A Fever in the Blood (1961)

117 mins | Melodrama | 11 January 1961

Director:

Vincent Sherman

Producer:

Roy Huggins

Cinematographer:

Peverell Marley

Editor:

William Ziegler

Production Designer:

Malcolm C. Bert

Production Company:

Warner Bros. Pictures
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HISTORY

A Fever in the Blood was listed in a 14 Apr 1960 LAT item as one of ten Warner Bros. Pictures films scheduled to begin production shortly after a recent motion picture strike. Richard Burton and Rod Steiger were sought for leading roles, according to items in the 9 Feb 1960 and 20 Jun 1960 LAT. However, neither were cast, and a 6 Jun 1960 DV brief stated that the cast would be largely comprised of television actors associated with Warner Bros. programs, including Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., star of 77 Sunset Strip (ABC, 10 Oct 1958—9 Sep 1964).
       A production chart in the 1 Jul 1960 DV listed the start of principal photography as 24 Jun 1960. Shooting took place at the Warner Bros. studio lot in Burbank, CA, and on location in Glendale, CA, where the Glendale Civic Auditorium served as the setting for a political convention, the 31 Jul 1960 LAT noted.
       The following actors and actresses were named as cast members in DV and LAT items published between Jul and Oct 1960: Jack Holland; Louise Lorimer; Jack Richardson; Mary Benoit; Irene Windust; Tony Regan; Ed Prentiss; Jesse Kirkpatrick ; William Forester ; Dave McMahon ; Clark Howat ; Joe Mell ; and Carol Nicholson and Ronnie Dapo, who were set to play the children of Jack Kelly’s character, “Dan Callahan.”
       The film debuted on 11 Jan 1961 at the Roosevelt Theater in Chicago, IL. A citywide release in Los Angeles, CA, was slated to follow on 25 Jan 1961, as reported in the 21 Jan 1961 LAT. Reviews in ... More Less

