "Jeff" Jeffries (James Stewart) is holed up in his apartment with a broken leg, but there are an awful lot of things for a voyeur to look at in the height of summer.
Hottest Moment Lisa (Grace Kelly) reveals shes going to stay the nightand shes brought her favourite negligee with her.
If It Was Set In Winter... Jeff would never see anything through all the fog, and a murderer would get away scot free.
4. Dazed And Confused (1993)
Looks Like Summer Schools out in Austin, Texas, so the high school kids shoot some pool, share a toke and head to the Moontower for a beer bust.
Hottest Moment Freshman Mitch Kramer (Wiley Wiggins) has the night of his life first spliff, first purchase of underage beer, first snog and sweet revenge against paddle bully OBannion (Ben Affleck).
If It Was Set In Winter... Theyd be smoking indoorsand therefore probably getting even more stoned.
3. Do The Right Thing (1989)
Looks Like Summer When fire hydrants are blasting water onto the sidewalk, the old guys wont leave their curbside chairs, and the last thing anybody wants is any aggro. Good luck with the latter.
Hottest Moment Racial tension explodes as Mookie (Spike Lee) throws a trash can through the window of Sals Pizzeria. We predict a riot.
If It Was Set In Winter... Hopefully, not quite so many fuses would get blown.
2. Stand By Me (1986)
Looks Like Summer When the kids are off school and theres a dead body to be seen.
Hottest Moment Vern (Jerry OConnell) and Gordie (Wil Wheaton) narrowly avoid being mown down by a train crossing a bridge.
If It Was Set In Winter... Never mind the leeches, theyd all get hypothermia from wading through a swamp.
1. Jaws (1975)
Looks Like Summer Amity Island is preparing for its busy 4th July weekend, and no killer Great White is going to get the beach closed. Right?
Hottest Moment Two kids mucking about cause panic on the beach--but thats nothing compared to what happens when Bruce turns up for real.
If It Was Set In Winter... The shark would be on a strict fisherman diet.