The Big Heat - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Big Heat Reviews

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bbcfloridabound
Super Reviewer
½ June 15, 2011
Film Noir that's for sure, they just don't make them like this anymore. Glenn Ford plays a detective who is working a case where city officials and the mob are involved, He's putting the heat on the mob trying to solve the apparent suicide of another police officer, and the mob is putting the heat on his family. Enjoyable scene's at home wife cooking dinner having a few cocktails. Beer at a bar cost 35 cents, a real phone booth that cost a dime had a door on the booth so no one could hear your conversation unlike today with cell phones. Overall an outstanding Black and White Film, Marlen Brando's sister played in this movie and she was pretty hot back in the day Jocelyn Brando. And Gloria Grahame played a gangsters girl and she was also hot, don't see women like this on the big screen today. No Class no Talent welcome to 2011. The movie is 4 1/2 stars all the way.
Super Reviewer
September 5, 2010
Another good thriller from Fritz Lang, I liked it.
Super Reviewer
½ March 31, 2010
Not at all bad if you wanna kill some 90 hot minutes. However, if you 're looking for an unpredictable thriller, this one isn't gonna satisfy you.
Super Reviewer
October 6, 2008
"We're sisters under the mink."
Mr Awesome
Super Reviewer
November 27, 2009
The Big Heat is right up there with "Touch of Evil" as one of the top noir films of the 1950s. The movie starts with the suicide of police sergeant which soon sets off a chain of events which will transform Detective David Bannion (Glenn Ford) into a single-minded machine. The story of crime and corruption will be familiar to anyone who's ever seen similar cop movies and yet, it's not a tired film, it moves along at a fast and angry pace. Modern films like "Sin City" owe a great debt to this film, and Clint Eastwood seems to have modeled his entire career off of it (Who knew Glenn Ford of all people could inspire Dirty Harry?). This is down-and-dirty gutter crime disguised in a 1950s package. Director Fritz Lang (Metropolis) makes use of cheap sets and backgrounds, if not ignoring them all together as his characters set fire to the screen. Debby (Gloria Grahame) girlfriend of mobster Vince Stone (Lee Marvin) walks the tight rope above her violent boyfriend's temper, always willing to prod him, even though it might cost her. None of the characters seem too in charge of their own destinies though. The mob bosses sit around, fretting over the rogue cop who pursues them, and the corrupt police officials watch impotently as the mob bosses beat and torture women. Only Bannion seems motivated by some specific purpose, and whether that's justice or revenge, no one can really say. He's seemingly indestructable and unstoppable, and shows no sense of fear as he charges through rooms of petty criminals. Debby attempts to seduce him, more as a way of annoying Vince Stone than of getting any pleasure from him, but she can only elicit an unconscious disgust in Bannion: "I wouldn't Touch anything of Stone's" he snarls at her. Such pure, unrestrained hatred rarely finds it's way onto the big screen, and it's alot of fun to watch. Artistic touches are subtle as Lang allows the story to unfold artfully, the directing style could be described as no-frills, but it's necessarily sparce, as it allows the story and performances to stand in the forefront. Fans of crime drama should see this film, not because of it's historical importance, or because it inspired so many imitators, they should see it because it's just damned good.
Super Reviewer
July 27, 2007
Glenn Ford plays the only cop with guts in a city filtered by corruption.
Concise direction, topnotch acting and a ceaseless, brutal and intense plot make an splendorous noir, full of drama and tension.
rubystevens
Super Reviewer
½ November 14, 2007
a great revenge thriller. this is how it's done! glenn ford takes on the mob, with some help from gloria grahame, leading to a big showdown with the always awesome lee marvin. they fucked with the wrong guy!
