Hot Spell


1h 26m 1958

Brief Synopsis

A housewife becomes frustrated by her loveless marriage and her husband's uneasy relationship with their children.

Film Details

Also Known As
Next of Kin
Release Date
Jun 1958
Premiere Information
World premiere in New Orleans: 21 May 1958
Production Company
Hal Wallis Productions; Paramount Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Paramount Pictures Corp.
Country
United States
Location
Chatsworth, California, United States; Pasadena, California, United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the play Next of Kin by Lonnie Coleman (unproduced).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 26m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.85 : 1
Film Length
7,744ft

Synopsis

Louisiana housewife Alma Duval visits her oldest son Buddy at the family's employment agency in order to provide him with a present to give his father John Henry, a cajun known as Jack, on his forty-fifth birthday. She also takes presents to her other son Billy, a bookish high school student, and her daughter Virginia, a salesgirl, in preparation for the family celebration that night. Unknown to the matronly Alma, the adulterous Jack has a date that same evening. When the family sits down to dinner, Buddy tries to convince his father to finance a pizza parlor, but the confrontational Jack only uses the discussion to pick a fight with his oldest son. When Buddy angrily storms out of the house, Jack is pleased to see his son demonstrating "some backbone." Alma then asks her husband to take the family on a vacation to New Paris, where they first lived as newlyweds, but he refuses. Later, Alma questions Virginia about her new beau, Wyatt Mitchell, a medical student set to return to school in a few days. Though Virginia hopes to marry Wyatt, Jack nearly ends the relationship when he brutishly confronts the medical student about his intentions toward his daughter. Alma, however, steps in after her husband leaves and reunites the two. Left alone for another evening, the depressed Alma then calls her neighbor, Fan, and invites her over for a slice of the still-uncut birthday cake. Meanwhile, Jack takes Billy to the local pool hall and buys the young man his first beer. Jack advises his son to find out what he really wants in life before it is too late, adding later that a man has a right to find happiness for himself, above and beyond his obligations to his wife and family. Jack then deserts Billy to keep his date with Ruby, a beautiful nineteen-year-old girl. Back at the Duval home, Harry, Virginia's high school sweetheart, appears and tells Alma that he still cares for her daughter, even if Virginia is in love with someone else. Meanwhile, Virginia and Wyatt make love for the first time, and although she professes her love and asks him to marry her, Wyatt tells Virginia that he wants to be successful, and, in order to achieve that goal, feels he must marry a woman of wealth and position, which she is not. Back at home, Fan tries in vain to teach Alma how to smoke and drink, arguing that she needs to change her personality in order to regain her husband's attentions, but Alma is sure her marriage would be fine if her family simply moved back to New Paris. Buddy and Virginia then try to inform Alma about Jack's affair, but seeing how upset their mother becomes, they, along with Billy, tell her he is merely working late once again. Finally, in the middle of the night, Jack comes home, and Alma quickly discovers lipstick and perfume on his shirt. Jack then confesses that he is in love with Ruby, stating that she makes him feel young again. After Alma slaps him, Jack leaves. The next morning, Jack returns home for his clothes and tells his wife that he is moving to Florida with his mistress, though Alma begs him to stay. Soon thereafter, Jack and Ruby are killed in an automobile accident. Later, on the train to New Paris, Alma insists on riding in the baggage car with her husband's coffin. After the funeral, the delusional Alma tells her cousin, Essie Mae, how Jack had always wanted to return to New Paris, but business kept them away. As they leave the rural community, Alma insists that the funeral home limousine stop by their old house, which is little more than a shack. Finally realizing the truth about her life, Alma tells her children that she is giving up the past and looking forward to her future with them. As they board the train home, Alma notes a cool breeze and remarks "I guess the hot spell's over."

