Heat Lightning (1934)

63-64 mins | Drama | 3 March 1934

Director:

Mervyn LeRoy

Cinematographer:

Sid Hickox

Production Designer:

Jack Okey

Production Company:

Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Full page view
HISTORY

The character "George" is addressed as such by his partner, "Jeff," but "Olga" calls him "Jerry" throughout the film. Although the plot does not clarify this point, "George" was probably an alias that "Jerry" used. A news item in DV on 17 Nov 1933 notes that the film crew was on location in Vacaville, CA for two-and-a-half weeks. This film was on the Legion of Decency's first list of banned films, which was published in MPD on 14 May 1934. According to files in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library, the Hays Office objected to the seductions that occur in the film because they were in violation of the Production Code, particularly the scene in which "George" leaves "Olga's" room in the morning and buttons his coat. The Office also objected to the underlined portion of the divorcée's line (in reference to the chauffeur): "Say, it's your turn to sit up in front with that old thigh-pincher ." The film was remade by First National in 1941 as Highway West , starring Brenda Marshall and Arthur Kennedy and directed by William ... More Less

The character "George" is addressed as such by his partner, "Jeff," but "Olga" calls him "Jerry" throughout the film. Although the plot does not clarify this point, "George" was probably an alias that "Jerry" used. A news item in DV on 17 Nov 1933 notes that the film crew was on location in Vacaville, CA for two-and-a-half weeks. This film was on the Legion of Decency's first list of banned films, which was published in MPD on 14 May 1934. According to files in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library, the Hays Office objected to the seductions that occur in the film because they were in violation of the Production Code, particularly the scene in which "George" leaves "Olga's" room in the morning and buttons his coat. The Office also objected to the underlined portion of the divorcée's line (in reference to the chauffeur): "Say, it's your turn to sit up in front with that old thigh-pincher ." The film was remade by First National in 1941 as Highway West , starring Brenda Marshall and Arthur Kennedy and directed by William McGann. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
13 Nov 33
p. 4.
Daily Variety
17 Nov 33
p. 4.
Daily Variety
19 Feb 34
p. 3.
Film Daily
7 Mar 34
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Feb 34
p. 2.
Motion Picture Daily
27 Feb 34
p. 8.
Motion Picture Herald
17 Mar 34
p. 35, 38
New York Times
8 Mar 34
p. 23.
Variety
13 Mar 34
p. 16.
DETAILS
Release Date:
3 March 1934
Production Date:
began 20 November 1933
Copyright Claimant:
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
10 April 1934
Copyright Number:
LP4611
Physical Properties:
Sound
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
63-64
Length(in reels):
7
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

Two sisters, Olga and Myra, operate a combination gas station, lunchroom and tourist hotel in the California desert. Olga works as a mechanic and is jaded when it comes to men. Myra, her younger sister, is in love with a man named Steve Laird, whom Olga distrusts, as she believes that Steve will take advantage of Myra sexually. Despite her sister's warnings, Myra makes plans to meet Steve after dark. George and Jeff, two thieves on the run from a bank heist in Salt Lake City in which George killed two cashiers, 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 beautiful cabaret dancer in Tulsa. When the sheriff passes through, George pretends to be an oilman and Olga says that he is an old friend. That evening, Mrs. Tifton, called "Feathers," and Mrs. Aston-Ashley, called "Tinkle," rich, divorced women who are laden with jewels, arrive with their chauffeur Frank on their way home from Reno. Hoping to steal the jewels, George and Jeff plan to spend the night. When Olga asks him to leave, George tells Olga he no longer wants her because she has let herself go. As heat lightning flashes in the distance, Olga transforms herself into a beautiful woman and says goodbye to George, who kisses her. While Olga is distracted, Myra sneaks out with Steve. The divorcées, meanwhile, have locked their jewels in Olga's safe to protect them from a friendly Mexican family who they fear are gypsies. At dawn, Steve brings Myra home after having taken advantage ... +


Two sisters, Olga and Myra, operate a combination gas station, lunchroom and tourist hotel in the California desert. Olga works as a mechanic and is jaded when it comes to men. Myra, her younger sister, is in love with a man named Steve Laird, whom Olga distrusts, as she believes that Steve will take advantage of Myra sexually. Despite her sister's warnings, Myra makes plans to meet Steve after dark. George and Jeff, two thieves on the run from a bank heist in Salt Lake City in which George killed two cashiers, 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 beautiful cabaret dancer in Tulsa. When the sheriff passes through, George pretends to be an oilman and Olga says that he is an old friend. That evening, Mrs. Tifton, called "Feathers," and Mrs. Aston-Ashley, called "Tinkle," rich, divorced women who are laden with jewels, arrive with their chauffeur Frank on their way home from Reno. Hoping to steal the jewels, George and Jeff plan to spend the night. When Olga asks him to leave, George tells Olga he no longer wants her because she has let herself go. As heat lightning flashes in the distance, Olga transforms herself into a beautiful woman and says goodbye to George, who kisses her. While Olga is distracted, Myra sneaks out with Steve. The divorcées, meanwhile, have locked their jewels in Olga's safe to protect them from a friendly Mexican family who they fear are gypsies. At dawn, 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, and the sisters hold each other. Olga then catches George and Jeff picking her safe and overhears George tell Jeff he slept with Olga so that Jeff could perform the robbery. Olga then shoots George, who is armed, and he apologizes as he dies in her arms. Olga lets Jeff get away, then explains the incident to her friend, Everett Marshall, who promises to take care of everything. Olga then returns to her emotionless life as a mechanic. +

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

TOP SEARCHES

CASABLANCA

During World War II, Casablanca, Morocco is a waiting point for throngs of desperate refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. Exit visas, which are necessary to leave the country, are at ... >>

CITIZEN KANE

Seventy-year-old newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane dies in his palatial Florida home, Xanadu, after uttering the single word “Rosebud.” While watching a newsreel summarizing the years during which Kane ... >>

REAR WINDOW

Laid up with a broken leg during the height of summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries enters his last week of home confinement, bored and ... >>

RAGING BULL

In 1941, at a boxing match in Cleveland, Ohio, pandemonium breaks out when Jake La Motta, an up-and-coming young boxer, loses a decision to Jimmy Reeves, suffering his first ... >>

CITY LIGHTS

At an outdoor dedication ceremony, a tramp is discovered sleeping in the arms of a statue as it is being unveiled before a crowd. He is chased into ... >>

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.