Super Reviewer
½ April 19, 2007
This movie is great. The chemistry between Ford and Brando (Marlon's older sister) is unbelievable. Lang is an under appreciated master.
garyX
Super Reviewer
½ September 7, 2007
Fritz Lang directs Glen Ford as an uncompromising cop on the trail of organized criminals and corrupt officers in his own department, and when a car bomb kills his young wife, the gloves definitely come off...One of the toughest early noirs you're going to see, Ford reinforces his tough guy credentials and faces off against a young Lee Marvin as a brutal mobster. The on and off screen violence is some of the most brutally realistic you are going to see in a film of this era; I can't remember an earlier film that featured a car bomb, and as such this can be seen as a direct influence on the modern gangster flick. The sentiment is ladled on a little too thickly in portraying Ford's home life, the other female characters (Gloria Grahame's tart with a heart and woman scorned, and Jeanette Nolan's cynical opportunist) are far more interesting but otherwise, it's close to flawless. Classic noir that's as tough and uncompromising as it's star.
jjnxn
Super Reviewer
½ June 16, 2007
gloria grahame is great!!
Super Reviewer
½ April 4, 2007
Tierney: They come and go like flies.
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.
Super Reviewer
½ November 5, 2006
Glenn Ford further proves his bad-assdom by kicking Lee Marvin's head in.
Super Reviewer
½ January 30, 2013
One of the better examples of the noir genre. There are nice unexpected twists and turns that add to the drama and lead to a dramatic fulfilling conclusion.
Super Reviewer
February 18, 2013
A great hard-boiled mystery. Glenn Ford, Lee Marvin, and Gloria Grahame all deliver their punchy dialogue perfectly. Its a little sad to see a Fritz Lang film that's devoid of his earlier expressionist style, but he still serves this brutal material very well.
Super Reviewer
July 4, 2006
A fast, tough and violent noir, The Big Heat is ultimately as gripping as it is because of Fritz Lang's outstanding direction. Making extensive use of the film's visual components both as character backdrops and storytelling tools, Lang demonstrates his finesse with this gritty classic.
Super Reviewer
February 10, 2011
Loads of fun and a good film, but something is missing to make this a great film. I don't question Glen Ford's toughness, but he doesn't carry the same bad ass swagger that he has in 3:10 to Yuma. I was more enthralled by the bad guys in this picture than the good guys, but that because Lee Marvin and Gloria Grahame make this film. They both chew up scenery and when they are together on screen it's plain greatness. The story is basically about a cop(Glenn Ford) who gets in too deep in a suicide case and pisses off the wrong people. The bad guys push Ford too far and he becomes a rouge cop bent on revenge. It's enjoyable and a must see, but I didn't care for Ford's character as much as the supporting villains and that hurts this film overall.
Critique Threatt
Super Reviewer
August 30, 2010
Fritz Lang returns to what he does best in the film noir category with "The Big Heat". A corrupt world set with corrupt ppl except for the main protagonist, a detective named Dave Bannion(Glen Ford) he is an awesome character who isn't afraid but is willing to due justice in a tough setting. The other supporting chaacters is just a marvel. Jocelyn Brando, Gloria Grhamme, and Lee Marvin all turn in fine performances but again it's Ford who sets things straight and director Fritz Lang who gets to the bottom of "The Big Heat".
Super Reviewer
March 10, 2008
Great wife character.
Super Reviewer
June 14, 2008
Though it's nowhere near as good as Lang's other masterpieces M and Metropolis, this is still a good film and was no doubt pretty damn popular in it's day when women were Dames and men chewed charcoal and shit diamonds - and other precious stones.

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.
November 22, 2011
Dark, compelling story, and extremely well acted. I was surprised at the violence of the car bombing of his wife, and that coffee burning scene is still surprising and horrifying in its violence. Glenn Ford, after the death of his wife, the anger and grief is so transparent on his face, and you want him to murder everyone involved, even if it doesn't end up happening that way, you feel it COULD in this film. One of the problems I've had with other noirs is their cheapness and having to hire D-level actors who aren't strong enough in their main roles; this isn't the case with The Big Heat. Glenn Ford gives a powerful performance as I said, and the villains Alexander Scourby and Lee Marvin are really solid bad guys. Gloria Grahame is also terrific. Great movie.
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