The Hot Spot (1990)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama, Romance  |  26 October 1990 (USA)
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When the drifter Harry Madox reaches a small town in Texas, he gets a job as used car salesman with the dealer George Harshaw and settles down in a hotel room. During a fire, Harry observes... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
George Harshaw
Deputy Tate
Virgil Frye ...
Deputy Buck
John Hawker ...
Uncle Mort
Margaret Bowman ...
Woman at Gas Station
Debra Cole ...
Irene Davey
Karen Culley ...
Cody Haynes ...


When the drifter Harry Madox reaches a small town in Texas, he gets a job as used car salesman with the dealer George Harshaw and settles down in a hotel room. During a fire, Harry observes that the local bank is left empty and open without any security. Sooner he plots a scheme to rob the bank, provoking a fire in his room to distract the employees. When Harry meets George's wife Dolly Harshaw, the easy woman teases him and they have sex. Harry becomes the prime suspect of the bank heist and is arrested, but Dolly provided the necessary alibi to release him and blackmails him to have a love affair with her. However, Harry falls in love for Gloria Harper, who works as accountant in the dealership. He discovers that Gloria is blackmailed by the despicable Frank Sutton and he decides to press Sutton. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Film Noir Like You've Never Seen. See more »


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

26 October 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hot Spot  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$1,293,976 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Director Dennis Hopper's first choice for the lead roles were actors Mickey Rourke and Debra Winger, but in the end, the parts of Harry Madox and Dolly Harshaw were cast with actors Don Johnson and Virginia Madsen respectively. See more »


After Harry and Dolly come out of the pond after swimming and climb to the top of the tower Dolly is shown in an open shirt and white cotton panties. After she jumps off the tower and into the sand pile she is shown nude from the waist down. See more »


Harry Madox: If you fall out of bed again the cockroaches are gonna start talkin.
See more »


Referenced in Scrubs: My Occurrence (2002) See more »


Performed by The 101 Strings Orchestra (as "101 Strings" Orchestra)
Arranged by Al Sherman
Courtesy of Alshire International, Inc. c/o Original Sound Entertainment
See more »

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User Reviews

Shades of Jim Thompson
14 June 2002 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

The audience for this film stayed away because of Don Johnson. In his defense, Johnson has been in a few very good films (Melanie, A Boy & His Dog), and he is very smooth and sleazy here. Fueled by a great sound-track, provided by John Lee Hooker, Miles Davis and Jack Nitzsche, this dirty edged noir evokes a Jim Thompson like feel, and is beautifully lit and shot. Dennis Hopper directed, and he did just fine. There is so little good noir in the last 30 plus years, that fans of the genre will want to see this. And if you get the chance to see it on the big screen, it is well worth it. In an era when no 'new noir' comes close to Polanski's Chinatown, this movie is way better than Body Heat or LA Confidential. It certainly looks better, and has a much rawer sensibility and texture.

49 of 63 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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