Hot Blood (1956)

85 mins | Comedy-drama | March 1956

Director:

Nicholas Ray

Writer:

Jesse Lasky Jr.

Cinematographer:

Ray June

Editor:

Otto Ludwig

Production Designer:

Robert Peterson

Production Company:

Welsch Productions, Inc.
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HISTORY

The film's working title was Tambourine . Although the film is set in Los Angeles, a letter is shown during the picture that bears the address: "Marco Torino, Gypsy Quarters, New Market, PA." This was the last film of actor Mikhail Rasumny, who died on 22 Feb 1956, just before the film's Mar release. The Var reviewer noted that the film had "an occasional sociological note on the effect of city living on the free-souled gypsy...however...the footage is assembled to stress a charming, carefree, somewhat roistering existence."
       Modern sources add the following information about the film: Jean Evans was the pen name of Jean Abrams, director Nicholas Ray's first wife. In 1949, Ray wrote a treatment based on Evans' original research among the gypsies on New York City's Lower East Side and submitted it to RKO. In 1951, Ray worked with writer Walter Newman on a first draft of a script about urban gypsies which was then entitled No Return . Columbia finally agreed to make the film, but insisted that the script be re-written. Ray then collaborated with Jesse Lasky, Jr. on a new screenplay. Ray had wanted producer Gabriel Pascal to play "Marco Torino," the King of the Gypsies, but Pascal died before the film was made. According to modern sources, Ray also considered Edward G. Robinson for the role, which eventually was portrayed by Luther Adler, a veteran of the Group Theater. Modern sources also add that choreographer Matt Mattox substituted for Cornel Wilde during the ... More Less

The film's working title was Tambourine . Although the film is set in Los Angeles, a letter is shown during the picture that bears the address: "Marco Torino, Gypsy Quarters, New Market, PA." This was the last film of actor Mikhail Rasumny, who died on 22 Feb 1956, just before the film's Mar release. The Var reviewer noted that the film had "an occasional sociological note on the effect of city living on the free-souled gypsy...however...the footage is assembled to stress a charming, carefree, somewhat roistering existence."
       Modern sources add the following information about the film: Jean Evans was the pen name of Jean Abrams, director Nicholas Ray's first wife. In 1949, Ray wrote a treatment based on Evans' original research among the gypsies on New York City's Lower East Side and submitted it to RKO. In 1951, Ray worked with writer Walter Newman on a first draft of a script about urban gypsies which was then entitled No Return . Columbia finally agreed to make the film, but insisted that the script be re-written. Ray then collaborated with Jesse Lasky, Jr. on a new screenplay. Ray had wanted producer Gabriel Pascal to play "Marco Torino," the King of the Gypsies, but Pascal died before the film was made. According to modern sources, Ray also considered Edward G. Robinson for the role, which eventually was portrayed by Luther Adler, a veteran of the Group Theater. Modern sources also add that choreographer Matt Mattox substituted for Cornel Wilde during the dances. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
3 Mar 1956.
---
Daily Variety
24 Feb 56
p. 3.
Film Daily
27 Feb 56
p. 6.
Harrison's Reports
3 Mar 56
p. 34.
Hollywood Reporter
24 Feb 56
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
3 Mar 56
pp. 801-02.
New York Times
24 Mar 56
p. 14.
The Exhibitor
7 Mar 56
p. 4117.
Variety
29 Feb 56
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
WRITERS
Based upon a story by
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
MUSIC
Mus comp and cond
SOUND
Rec supv
DANCE
Choreog
Choreog
MAKEUP
Miss Russell's makeup
Miss Russell's hairdresser
COLOR PERSONNEL
Technicolor col consultant
SOURCES
MUSIC
"Whip Dance," by Les Baxter.
SONGS
"Gypsy," "Tsara, Tsara" and "I Could Learn to Love You," music by Les Baxter, lyrics by Ross Bagdasarian.
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Tambourine
Release Date:
March 1956
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 7 March 1956
Production Date:
21 July--24 August 1955
Copyright Claimant:
Columbia Pictures Corp.
Copyright Date:
27 March 1956
Copyright Number:
LP6186
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Color
Technicolor
Widescreen/ratio
CinemaScope
Duration(in mins):
85
Length(in feet):
7,655
Length(in reels):
9
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
17750
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In the gypsy quarters of Los Angeles, gypsy king Marco Torino urges his people to donate money to fund his search for "the promised land." Marco then visits the doctor who lives above his fortune-telling establishment, where he learns that what he had feared was true: he is incurably ill. Marco conceals this information, but realizes that if he is to see his rebellious younger brother Stephano take his place as king, he must act quickly. First, he cunningly frightens away Stephano's prospective employer, Mr. Swift, the owner of a non-gypsy dancing school, by describing his brother as a "mostly reliable gypsy." Then he announces that he has arranged for Stephano to marry a beautiful gypsy from Chicago named Annie Caldash, a move that he hopes will cure the young man's restlessness. This, however, only infuriates Stephano, who accuses Marco of trying to run his life. Stephano tells Annie, her father Theodore, and her brother Xano that the wedding is off. This angers Papa Caldash, who had planned to abscond with his daughter after accepting several thousand dollars in wedding settlement money from Marco. Annie, who is attracted to Stephano and tired of the fraudulent betrothals arranged for her by her father, describes a scheme that appeals to Stephano. During the ceremony, she will simply do as her father wishes: feign illness and run away with the dowry money. Believing that Marco will stop interfering in his life after enduring such humiliation, Stephano agrees to proceed with the wedding, but during the elaborate ceremony, Annie surprises him and Papa Caldash by allowing the ceremony to proceed without a hitch. As the ... +