A Fever in the Blood was listed in a 14 Apr 1960 LAT item as one of ten Warner Bros. Pictures films scheduled to begin production shortly after a recent motion picture strike. Richard Burton and Rod Steiger were sought for leading roles, according to items in the 9 Feb 1960 and 20 Jun 1960 LAT. However, neither were cast, and a 6 Jun 1960 DV brief stated that the cast would be largely comprised of television actors associated with Warner Bros. programs, including Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., star of 77 Sunset Strip (ABC, 10 Oct 1958—9 Sep 1964).
       A production chart in the 1 Jul 1960 DV listed the start of principal photography as 24 Jun 1960. Shooting took place at the Warner Bros. studio lot in Burbank, CA, and on location in Glendale, CA, where the Glendale Civic Auditorium served as the setting for a political convention, the 31 Jul 1960 LAT noted.
       The following actors and actresses were named as cast members in DV and LAT items published between Jul and Oct 1960: Jack Holland; Louise Lorimer; Jack Richardson; Mary Benoit; Irene Windust; Tony Regan; Ed Prentiss; Jesse Kirkpatrick ; William Forester ; Dave McMahon ; Clark Howat ; Joe Mell ; and Carol Nicholson and Ronnie Dapo, who were set to play the children of Jack Kelly’s character, “Dan Callahan.”
       The film debuted on 11 Jan 1961 at the Roosevelt Theater in Chicago, IL. A citywide release in Los Angeles, CA, was slated to follow on 25 Jan 1961, as reported in the 21 Jan 1961 LAT. Reviews in the 11 Jan 1961 Var and 26 Jan 1961 LAT were mixed; however, both praised the script by Roy Huggins and Harry Kleiner.
       A Fever in the Blood marked the feature film acting debut of Carroll O’Connor, though he also appeared in two other films released that year, Parrish and By Love Possessed (see entries). More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
14 Apr 1960
p. 1, 7.
Daily Variety
6 Jun 1960
p. 2.
Daily Variety
1 Jul 1960
p. 6.
Daily Variety
1 Jul 1960
p. 10.
Daily Variety
21 Jul 1960
p. 4.
Daily Variety
5 Aug 1960
p. 11.
Daily Variety
5 Aug 1960
p. 14.
Daily Variety
9 Aug 1960
p. 8.
Daily Variety
11 Aug 1960
p. 3.
Daily Variety
16 Aug 1960
p. 4.
Daily Variety
18 Jan 1961
p. 6.
Los Angeles Times
9 Feb 1960
Section A, p. 9.
Los Angeles Times
14 Apr 1960
p. 27.
Los Angeles Times
20 Jun 1960
Section C, p. 12.
Los Angeles Times
28 Jun 1960
Section B, p. 10.
Los Angeles Times
11 Jul 1960
Section A, p. 11.
Los Angeles Times
19 Jul 1960
p. 20.
Los Angeles Times
31 Jul 1960
Section GB, p. 7.
Los Angeles Times
8 Oct 1960
p. 16.
Los Angeles Times
21 Jan 1961
Section B, p. 7.
Los Angeles Times
26 Jan 1961
Section B, p. 11.
Variety
11 Jan 1961
p. 6.
DETAILS
Release Date:
11 January 1961
Premiere Information:
Chicago opening: 11 January 1961
Los Angeles opening: 25 January 1961
Production Date:
began 24 June 1960
Copyright Claimant:
Warner Bros. Pictures
Copyright Date:
28 January 1961
Copyright Number:
LP25359
Physical Properties:
Sound
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
117
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Young Paula Thornwall is murdered in her bedroom by her gardener, who escapes undetected. Because Paula's estranged husband is the nephew of the state governor, a politically ambitious district attorney, Dan Callahan, seizes the opportunity to file a charge of murder against the nephew. Presiding at the trial is Judge Hoffman, who, like Callahan, is interested in becoming governor. Another interested party is Sen. A. S. Simon, who believes that by becoming governor he can be assured of nomination for the Presidency. When one of Callahan's witnesses gives inadmissible evidence, the defense attorney, Marker, calls for a mistrial. Senator Simon has offered Hoffman a Federal Court judgeship for turning down just such a request, however, and the motion is denied. The trial continues, and Thornwall is found guilty. Hoffman now decides to jeopardize his career by making public Simon's bribe so that a new trial can be granted. Simon belittles the charge until he suffers a heart attack, whereupon he admits to the bribery and then dies. Though Hoffman obtains evidence of Callahan's tactics, he refuses to use it and retires from the gubernatorial race. Then the gardener confesses to the murder. Governor Thornwall and Simon's widow, Cathy, who at one time was Hoffman's mistress, seek out the judge at his mountain retreat and bring him to the nominating convention, which has reached a stalemate. Hoffman's last-minute dramatic appearance so electrifies the delegates that he is nominated by ... +


Young Paula Thornwall is murdered in her bedroom by her gardener, who escapes undetected. Because Paula's estranged husband is the nephew of the state governor, a politically ambitious district attorney, Dan Callahan, seizes the opportunity to file a charge of murder against the nephew. Presiding at the trial is Judge Hoffman, who, like Callahan, is interested in becoming governor. Another interested party is Sen. A. S. Simon, who believes that by becoming governor he can be assured of nomination for the Presidency. When one of Callahan's witnesses gives inadmissible evidence, the defense attorney, Marker, calls for a mistrial. Senator Simon has offered Hoffman a Federal Court judgeship for turning down just such a request, however, and the motion is denied. The trial continues, and Thornwall is found guilty. Hoffman now decides to jeopardize his career by making public Simon's bribe so that a new trial can be granted. Simon belittles the charge until he suffers a heart attack, whereupon he admits to the bribery and then dies. Though Hoffman obtains evidence of Callahan's tactics, he refuses to use it and retires from the gubernatorial race. Then the gardener confesses to the murder. Governor Thornwall and Simon's widow, Cathy, who at one time was Hoffman's mistress, seek out the judge at his mountain retreat and bring him to the nominating convention, which has reached a stalemate. Hoffman's last-minute dramatic appearance so electrifies the delegates that he is nominated by acclamation. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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