Film Details

Also Known As
Next of Kin
Release Date
Jun 1958
Premiere Information
World premiere in New Orleans: 21 May 1958
Production Company
Hal Wallis Productions; Paramount Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Paramount Pictures Corp.
Country
United States
Location
Chatsworth, California, United States; Pasadena, California, United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the play Next of Kin by Lonnie Coleman (unproduced).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 26m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.85 : 1
Film Length
7,744ft

Articles

TCM Remembers - Eileen Heckart


TCM REMEMBERS EILEEN HECKART, DAVID SWIFT & PAUL LANDRES

Eileen Heckart, who won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for Butterflies Are Free (1972), died December 31st at the age of 82. Heckart was born in 1919 in Columbus, Ohio and became interested in acting while in college. She moved to NYC in 1942, married her college boyfriend the following year (a marriage that lasted until his death in 1995) and started acting on stage. Soon she was appearing in live dramatic TV such as The Philco Television Playhouse and Studio One. Her first feature film appearance was as a waitress in Bus Stop (1956) but it was her role as a grieving mother in the following year's The Bad Seed that really attracted notice and an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress. Heckart spent more time on Broadway and TV, making only occasional film appearances in Heller in Pink Tights (1960), No Way to Treat a Lady (1968) and Heartbreak Ridge (1986). She won one Emmy and was nominated for five others.

TCM REMEMBERS DAVID SWIFT, 1919-2001

Director David Swift died December 31st at the age of 82. Swift was best-known for the 1967 film version of the Broadway musical, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (he also appears in a cameo), Good Neighbor Sam (1964) starring Jack Lemmon and The Parent Trap (1961), all of which he also co-wrote. Swift was born in Minnesota but moved to California in the early 30s so he could work for Disney as an assistant animator, contributing to a string of classics from Dumbo (1941) to Fantasia (1940) to Snow White (1937). Swift also worked with madcap animator Tex Avery at MGM. He later became a TV and radio comedy writer and by the 1950s was directing episodes of TV series like Wagon Train, The Rifleman, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Playhouse 90 and others. Swift also created Mr. Peepers (1952), one of TV's first hit series and a multiple Emmy nominee. Swift's first feature film was Pollyanna (1960) for which he recorded a DVD commentary last year. Swift twice received Writers Guild nominations for work on How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and The Parent Trap.

TCM REMEMBERS PAUL LANDRES, 1912-2001

Prolific B-movie director Paul Landres died December 26th at the age of 89. Landres was born in New York City in 1912 but his family soon moved to Los Angeles where he grew up. He spent a couple of years attending UCLA before becoming an assistant editor at Universal in the 1931. He became a full editor in 1937, working on such films as Pittsburgh (1942) and I Shot Jesse James (1949). His first directorial effort was 1949's Grand Canyon but he soon became fast and reliable, alternating B-movies with TV episodes.. His best known films are Go, Johnny, Go! (1958) with appearances by Chuck Berry and Jackie Wilson, the moody The Return of Dracula (1958) and the 1957 cult favorite The Vampire. His TV credits run to some 350 episodes for such series as Adam 12, Bonanza, Death Valley Days and numerous others. Landres was co-founder in 1950 of the honorary society American Cinema Editors.

BUDD BOETTICHER 1916-2001

When director Budd Boetticher died on November 29th, American film lost another master. Though not a household name, Boetticher made crisp, tightly wound movies with more substance and emotional depth than was apparent at first glance. Instead of a flashy style, Boetticher preferred one imaginatively simple and almost elegant at times. Because of this approach films like The Tall T (1957), Decision at Sundown (1957), The Bullfighter and the Lady (1951) and Ride Lonesome (1960) have withstood the test of time while more blatantly ambitious films now seem like period pieces.

Budd was born Oscar Boetticher in Chicago on July 29th, 1916. With a father who sold hardware, Boetticher didn't come from a particularly artistic background. In college he boxed and played football before graduating and heading to Mexico to follow what's surely one of the most unusual ways to enter the film industry: as a professional matador. That's what led an old friend to get Boetticher hired as a bullfighting advisor on the 1941 version of Blood and Sand. Boetticher quickly took other small jobs in Hollywood before becoming an assistant director for films like Cover Girl. In 1944, he directed his first film, the Boston Blackie entry One Mysterious Night. Boetticher made a series of other B-movies, like the underrated film noir Behind Locked Doors (1948), through the rest of the decade.

