A prophetic scald
Billy Wilder's take on human selfishness and callousness makes for one of the most angry and cynical films ever made.
| Original Score: 9/10
Quite possibly the most Billy Wilder-ey of all Wilder's films.
| Original Score: 10/10
| Original Score: 5/5
Not only did Wilder pillory the media in Ace in the Hole, he made monkeys out of everyone. Look at you, he said, you eat this drivel with both hands.
| Original Score: 4.5/5
A lurid pulp indictment of exploitation, opportunism, doctored intelligence, torture for profit, insatiable greed, and shady journalism.
Wilder's cynical film of fame-seeking journalists, corrupt politicians, media circus, and the masses' appetite for live tragedy (a man trapped in a cave)was ahead of its times.
| Original Score: A-
As a diatribe against all that is worst in human nature, it has moments dipped in pure vitriol.
As dark and cynical as Wilder gets, Ace also features one of Douglas' very best performance. Nobody is sympathetic and nobody is likeable. That's why it's so great.
| Original Score: 4/5
Douglas delivers desperation and a cynical rejection of humanity that is repulsive as it is mesmerizing.
| Original Score: A+
Cynical classic looks better (and truer) every year.
Thoroughly cynical film noir.
| Original Score: B-
Douglas is wonderfully slimy as a scheming reporter in one of Wilder's most accomplished films.
Not unlike Fritz Lang's equally misanthropic Scarlet Street, Ace in the Hole plays the squashing of one man's human spirit for societal-weary gravitas.
| Original Score: 4/4
Douglas puts a perfect spin of self-loathing on his character in what is certainly one of his better performances.
The film is as grim and pitiless as the relentless drill that pounds away at the mountain top.
| Original Score: 5/5
The Network of the newspaper age.
| Original Score: 3.5/5
This 1951 film, about a cynical reporter who seizes on the plight of a man trapped in a mine shaft to promote his career, is cold, lurid, and fascinating, propelled by the same combination of moral outrage and sneaky admiration.
Ace in the Hole is badly weakened by a poorly constructed plot, which depends for its strength upon assumptions that are not only naive but absurd.
| Original Score: 2/5