Summer Heat (1987)

R | 92 mins | Drama | 29 May 1987

Director:

Michie Gleason

Writer:

Michie Gleason

Producer:

Bill Tennant

Cinematographer:

Elliot Davis

Editor:

Mary Bauer

Production Designer:

Marcia Hinds

Production Company:

Atlantic Productions
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HISTORY

Summer Heat is based on Here to Get My Baby Out of Jail, the best-selling 1983 first novel by author Louise Shivers. Promotional materials in AMPAS library files indicate director Michie Gleason chose it as her second movie because she was drawn to the richly detailed story and familiar with the Southern characters and setting since she grew up in Virginia. Gleason also wrote the screenplay.
       Principal photography began on 1 Sep 1986, according to the 31 Oct 1986 DV production chart. The film shot entirely in eastern North Carolina, primarily in the small town of Tarboro, where the novel is set. A working tobacco farm owned by the Bass family in Conetoe, near Tarboro, was used for the Walston family farm. A home in Robersonville doubled as the Stanton Funeral Home.
       During the trial scenes, director Michie Gleason’s real-life father, Charles Gleason, played the judge. Meanwhile, actress Lori Singer’s real-life husband, Richard Emery, a civil liberties union attorney in New York City, played the prosecuting attorney.
       Summer Heat opened on thirty-six screens on 29 May 1987, earning $114,873 in its first three days of release, according to the 3 Jun 1987 DV box-office report. After three weeks of release, the film had taken in a total of $307,540, the 24 Jun 1987 DV reported.
       End credits state: “Special Thanks to: Randy Davis; Watson Brown; Alyson Schoer for Vidal Sassoon Salons; Sharpe’s Formal Wear of Greenville; Tarboro Edgecombe Academy; Piggly Wiggly Supermarket of Tarboro; Craftique Furniture Inc. of Mebane; Edgecombe Casket Company; Eleanor Bass Howard; Dr. Milton D. Quigless, M.D.; and the people of Tarboro, ... More Less

Summer Heat is based on Here to Get My Baby Out of Jail, the best-selling 1983 first novel by author Louise Shivers. Promotional materials in AMPAS library files indicate director Michie Gleason chose it as her second movie because she was drawn to the richly detailed story and familiar with the Southern characters and setting since she grew up in Virginia. Gleason also wrote the screenplay.
       Principal photography began on 1 Sep 1986, according to the 31 Oct 1986 DV production chart. The film shot entirely in eastern North Carolina, primarily in the small town of Tarboro, where the novel is set. A working tobacco farm owned by the Bass family in Conetoe, near Tarboro, was used for the Walston family farm. A home in Robersonville doubled as the Stanton Funeral Home.
       During the trial scenes, director Michie Gleason’s real-life father, Charles Gleason, played the judge. Meanwhile, actress Lori Singer’s real-life husband, Richard Emery, a civil liberties union attorney in New York City, played the prosecuting attorney.
       Summer Heat opened on thirty-six screens on 29 May 1987, earning $114,873 in its first three days of release, according to the 3 Jun 1987 DV box-office report. After three weeks of release, the film had taken in a total of $307,540, the 24 Jun 1987 DV reported.
       End credits state: “Special Thanks to: Randy Davis; Watson Brown; Alyson Schoer for Vidal Sassoon Salons; Sharpe’s Formal Wear of Greenville; Tarboro Edgecombe Academy; Piggly Wiggly Supermarket of Tarboro; Craftique Furniture Inc. of Mebane; Edgecombe Casket Company; Eleanor Bass Howard; Dr. Milton D. Quigless, M.D.; and the people of Tarboro, Wilson, Robersonville, and Nashville, North Carolina.”

More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
31 Oct 1986.
---
Daily Variety
22 May 1987
p. 16, 28.
Daily Variety
3 Jun 1987.
---
Daily Variety
24 Jun 1987.
---
Hollywood Reporter
29 May 1987
p. 3, 37.
Los Angeles Times
29 May 1987
p. 1.
New York Times
29 May 1987
p. 8
Variety
20 May 1987
p. 108.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
Atlantic Entertainment Group Presents
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
2d asst dir
3d asst dir
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
1st cam asst
Addl 1st cam asst
2d cam asst
Gaffer
Best boy elec
Best boy grip
Dolly grip
Still photog
Spec stills
Cam equip provided by
Loc lighting and grip equip supplied by
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
Addl ed
Addl ed
Assoc film ed
Apprentice film ed
Negative cutter
SET DECORATORS
Scenic artist
Scenic artist
Const supv
Asst cost supv
Carpenter
Asst set dec
Leadman
Asst leadman
Set dresser
Set dresser
Prop master
Asst prop master
COSTUMES
Cost des
Cost supv
Costumer
Cost asst
MUSIC
Mus supv
Orig themes
Orig themes
Orig themes
SOUND
Sd mixer
Boom op
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Supv sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
ADR ed
Asst sd ed
Post prod sd facility
VISUAL EFFECTS
Title des
Titles and opticals
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Unit mgr
Loc mgr
Prod auditor
Prod secy
Prod secy
Transportation coord
Transportation capt
Transportation co-capt
Driver
Driver
Driver
Asst to Michie Gleason
Prod asst
Prod asst
Nurse/First aid
Craft service
Tobacco consultant
Mandolin consultant
Mandolin consultant
Mandolin consultant
Security
Security
Security
Security
Extras casting
Extras casting
Caterer
STAND INS
Stand-in
Stand-in
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col
Col timer
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Here to Get My Baby Out of Jail by Louise Shivers (New York, 1983).
SONGS
“The Heart Must Have A Home,” performed by Kim Carnes, lyrics by Will Jennings, music by Barry Mann and Georges Delerue, produced by Steve Tyrell.
PERFORMER
DETAILS
Release Date:
29 May 1987
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 29 May 1987
Production Date:
began 1 September 1986
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Lenses
Camera and lenses by Ariflex
Duration(in mins):
92
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
28507
SYNOPSIS

