Summer of Sam  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Summer of Sam is a 1999 crime-drama based around the Son of Sam serial murders. It was directed and produced by Spike Lee and stars John Leguizamo, Adrien Brody, Mira Sorvino and Jennifer Esposito.


Summer of Sam is the story of a group of people in New York City (particularly the Throgs Neck/Country Club section of The Bronx) in the summer of 1977, a time when the headlines were dominated by the Son of Sam serial killer case.

While the Son of Sam is terrorizing New York City, fear-driven residents of a tight-knit Italian-American neighborhood begin to suspect anyone who doesn't fit in with the crowd. The movie focuses on a pair of young couples: John Leguizamo plays Vincent (Vinny), an unfaithful hairdresser married to Dionna (played by Mira Sorvino), a hard-working waitress; and Adrien Brody as Ritchie, one of Vincent's closest friends and a newly-turned punk who dates a woman named Ruby (Jennifer Esposito); Ritchie leads a secret life dancing and selling himself for sex at a gay theatre.

A couple who interrupted Vinny having sex with Dionna's cousin are killed, and Vinny begins to believe the "Son of Sam" will come after him. Local mob boss Luigi (Ben Gazzara) decides to take it on himself to identify the killer. Vinny's friend Joey devises a list of suspects, mainly people he doesn't like; at the top of the list is Ritchie, mainly because of his flamboyant and strange lifestyle.

Summer temperatures top 100°F, and a blackout hits the five boroughs. Luigi attempts to calm and protect the neighborhood by holding a block party, while Joey leads a mob to defend the borders, beating anyone who tries to enter. Meanwhile, Vinny and Dionna try to go to CBGB to see Ritchie's band, but are intimidated by the punks in the crowd. They end up at an orgy party where they get stoned and have sex. Returning home, Vinny mocks Dionna, who leaves him.

Joey and his friends strongly suspect Ritchie is the killer; Vinny attempts to dissuade them, but fails. Vinny watches as Ritchie is beaten, only to be rescued by his stepfather, who reveals the Son of Sam was already captured in Yonkers. Unable to face Ritchie, Vinny walks away.


Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Summer of Sam" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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