Heißer Sommer © DEFA-Stiftung, Detlef Hertelt and Herbert Kroiss
After DEFA made a number of "pessimistic" films for teenagers, this musical was a breakthrough into unrestrained entertainment and was one of East Germany's top box-office hits. Hot Summer was featured in the 1997 documentary on East Bloc musicals, Eastside Story.
Often described as East Germany's own version of Grease, Hot Summer has developed a cult following since its 1993 screening on German TV.
|2018||Images of the Future: The Cinema of East Germany, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil|
“A charming rarity not to be missed!”
— UCLA Film and Television Archive
"Joachim Hasler...well versed in his craft...tells an optimistic and sun-drenched film story of young people's summer holiday. On this project, he was supported by the 'Johannisthal' group of artists."
— Helmut Raddatz in the Dresden Zeit im Bild
"As cinema in America was cozying up to the ‘juvenile delinquent’ as hero, Eastern bloc filmmaking held onto youth as its sunny but still ideological poster child. Hot Summer, the first youth musical of East Germany, is similar in many ways to the Communist musicals which preceded it in its relentless optimism and focus on group participation."
— UCLA Film and Television Archive Calendar
“Hot Summer came to enjoy cult status among young audiences in East Germany. Relying on a formula that combines star power, popular music and fashionably-dressed, good-looking youths, the film emulated Western Schlagerfilm models, such as Summer Holiday (Peter Yates, 1963).”
—Claudia Sandberg, Directory of World Cinema, Germany 2