For the most part - I quite liked 1951's "Ace In The Hole", which was filmed in b&w.
Containing no glamour or glitz - I found that this picture didn't come across as being dated like so many other films seem to be from Hollywood's heyday.
This picture starred actor, Kirk Douglas, as the amoral newspaper reporter, Chuck Tatum. I have certainly seen Douglas in quite a number of films over the years and I think that he was in real top form here in "Ace In The Hole".
After watching 1951's "Ace In The Hole" - I certainly can't imagine that director, Billy Wilder would have made any friends with the press over this one's damning statement about ruthless newspaper reporters.
Coming across like a 90-minute episode from Rod Serling's "The Twilight Zone" - "Ace In The Hole's" no-glitz/no-glamour story quickly escalates into a nightmare situation (set in broad daylight) that even includes elements of "Film Noir" thrown into the chaotic mix for good measure.
Set in and around the outskirts of Albuquerque, New Mexico - Even though this stark b&w production is one of actor, Kirk Douglas's lesser known vehicles - I certainly consider it to be one of his best and his most memorable.
And, finally - I found the scenes between Kirk Douglas (as Chuck Tatum) and Jan Sterling (as Lorraine Minosa) to be quite delightfully vicious and nasty, as they were all generously peppered with plenty of antagonistic malice.
I really liked this film!
As previous comments suggest, it is somewhat controversial.
It is very dramatic.
"Ace in the hole", 1951, was somewhat of a controversial film. It was based partly on two real life events ((see Floyd Collins and Kathy Fiscus). The number of people and automobiles and circus atmosphere that Wilder built is amazingly broad. But a legitimate criticism of this movie is its dependence on the "bad" side of humanity and far too little on the "good". Billy Wilder was a real force in Hollywood but I am quite leery of being around someone who produces this type of film (and of those who enjoy this spectacle). The actor who portrays the poor guy stuck in the collapsed cave (Richard Benedict) was better at his role than Kirk Douglas at his. Jan Sterling is the wife of the trapped man but what a horrible woman. The film opens with him stuck in the collapsed mine and she is waiting with suitcase in hand for the local bus to whisk her out of town and out of her life as a operator of a roadside 'Indian relics' store.
Kirk Douglas is a force to be reckoned with. To watch the supplemental interview with Billy Wilder is fascinating in itself!
Top Notch Film Noir. Definitely a predictor of how the media can control the thinking and mood of the populace. Going forward to today's world, political groups now use this knowledge to spin the media's reporting to control public opinion as they see fit. Thank goodness for unfiltered news outlets and Youtube. As previous reviews have stated, a powerful film, similar themes to "A Face in the Crowd" and a forgotton classic.
Even better on second viewing. Billy Wilder's direction flawlessly touches upon obvious themes such as greed and comercialism, but his imagary is amazing - Eve biting the apple, observers drawn like lemmings to the mountain by cattle car (as if it had magnetic pull), the crowd literally dancing on Leo's grave, the editor being Kirk's conscience and them fighting for the journalistic soul of cub reporter, Herbie.......and many more subtle story framing technics. Brilliant
This movie is a template for what the media is doing (has done) to poor Rob Ford, Mayor of TO. It shows how the media victimizes a person to serve their objectives and make a few $$. If you miss the point, there is a real circus (a ferris wheel at least) to complement the press. The movie is a clear example of how we are so easily manipulated by the press. -- Rob Ford is a case in point.
Powerful story of ambition, and using people and situations to your own advantage. A missing classic.
Could this been the basis of, or influence on, the musical "Floyd Collins" of a few years back?
Kev's PICkS: ..after you've seen "Ace in the Hole" ,..check out "A Face in the Crowd". Its the 'prequil to Mad Men' !
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