"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' !
Ace in the Hole ---- FILM/DVD/VHS ---- written by Billy Wilder, Lesser Samuels, Walter Newman.----Performers: Kirk Douglas, Jan Sterling, Bob Arthur, Porter Hall, Frank Cady, Richard Benedict, Ray Teal, Frank Jaquet. ---- A must see! I watched this show as a kid, then again a few months back. I laughed at most of it. ---- Enjoy!---- RichardPaul
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