The House Across the Lake

The House Across the Lake is a 1954 British crime drama film, released in the United States as Heat Wave. The film noir drama, filmed and set in England, stars Alex Nicol and Hillary Brooke, who are the only Americans in the cast, although Brooke plays a British character, as she did in most films. (Her mastery of a "posh" accent caused her to be typecast as British in Hollywood films starting in the 1940s.) Sid James plays a prominent supporting role in which he is, unusually for him, a "good guy".

The House Across the Lake
Heat Wave aka The House Across the Lake film poster
Directed byKen Hughes
Produced byAnthony Hinds
Written byKen Hughes
StarringAlex Nicol
Hillary Brooke
Music byIvor Slaney
CinematographyWalter J. Harvey
Edited byJames Needs
Distributed byLippert Pictures (USA)
Exclusive Films (UK)
Release date
Running time
68 min.


An American pulp novelist, Mark Kendrick (Nicol), meets his rich neighbours across the lake and is soon seduced by beautiful blonde Carol (Brooke), the wife of Beverly Forrest (James), despite Beverly treating him as a friend. When Beverly is badly injured by a fall on his boat, Carol fails to persuade Mark to throw him overboard, so Carol does it.

After first refusing to go along with her plan to call it an accident, Mark agrees when Carol tells him that they will meet up again later and live off her dead husband's money. However, after the coroner rules the death an accident, Mark does not hear from her, but the still suspicious CID inspector on the case arranges for Mark to find out that Carol has secretly married another old flame and changed residences. Mark angrily confronts her, but she sneers that she only used him and that there is nothing he can do about it without implicating himself. Mark decides to confess, thinking that, although it will probably mean a prison sentence for him, it will mean the rope for Carol.


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