6.0/10
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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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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 »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.65 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Certain scenes must have been cut, as some prominently listed cast members (John Sharp, Joan Hickson, Monti de Lyle) are barely visible in the finished film. 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 »

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User Reviews

 
OK British 'We could kill him and keep the money for ourselves' drama...
28 August 2018 | by matthewmercySee all my reviews

A good little Hammer / Exclusive B-movie from 1954, THE HOUSE ACROSS THE LAKE is essentially a Home Counties-set variation on the DOUBLE INDEMNITY / THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE theme, with Alex Nicol's 'not a bad bloke really' American writer ending up in a bit of a pickle when he (somewhat illogically) ends up in a destructive affair with Hillary Brooke, a high maintenance, high-end slapper married to terminally ill businessman Sidney James...

By far the best thing about the film, James is uncharacteristically sombre as an unhappy man who knows his wife is a selfish, knicker-dropping horrorshow but is simply too worn out and resigned to the situation to do anything about it. Brooke's character, meanwhile, is such a venal, serial-cheating 'penis flytrap' that it actually damages the plot of the movie; despite his self-proclaimed 'weakness for women', it doesn't convince that Nicol would chuck away his genuine friendship with James just to get his leg over with the consistently nasty Brooke, let alone stick by her when the truly dangerous aspects of her character start to show through. CARRY ON NURSE's Susan Stephen has a sympathetic supporting part as James' appalled daughter, whilst the usually brilliant Alan Wheatley gets far too little to work with in the obligatory 'John Williams in DIAL M FOR MURDER' snooping police inspector role. Largely well scripted from director Ken Hughes' own novel, it perhaps could have used a bit more 'oomph' at the close, whilst the ridiculous portrayal of the neighbouring Yahoos is from the "What-ho!" / "By Jove!" / "Jolly good show!" PG Wodehouse school and feels about 20 years out-of-date; but for some excellent directorial flourishes and James' top-notch performance it is well worth seeing.


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