In the gypsy quarters of Los Angeles, gypsy king Marco Torino urges his people to donate money to fund his search for "the promised land." Marco then visits the doctor who lives above his fortune-telling establishment, where he learns that what he had feared was true: he is incurably ill. Marco conceals this information, but realizes that if he is to see his rebellious younger brother Stephano take his place as king, he must act quickly. First, he cunningly frightens away Stephano's prospective employer, Mr. Swift, the owner of a non-gypsy dancing school, by describing his brother as a "mostly reliable gypsy." Then he announces that he has arranged for Stephano to marry a beautiful gypsy from Chicago named Annie Caldash, a move that he hopes will cure the young man's restlessness. This, however, only infuriates Stephano, who accuses Marco of trying to run his life. Stephano tells Annie, her father Theodore, and her brother Xano that the wedding is off. This angers Papa Caldash, who had planned to abscond with his daughter after accepting several thousand dollars in wedding settlement money from Marco. Annie, who is attracted to Stephano and tired of the fraudulent betrothals arranged for her by her father, describes a scheme that appeals to Stephano. During the ceremony, she will simply do as her father wishes: feign illness and run away with the dowry money. Believing that Marco will stop interfering in his life after enduring such humiliation, Stephano agrees to proceed with the wedding, but during the elaborate ceremony, Annie surprises him and Papa Caldash by allowing the ceremony to proceed without a hitch. As the guests feast, dance, and sing outside the couple's door, Stephano packs his bags while advising Annie to end the marriage with the traditional declaration, "there is no love." Annie rips his shirt and wrestles with her new husband, but to no avail: Stephano leaves with Velma, his blonde girl friend and proceeds directly to Swift's dance studio. Believing Swift failed to hire him due to prejudice against gypsies, Stephano hurls the bewildered man through a plate glass window and is arrested. Marco bails him out and later reveals to Annie the truth about his illness. Determined to win over her new husband, Annie seduces him, but just after he promises to stay with her, Marco enters and declares that he and Annie have won. Stephano assumes the two are in league together and once again leaves his wife. Velma gets him an interview with an agent, but Annie, disguised as a fortune-teller, enters the club and fights with her rival. Disgusted, Stephano signs the contract and leaves for San Diego, where he and Velma perform three nightly shows in a series of sleazy bars. After several months of this, Stephano realizes that he loves Annie and returns home. He is surprised to find her dancing with Marco and apparently enduring little unhappiness as a result of his absence. While Stephano dances with Annie, his grandfather, Papa Johnny, secretly prepares a brew that will make him sick and therefore likely to stay at home. To Papa Johnny's horror, Annie drinks the potion, and later, when Stephano tries to make love to her, she falls asleep. Annie's strange behavior causes everyone to gossip, and Stephano soon believes that his wife loves Marco. Stephano, seeing that Marco plans to leave town in a trailer upon which he has painted the words, "the promised land," mistakenly assumes his brother has not only stolen his wife but swindled thousands of dollars from his people. The two men fight with their belts, "like gypsies," and Marco is injured. Papa Johnny then tells Stephano about Marco's terminal illness. At the council meeting that evening, Marco names Stephano the new gypsy king. After Stephano accepts the king's staff, Annie asks him to approve the annulment of her marriage, publicly declaring that "my husband never wanted me." Stephano apologizes to her and to Marco for his behavior but grants the annulment. After collecting more money for Marco's trip to the "promised land," he runs after Annie's car, declaring his intention to be a good husband and king. Overjoyed, Annie falls into Stephano's arms as the gypsies sing and dance. +

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

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.