Summer Storm is a carefully made drama of people and passion adapted from a Chekhov drama [The Shooting Party].
Russian background of the Kharkov district displays intimate study in contrasts of various persons – local judge, George Sanders; young and impetuous siren, Linda Darnell, who’s determined to have wealth and finery; flustery and decadent Edward Everett Horton, land-owning aristocrat; estate superintendent, Hugo Haas; and Anna Lee, engaged to Sanders. All become engulfed in tragedy when Darnell marries Haas and immediately embarks on an affair with Sanders, while slyly playing Horton for the finery and jewels he can supply.
Darnell is spotlighted with her particularly effective performance. Sanders is excellent, sharing supporting prominence with Horton, Lori Lahner scores as the maid who protects Sanders’ secret; Lee, Haas, and John Philliber are strong in support.
Script, with adaptation credited to Michael O’Hara, is particularly effective despite details of characters and carefully-etched situations which consume plenty of footage and tend to slow up the tempo.
1944: Nomination: Best Scoring of a Dramatic Picture