6.1/10
408
20 user 13 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.

Director:

Ken Hughes

Writers:

Ken Hughes (screenplay), Ken Hughes (novel)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Alex Nicol ... Mark Kendrick
Hillary Brooke ... Carol Forrest
Sidney James ... Beverly Forrest
Susan Stephen ... Andrea Forrest
Paul Carpenter Paul Carpenter ... Vincent Gordon
Alan Wheatley ... Inspector MacLennan
Peter Illing ... Harry Stevens
Gordon McLeod Gordon McLeod ... Doctor Emery
Joan Hickson ... Mrs. Hardcastle
John Sharp ... Mr. Hardcastle
Hugh Dempster Hugh Dempster ... Frank
Monti DeLyle Monti DeLyle ... Head Waiter (as Monti de Lyle)
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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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Did You Know?

Trivia

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

Goofs

Despite being set in the Lake District in England Carol drives a left hand drive car on the right side of the road. In England cards drive on the left and cars are right-hand drive. See more »

User Reviews

 
Carol's in love with Carol!
28 August 2013 | by hitchcockthelegendSee all my reviews

The House Across the Lake (AKA: Heat Wave) is directed by Ken Hughes and he also adapts the screenplay from his own novel High Wray. It stars Alex Nicol, Hillary Brooke, Sid James, Susan Stephen and Paul Carpenter. Music is by Ivor Slaney and cinematography by Walter J. Harvey.

American novelist Mark Kendrick (Nicol) is living in England and trying to finish his latest novel. When he is invited for drinks at the house across the lake, Mark becomes entangled in the web of a beautiful blonde...

OK! This plot is hardly new and film noir boasts some truly excellent pictures where a man is duped into a downward spiral by a femme fatale vixen. In that respect, this Hammer Film Production can't compete, either in production value or quality of narrative, yet this is still worthy of inspection by the film noir faithful.

Nicol's (looking like a poor man's Sterling Hayden) Mark Kendrick and Brooke's Carol Forrest are classic noir characters, he tells us his weakness is women, his constant narration sombre and hapless, she's an icy cold bitch of considerable sting. And with Sid James moping around forlornly as the rich husband who is ill of health and broken of heart, the characterisations are vibrant and performed to a good standard to draw us into the play.

The air is ripe with pungent pessimism, we know from the off that Mark is in trouble, and sure enough the tale contains treachery, death and moral murkiness. Unfortunately the visuals don't quite match the mood of plotting. The lakeside shots are well done, and Kendrick's cottage with the venetian blinds briefly offer up some promise of noirish disharmony, but mostly the picture is filmed in standard black and white and a trick is missed to elevate the piece to better heights.

Visual missed chances aside, this is a good low budget Brit noir that gets in and does the job well. 7/10


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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 April 1954 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Heat Wave See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Hammer Films See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.65 : 1
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