14 user 5 critic

Hot Spell (1958)

Unrated | | Drama | June 1958 (USA)
A housewife is doing her best to keep her family together as it's slowly falling apart, a fact she's trying to ignore. Her cheating husband's birthday party is approaching and many lines will be crossed after that event.


, (uncredited)


1 nomination. See more awards »


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Cast overview:
Alma's Friend
Clint Kimbrough ...
Dora May
Harlan Warde ...


A housewife is doing her best to keep her family together as it's slowly falling apart, a fact she's trying to ignore. Her cheating husband's birthday party is approaching and many lines will be crossed after that event.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Unrated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

June 1958 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Next of Kin  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The film cast includes four Oscar winners: Shirley Booth, Anthony Quinn, Shirley MacLaine and Eileen Heckart. See more »


Alma takes a present to their son Buddy to bring home for his Poppa, and is carrying no other packages. But later, when she takes gifts to Billy and Virginia she is still carrying the gift she apparently left with Buddy. See more »


Featured in Valentine's Day (2010) See more »

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User Reviews

Fantastic Acting
2 July 2017 | by See all my reviews

It's a shame that Hot Spell wasn't given a chance on the stage; the screenplay was based off an unproduced play. The script is fantastic. Lonnie Coleman's work would have been wonderful in front of a live audience. All the elements to a great play are present: a dysfunctional family, infidelity, tragedy, young lovers, and of course, a hot, Southern summer.

In Hot Spell, Shirley Booth is preparing a birthday dinner for her husband Anthony Quinn. She's baked a chocolate cake, bought presents for each of her three children to give him, and takes lessons from her neighbor and friend Eileen Heckart on how to turn her husband's head. The audience can see the writing on the wall from the opening scene, and the tragedy squeezes pity for her out of every pore. The family dinner does not go as she planned. Quinn is having an affair with another woman, as we find out in the opening scene. He fights at the dinner table with his son and leaves the house to meet his mistress before the cake is cut.

As depressing as the story is, it really is a quintessential play, so it's expected to be sad. The story is great, but the acting is where the film really shines. Everyone does a spectacular job, but for some reason, this film was completely ignored by the 1959 awards season. Booth is heartbreaking and incredibly easy to root for. Anyone watching her denial of her husband's affair will cry in sympathy. Quinn is fantastic. It would be easy to play his character as merely "the bad guy" but he gives so many layers to his performance, showing the audience his frustration and deep feelings. Shirley MacLaine must have been on a roll in 1958; this same year she gave a career-best performance in Some Came Running, and in Hot Spell, she's truly heartbreaking. Any girl who's ever been in love will cry alongside her and feel her humiliation deeply.

Those who like to go to the theater will be in a position to appreciate Hot Spell. If you like lighter films, you probably won't like it, but for those who aren't faint of heart, it's a very good movie.

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