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19 user 9 critic

Heat Wave (1954)

The House Across the Lake (original title)
Not Rated | | Crime, Drama | 16 April 1954 (USA)
An American writer living in England gets entangled in a scheme by a beautiful blonde to murder her rich husband.

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(screenplay), (novel)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
... Mark Kendrick
... Carol Forrest
... Beverly Forrest
... Andrea Forrest
Paul Carpenter ... Vincent Gordon
Alan Wheatley ... Inspector MacLennan
... Harry Stevens
Gordon McLeod ... Doctor Emery
... Mrs. Hardcastle
... Mr. Hardcastle
Hugh Dempster ... Frank
Monti DeLyle ... Head Waiter (as Monti de Lyle)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Pat Ryan ... Party Guest
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Storyline

An American writer living in England gets entangled in a scheme by a beautiful blonde to murder her rich husband.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

16 April 1954 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Heat Wave  »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.65 : 1
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Trivia

As known as 'The House Across The Lake' in the UK. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Like a reworking of "Double Indemnity".
12 January 2013 | by See all my reviews

Alex Nichol and Hillary Brooke were not exactly household names in Hollywood. This is not to say they were unsuccessful. No, they both had many TV and movie appearances to their credit. But they also never quite were leading man and leading lady material. And, like other second and third-tier actors at the time (such as Richard Basehart), they were lured to Europe for starring roles in lesser productions. "Heat Wave" is a lower-budgeted British thriller--and the Brits were happy to have some Americans in the leads as it would increase the marketability of the film. In other words, folks in the States might be more likely to book this in their theaters.

Mark is sitting at a bar getting drunk when he's approached by someone. He seems to know who it is and buys that person a drink and begins telling his story. It seems he was home alone one evening working on his book when he got a phone call from the folks living across the lake. Although he doens't know them, he's invited to a party they are having. Once there, he sees the lady of the house is a hottie--but also a philandering woman. As for the husband, he's a whipped man and spends most of the evening playing pool with Mark and telling him his marital problems.

Later in the film, the evil wife, Carol, begins making advances towards Mark. He's clearly turned on by her, but she is bad--and he resists her allure....for a while. Eventually, however, they begin seeing each other and Mark KNOWS it's wrong...but he can't stop. Carol promises he can have her if only her sickly husband was out of the way.

Does this sound familiar? Well, if you love film noir, you probably recognize this as a reworking of the plot from the classic "Double Indemnity". It's not exactly the same...but darn close. While it lacks originality and is clearly derivative, it IS well acted and has a nice mood overall. Worth seeing even if a bit familiar.

By the way, cheers to Miss Brooke. She not only played a great femme fatale, but you'd have thought she was British due to her accent. You'd have never guessed that she was American through and through.


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