Monday, July 11, 2011
Heat Lightning (1934).
Heat Lightning (1934). Drama. Cast: Aline MacMahon, Ann Dvorak and Preston Foster. It is based on the play of the same name by Leon Abrams and George Abbott.
Two sisters, Olga and Myra, run a gas station, diner and tourist hotel in the hot California desert. Olga works as a mechanic. Myra, her younger sister, is in love with a man named Steve Laird, whom Olga does not trust.
George and Jeff, two men on the run from a bank robbery in Salt Lake City, in which two cashiers were killed, stop at the station on their way to the Mexican border.
Olga recognizes George as Jerry, the man she loved and walked out on when she was a cabaret dancer in Tulsa. When the sheriff passes through, George pretends to be an oilman and Olga covers for him. That evening, "Feathers," and "Tinkle," two rich, divorced women who are dripping in jewels, arrive with their chauffeur Frank after a week end in Reno. Thinking they can score the jewels, George and Jeff plan to spend another night.
As lightning flashes crosses the ski, Myra sneaks out with Steve. The divorcees, have locked their jewels in Olga's safe. The next morning, Steve brings Myra home after having taken advantage of her. Myra then sees George leaving Olga's room and confesses to Olga that she was right about Steve. Olga then catches George and Jeff picking her safe and overhears George tell Jeff he slept with Olga so that Jeff could get his hands on the jewels. What will Olga do to protect her sisters honor and the jewels?
The large cast is wonderful, especially Aline MacMahon.
She was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in, Dragon Seed (1944).