In 1937, demure twenty-year-old Roxanne “Roxy” Stanton Walston is bored and isolated living on a tobacco farm about ten miles from the small town of Tarboro in eastern North Carolina. Roxy and her husband, Aaron Walston, have a two-year-old daughter, Patty Estelle, whom they call “Baby.” Roxy’s mother died when she was a child and she was raised by her grandmother, Georgeanna. Roxy is devastated when Georgeanna dies and feels even more isolated on the farm. Roxy’s wealthy father, Will Stanton, routinely employs drifters at his mortuary, Stanton Funeral Home. Drifter Jack Ruffin turns out to be one of the mortuary’s best employees, but when Will Stanton does not have enough work for him, he sends Jack to the farm to help his son-in-law dig a well. Aaron Walston and Jack Ruffin become friends and enjoy playing mandolin and banjo together after dinner. Aaron invites Jack to be his farm hand and has Roxy fix up a spare room in the house for him. Roxy is drawn to the handsome drifter with piercing eyes. Jack seems equally drawn to Roxy and tells her that she is pretty. One day while Aaron is in town, Jack and Roxy make love in the field. Over the next several months, they regularly make love whenever the opportunity presents itself. However, Jack Ruffin also starts dating Ava Chisholm, one of Aaron Walston’s junior high school girl friends, to keep suspicion away from Roxy. One day while Aaron is gone, Baby accidently turns over a pot of peas cooking on the stove and is scalded by boiling water. Jack and Roxy rush Baby to the hospital. The child is fine, but will have some ... +


In 1937, demure twenty-year-old Roxanne “Roxy” Stanton Walston is bored and isolated living on a tobacco farm about ten miles from the small town of Tarboro in eastern North Carolina. Roxy and her husband, Aaron Walston, have a two-year-old daughter, Patty Estelle, whom they call “Baby.” Roxy’s mother died when she was a child and she was raised by her grandmother, Georgeanna. Roxy is devastated when Georgeanna dies and feels even more isolated on the farm. Roxy’s wealthy father, Will Stanton, routinely employs drifters at his mortuary, Stanton Funeral Home. Drifter Jack Ruffin turns out to be one of the mortuary’s best employees, but when Will Stanton does not have enough work for him, he sends Jack to the farm to help his son-in-law dig a well. Aaron Walston and Jack Ruffin become friends and enjoy playing mandolin and banjo together after dinner. Aaron invites Jack to be his farm hand and has Roxy fix up a spare room in the house for him. Roxy is drawn to the handsome drifter with piercing eyes. Jack seems equally drawn to Roxy and tells her that she is pretty. One day while Aaron is in town, Jack and Roxy make love in the field. Over the next several months, they regularly make love whenever the opportunity presents itself. However, Jack Ruffin also starts dating Ava Chisholm, one of Aaron Walston’s junior high school girl friends, to keep suspicion away from Roxy. One day while Aaron is gone, Baby accidently turns over a pot of peas cooking on the stove and is scalded by boiling water. Jack and Roxy rush Baby to the hospital. The child is fine, but will have some scars. However, Aaron blames his wife for the accident and is cold toward her, turning away from her in bed. A few days later, Aaron says that it does not look right for Jack and Roxy to be staying in the same house and that people in town are starting to talk. Aaron decides they will have to fire Jack as soon as the tobacco crop is harvested and sold. Aaron sends Roxy to inform the drifter of his decision. However, Jack declares his love to Roxy and wants her to run away with him. She responds that she is married and has a baby. After the tobacco crop is sold, Jack hits Aaron in the back of the head with a shovel and pushes him into a shallow hole he dug beside the barn. Jack tells Roxy to pack because they have to leave. She quickly throws some clothes in a suitcase, gets Baby, and rides off with Jack, who refuses to tell her what happened to Aaron. When they get to Georgia and rent a cabin at a tourist camp, Jack finally tells Roxy that Aaron is dead. Jack buys bus tickets to Birmingham, Alabama, where he has friends with whom they can stay, but Roxy refuses to leave with him. Jack promises to come back for her, but the sheriff arrests him as he boards the bus. Under questioning, Jack implicates Roxy in planning the murder, so police also arrest her. Back in Tarboro, Roxy’s father makes her look at Aaron’s body in the coffin, explaining that he is the one who found the body after receiving a tip. As the trial begins, the courtroom is packed with residents and reporters. The bailiff reads Jack’s statement in which he confesses to murdering Jack and to being in love with Roxy. Under cross-examination, Roxy admits to having intercourse with Jack many times. As the prosecutor makes his closing statement, Jack stands up in the courtroom and admits that Roxy knew nothing about the murder and that she never agreed to run off with him. He adds that he pushed Roxy into the car and only told her what happened when they got to Georgia. Roxy faints in the courtroom. The jury finds Roxy not guilty of conspiracy to commit murder, but finds Jack guilty of first-degree murder. The judge sentences Jack to death. Roxy’s father thinks they should send her to stay in Fredericksburg, Virginia, with her Aunt Kate. Roxy tells her stepmother, Ruth, that she has never said “no” to anyone and that is what got her in trouble. Believing that family and stability would be best for Baby, Roxy refuses to go to Fredericksburg and announces that she is going to stay in Tarboro and ride out the scandal. +

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

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