Hot Spell (film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Daniel Mann|
George Cukor (uncredited)
|Produced by||Hal B. Wallis|
|Screenplay by||James Poe|
|Based on||Next of Kin (play)|
by Lonnie Coleman (unproduced, based upon his novel of the same title)
|Music by||Alex North|
|Edited by||Warren Low|
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures|
Alma Duval is a Louisiana housewife planning a 45th birthday family celebration for her husband John Henry, known to all as Jack, who is carrying on with a much younger woman behind her back.
During the birthday dinner, Jack picks an argument with eldest son, Buddy, daring him to show some backbone. After the dinner breaks up, he takes teenaged son, Billy, out to play pool and drink beer, trying to demonstrate to him how a man ought to behave. Jack confides in Billy that he is not content with his life.
No one even touches the birthday cake Alma made. Later in the evening, she shares some of it with her neighbor, Fan, while Fan tries to convince her to take up smoking and casual drinking to impress Jack.
While her father dallies with Ruby, his 19-year-old mistress, Virginia Duval becomes lovers for the first time with boyfriend Wyatt, a medical student, who then says he cannot marry her because he needs to be with someone of greater position and wealth.
Alma has been holding onto a belief that if she can move the family back to her hometown, where she and Jack started out, everything will be all right. But she slaps Jack after discovering his affair. He decides to leave her and move to Florida, but he and Ruby are promptly killed in a car crash. Alma and her children ultimately return to the hometown, to bury Jack, but she realizes that people and places there have changed too much, there is no true happiness to be found there, either. The family goes home, with Alma insisting that the future for them all will be successful and joyous.
- Shirley Booth as Alma Duval
- Anthony Quinn as John Henry "Jack" Duval
- Shirley MacLaine as Virginia Duval
- Earl Holliman as John Henry "Buddy" Duval Jr.
- Eileen Heckart as Alma's friend Fan
- Clint Kimbrough as Billy Duval
- Warren Albert Stevens as boyfriend Wyatt
- Jody Lawrance as "Jack" Duval's girlfriend Ruby
- Harlan Warde as Harry
The screenplay for Hot Spell was developed from an unproduced play by Lonnie Coleman, Next of Kin, purchased by producer Hal Wallis in June 1956. Production occurred from January 23 to early March 1957, with filming in Pasadena and Chatsworth, California.
Hot Spell had its premiere in New Orleans on May 21, 1958, and went into wide release in June.
Bosley Crowther of the New York Times gave it a moderately good review and singled out Booth, Quinn, and MacLaine for their portrayals.
In pop culture
During the 2010 film Valentine's Day, Estelle and Edgar Paddington (played by MacLaine and Héctor Elizondo) reunite at a showing of Hot Spell at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Edgar points to MacLaine on the screen and tells Jason Morris (played by Topher Grace), "that's my trifecta".
- Goble, Alan (1999). The Complete Index to Literary Sources in Film. Walter de Gruyter. p. 802. ISBN 978-3-11-095194-3.
- "Hot Spell (1958) – Overview". Turner Classic Movies Database. Retrieved 2015-08-12.
- "Hot Spell (1958) – Notes". Turner Classic Movies Database. Retrieved 2015-08-12.
- "Hot Spell (1958) – Original print infofmation". Turner Classic Movies Database. Retrieved 2015-08-12.
- Crowther, Bosley (September 15, 1958). "'Hot Spell'; Film at Guild Deals with Marital Rift". Movies. New York Times. Retrieved 2015-08-12.