Ken Hughes1951-1960DramaFilm NoirHammer FilmsUSA

Ken Hughes – The House Across the Lake (1954)

Written and directed by Ken Hughes (the 1967 Casino Royale), Heat Wave employs the regular film noir convention of a man who has run out of rope confessing his story to an unseen presence (the audience). Novelist Mark Kendrick (the film’s requisite American, Alex Nicol, also known for Jacques Tourneur’s Great Day in the Morning) is found by a mysterious figure at the bar where he is drowning his sorrows, and Mark’s ready to spill them out. Cut to Mark wrestling with his typewriter at his lakeside home, looking across the water at an opulent house and the fancy lights on its dock (how Great Gatsby!). Carol Forrest (Hillary Brooke, Abbott and Costello Meet Captain Kidd), a rich and glamorous blonde, phones him and asks him to ferry her friends across the lake, and of course, he ends up ferrying himself to his own doom.

Sid James, who is also in Bad Blonde, plays Beverly Forrest, the man who has acquired Carol as his trophy wife. He befriends Mark and is actually the one to suck the writer into the messy world of his family. Carol cheats on him regularly, and his daughter (Susan Stephen, who had a small role in Stolen Face) sees everything and isn’t willing to keep her mouth shut about it. Mark, of course, is going to fall for the curvy temptress and murder is inevitable. The machinations of the plot are involving, but the switch-ups that lead to Mark’s seat of confession are once again notably lacking in violence. Mark more gives up than fights for his survival, and it ends up being a letdown after a sultry build-up.

893MB | 1h 08m | 712×534 | mkv


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