The Summer of Ben Tyler

Watch The Summer of Ben Tyler

  • PG
  • 1996
  • 1 hr 39 min
  • 6.5  (216)

The Summer of Ben Tyler is a 1996 drama film directed by Arthur Penn and stars James Woods, Elizabeth McGovern, and Len Cariou. The story follows a successful Wall Street executive named Ben Tyler (James Woods), who leaves his high-pressure job to return to his hometown of Freedom, Mississippi. This decision comes after he receives news that his mother has passed away and he is forced to come to terms with his past and confront the demons that have haunted him for years.

Upon his arrival in Freedom, Ben meets a young girl named Cassie, who shows him the ropes and helps him reconnect with his past. Cassie leads him to his childhood home, which has been abandoned for years, and the two of them begin to renovate it, symbolizing Ben's own journey of self-discovery and renewal. As Ben begins to reacquaint himself with his roots, he is reunited with old friends and acquaintances, including his former love, Rachel (Elizabeth McGovern).

Throughout the film, Ben is confronted with challenges that test his newfound sense of purpose and direction. He faces resistance from old friends, who are skeptical of his motives for returning to Freedom, as well as from Rachel, who has her own reservations about rekindling their relationship. Meanwhile, Ben is also forced to confront the dark secrets of his past and the events that led him to leave Freedom in the first place.

Despite the obstacles that he faces, Ben perseveres and grows stronger in his determination to move forward. He begins to establish himself as a respected member of the community, helping to improve the town and its infrastructure. His presence in Freedom inspires others to follow in his footsteps, leading to a newfound sense of community and camaraderie.

The Summer of Ben Tyler is a powerful and moving film that explores themes of redemption, forgiveness, and the search for identity. James Woods delivers a nuanced and compelling performance as Ben Tyler, bringing to life a character who is flawed, but ultimately sympathetic and relatable. Elizabeth McGovern and Len Cariou provide strong support as Rachel and Ben's father, respectively, grounding the film in a sense of emotional realism.

The film is also notable for its depiction of small-town life, capturing the rhythms and nuances of rural Mississippi in vivid detail. The cinematography and production design bring the town of Freedom to life, imbuing it with a sense of history and character that underscores the film's themes.

Overall, The Summer of Ben Tyler is a poignant and deeply affecting drama that explores the complexities of the human experience with honesty and sensitivity. It is a film that resonates long after the final credits have rolled, leaving a profound and lasting impact on the viewer.

The Summer of Ben Tyler is a 1996 comedy with a runtime of 1 hour and 39 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.5.

The Summer of Ben Tyler
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 39 min
  • IMDB Rating
    6.5  (216)