Boetticher really hit his stride in the 50s when he began to get higher profile assignments, including the semi-autobiographical The Bullfighter and the Lady in 1951 which resulted in Boetticher's only Oscar nomination, for Best Writing. Sam Peckinpah later said he saw the film ten times. Other highlights of this period include Seminole (1953) (one of the first Hollywood films sympathetic to American Indians), the stylishly tight thriller The Killer Is Loose (1956) and the minor classic Horizons West (1952). In the late 50s, Boetticher also started directing TV episodes of series like Maverick and 77 Sunset Strip.

In 1956, Boetticher started a string of films that really established his reputation. These six Westerns starring Randolph Scott are known as the Ranown films after the production company named after Randolph Scott and producer Harry Joe Brown. Actually the first, Seven Men from Now (1956), was produced by a different company but all of them fit together, pushing the idea of the lone cowboy seeking revenge into new territory. The sharp Decision at Sundown twists Western cliche into one of the bleakest endings to slip through the Hollywood gates. The Tall T examines the genre's violent tendencies while Ride Lonesome and Buchanan Rides Alone (1958) have titles appropriate to their Beckett-like stories. The final film, Comanche Station, appeared in 1960.

That was the same year Boetticher made one of the best gangster films, The Rise and Fall of Legs Diamond, before watching everything fall apart. He and his wife decided to make a documentary about the famous matador Carlos Arruza and headed to Mexico. There Boetticher saw Arruza and much of the film crew die in an accident, almost died himself from an illness, separated from and divorced his wife (Debra Paget), and then spent time in various jails and even briefly a mental institution. This harrowing experience left him bankrupt but he still managed to complete the film, Arruza (1968), which gathered acclaim from the few who've been able to see it.

Boetticher managed to make just one more film, My Kingdom For... (1985), a self-reflexive documentary about raising Andalusian horses. He also made a cameo appearance in the Mel Gibson-Kurt Russell suspense thriller, Tequila Sunrise (1988). He died from complications from surgery at the age of 85.

