Sunday, November 11, 2012

HOT SPELL (1958)

Wow!  What a powder keg this movie was!  I came by it completely by mistake and within the first two minutes I was hooked and I didn't turn away for the rest of the movie. Set during a sweltering New Orleans summer, housewife Shirley Booth is living in a delusional dream world.  Her husband, Anthony Quinn, still loves her as a person and a mother to their three children, but he's tired of her and goes off all the time boozing and sleeping with younger women.  Her children are another matter.  Both of the boys are old enough to move out on their own, but she still smothers them.  And her daughter, Shirley MacLaine, is in love with a shallow guy, but mother only worsens things by giving her well-intentioned advise that doesn't turn out too well.

If you're used to Shirley Booth as the spunky maid from "Hazel" you're gonna be shocked when you see her here cause she turns in a heartbreaking performance.  Her whole life since she was just a teenager she's dedicated to her husband and children, but now that they've outgrown her, she's lost.  She never developed a personality of her own.  Her family was her personality.

Lots and lots of screaming and arguing, blistering fast pace, excellent script with some brutal as fuck lines, award level acting by the entire cast, thought provoking story and an ending that actually caught me off guard.  Highly recommended.