review for A Fever in the Blood on AllMovie

A Fever in the Blood (1961)
by Craig Butler review

Moderately entertaining but nothing special, A Fever in the Blood could use a little more of real heat on the screen. Certainly, we're told that the main characters are hot to become the next governor and certainly they go through the motions of showing us just how determined they are; but it never feels real. That inner fire, that burning intensity to win this race at any cost doesn't ring true with any of the leads. It perhaps comes the closest with Efram Zimbalist, Jr.,, although that may be because his character is the one who keeps his desire more subsumed and less over than the others. By contrast, Jack Kelly and Don Ameche have ambition plastered across their foreheads, but all the blustering and activity still comes across forced. Still, even if it's not quite convincing, they do hit all the right marks and play all the right notes, so if that inner passion doesn't seem real, it still makes dramatic sense. Angie Dickinson is called upon to do little more than look luscious, which she does with ease. Vincent Sherman's direction is efficient and gets the job done, though with little in the way of invention or personal commitment.