By Lang Thompson

Tcm Remembers - Eileen Heckart

TCM Remembers - Eileen Heckart

TCM REMEMBERS EILEEN HECKART, DAVID SWIFT & PAUL LANDRES Eileen Heckart, who won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for Butterflies Are Free (1972), died December 31st at the age of 82. Heckart was born in 1919 in Columbus, Ohio and became interested in acting while in college. She moved to NYC in 1942, married her college boyfriend the following year (a marriage that lasted until his death in 1995) and started acting on stage. Soon she was appearing in live dramatic TV such as The Philco Television Playhouse and Studio One. Her first feature film appearance was as a waitress in Bus Stop (1956) but it was her role as a grieving mother in the following year's The Bad Seed that really attracted notice and an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress. Heckart spent more time on Broadway and TV, making only occasional film appearances in Heller in Pink Tights (1960), No Way to Treat a Lady (1968) and Heartbreak Ridge (1986). She won one Emmy and was nominated for five others. TCM REMEMBERS DAVID SWIFT, 1919-2001 Director David Swift died December 31st at the age of 82. Swift was best-known for the 1967 film version of the Broadway musical, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (he also appears in a cameo), Good Neighbor Sam (1964) starring Jack Lemmon and The Parent Trap (1961), all of which he also co-wrote. Swift was born in Minnesota but moved to California in the early 30s so he could work for Disney as an assistant animator, contributing to a string of classics from Dumbo (1941) to Fantasia (1940) to Snow White (1937). Swift also worked with madcap animator Tex Avery at MGM. He later became a TV and radio comedy writer and by the 1950s was directing episodes of TV series like Wagon Train, The Rifleman, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Playhouse 90 and others. Swift also created Mr. Peepers (1952), one of TV's first hit series and a multiple Emmy nominee. Swift's first feature film was Pollyanna (1960) for which he recorded a DVD commentary last year. Swift twice received Writers Guild nominations for work on How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and The Parent Trap. TCM REMEMBERS PAUL LANDRES, 1912-2001 Prolific B-movie director Paul Landres died December 26th at the age of 89. Landres was born in New York City in 1912 but his family soon moved to Los Angeles where he grew up. He spent a couple of years attending UCLA before becoming an assistant editor at Universal in the 1931. He became a full editor in 1937, working on such films as Pittsburgh (1942) and I Shot Jesse James (1949). His first directorial effort was 1949's Grand Canyon but he soon became fast and reliable, alternating B-movies with TV episodes.. His best known films are Go, Johnny, Go! (1958) with appearances by Chuck Berry and Jackie Wilson, the moody The Return of Dracula (1958) and the 1957 cult favorite The Vampire. His TV credits run to some 350 episodes for such series as Adam 12, Bonanza, Death Valley Days and numerous others. Landres was co-founder in 1950 of the honorary society American Cinema Editors. BUDD BOETTICHER 1916-2001 When director Budd Boetticher died on November 29th, American film lost another master. Though not a household name, Boetticher made crisp, tightly wound movies with more substance and emotional depth than was apparent at first glance. Instead of a flashy style, Boetticher preferred one imaginatively simple and almost elegant at times. Because of this approach films like The Tall T (1957), Decision at Sundown (1957), The Bullfighter and the Lady (1951) and Ride Lonesome (1960) have withstood the test of time while more blatantly ambitious films now seem like period pieces. Budd was born Oscar Boetticher in Chicago on July 29th, 1916. With a father who sold hardware, Boetticher didn't come from a particularly artistic background. In college he boxed and played football before graduating and heading to Mexico to follow what's surely one of the most unusual ways to enter the film industry: as a professional matador. That's what led an old friend to get Boetticher hired as a bullfighting advisor on the 1941 version of Blood and Sand. Boetticher quickly took other small jobs in Hollywood before becoming an assistant director for films like Cover Girl. In 1944, he directed his first film, the Boston Blackie entry One Mysterious Night. Boetticher made a series of other B-movies, like the underrated film noir Behind Locked Doors (1948), through the rest of the decade. Boetticher really hit his stride in the 50s when he began to get higher profile assignments, including the semi-autobiographical The Bullfighter and the Lady in 1951 which resulted in Boetticher's only Oscar nomination, for Best Writing. Sam Peckinpah later said he saw the film ten times. Other highlights of this period include Seminole (1953) (one of the first Hollywood films sympathetic to American Indians), the stylishly tight thriller The Killer Is Loose (1956) and the minor classic Horizons West (1952). In the late 50s, Boetticher also started directing TV episodes of series like Maverick and 77 Sunset Strip. In 1956, Boetticher started a string of films that really established his reputation. These six Westerns starring Randolph Scott are known as the Ranown films after the production company named after Randolph Scott and producer Harry Joe Brown. Actually the first, Seven Men from Now (1956), was produced by a different company but all of them fit together, pushing the idea of the lone cowboy seeking revenge into new territory. The sharp Decision at Sundown twists Western cliche into one of the bleakest endings to slip through the Hollywood gates. The Tall T examines the genre's violent tendencies while Ride Lonesome and Buchanan Rides Alone (1958) have titles appropriate to their Beckett-like stories. The final film, Comanche Station, appeared in 1960. That was the same year Boetticher made one of the best gangster films, The Rise and Fall of Legs Diamond, before watching everything fall apart. He and his wife decided to make a documentary about the famous matador Carlos Arruza and headed to Mexico. There Boetticher saw Arruza and much of the film crew die in an accident, almost died himself from an illness, separated from and divorced his wife (Debra Paget), and then spent time in various jails and even briefly a mental institution. This harrowing experience left him bankrupt but he still managed to complete the film, Arruza (1968), which gathered acclaim from the few who've been able to see it. Boetticher managed to make just one more film, My Kingdom For... (1985), a self-reflexive documentary about raising Andalusian horses. He also made a cameo appearance in the Mel Gibson-Kurt Russell suspense thriller, Tequila Sunrise (1988). He died from complications from surgery at the age of 85. By Lang Thompson

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The working title of the film was Next of Kin. According to a Hollywood Reporter news item, producer Hal Wallis purchased the rights to Lonnie Coleman's unproduced play Next of Kin in June 1956. Hollywood Reporter news items state that portions of Hot Spell were shot on location in Chatsworth and Pasadena, CA. Hollywood Reporter news items include Toni Sommers, Marjorie Jackson and Katy Conner in the cast, but their appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. Some modern sources mistakenly state that director George Cukor worked on this film.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States June 1958

Released in United States Summer June 1958

b&w

VistaVision

Released in United States June 1958

Released in United States Summer June 1958