The Big Heat Reviews
Concise direction, topnotch acting and a ceaseless, brutal and intense plot make an splendorous noir, full of drama and tension.
Dave Bannion: Only this fly got herself strangled.
Tierney: These things, happen, Sergeant.
One of the final film noir films to be made, directed again by one of the most influential noir directors, Fritz Lang.
Here we have Glenn Ford in a great performance as Sgt. Bannion. He starts off as a smug homicide detective, looking to find answers to the suicide of a cop. When he pokes his nose too far, a tragedy occurs, and he becomes a complete bad ass and effortlessly cool.
The dialogue in this film is so fun to listen to and it is accompanied by Lang's great sense of style, camera moves, use of light and shadow, and other little things.
Lee Marvin also shows up in an early role, and proves to also be cool in a more evil way.
This whole movie is so engrossing, entertaining, and well done. The plot moves forward at an amazing pace, keeping you involved in everything that is going on. The performances from the leads are all very good. There are even a few action scenes that are not gratuitous, are well done for the time, and leave the viewer with a sense of satisfaction.
Ford does a great job, as I mentioned, strattling the line between right and wrong, as well as adding further dimensions to the story with certain choices he makes, resulting in certain events.
This is a very good film mixing the noir elements with a revenge plot, cops and thieves.
Vince Stone: Hey, that's nice perfume.
Debby Marsh: Something new. It attracts mosquitoes and repels men.
Anyway, nowadays, watching a film like this you can't help but think of films like LA Confidential which, although may owe a small debt to this film, is leagues ahead.