Opening

63% The Maze Runner Sep 19
66% A Walk Among the Tombstones Sep 19
45% This Is Where I Leave You Sep 19
82% Tracks Sep 19
93% The Guest Sep 17

Top Box Office

11% No Good Deed $24.3M
70% Dolphin Tale 2 $15.9M
92% Guardians of the Galaxy $8.1M
19% Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles $4.9M
20% Let's Be Cops $4.4M
88% The Drop $4.1M
37% If I Stay $3.9M
35% The November Man $2.8M
35% The Giver $2.6M
67% The Hundred-Foot Journey $2.4M

Coming Soon

68% The Equalizer Sep 26
71% The Boxtrolls Sep 26
86% The Two Faces of January Sep 26
—— Two Night Stand Sep 26
91% Jimi: All Is by My Side Sep 26

New Episodes Tonight

82% Girl Meets World: Season 1
87% The Knick: Season 1
53% Z Nation: Season 1

Discuss Last Night's Shows

100% Garfunkel and Oates: Season 1
—— Haven: Season 5
89% The Honorable Woman: Season 1
56% Married: Season 1
39% Rush: Season 1
82% Satisfaction: Season 1
79% You're the Worst: Season 1

Certified Fresh TV

87% Boardwalk Empire: Season 5
86% The Bridge (FX): Season 2
91% Doctor Who: Season 8
83% Extant: Season 1
89% The Honorable Woman: Season 1
87% The Knick: Season 1
89% Manhattan: Season 1
97% Masters of Sex: Season 2
90% Outlander: Season 1
82% Satisfaction: Season 1
87% The Strain: Season 1
79% You're the Worst: Season 1

The Big Combo

The Big Combo (1955)

tomatometer

No Score Yet...

Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 4
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 1

audience

82

liked it
Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 2,113

My Rating

Movie Info

Police Lt. Leonard Diamond (Cornel Wilde) is criticized by his superior Capt. Peterson (Robert Middleton) for his obsessive but fruitless investigation of organized crime boss Mr. Brown (Richard Conte). Peterson calls it a waste of the taxpayers' money motivated by Diamond's love for Brown's girlfriend Susan Lowell (Jean Wallace). Watched at all times by henchmen Mingo (Earl Holliman) and Fante (Lee Van Cleef), and masochistically drawn to Brown, Susan is unable to walk away from him. She

Unrated,

Drama, Mystery & Suspense, Classics

,

Philip Yordan

Oct 4, 2005

Watch It Now

Cast

ADVERTISEMENT

Friend Ratings

No Friends? Inconceivable! Log in to see what your friends have to say.

All Critics (14) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (12) | Rotten (1) | DVD (8)

It is done with grim melodramatics that are hard-hitting despite a rambling, not-too-credible plot, and is cut out to order for the meller fan who likes his action rough and raw.

January 25, 2008 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Where the usual noir takes place in a nightmare world, this one seems to inhabit a dream: there's no longer fear in the images, but rather a distanced, idealized beauty.

January 25, 2008 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A sputtering, misguided antique.

August 8, 2006 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Terrific gangster movie.

February 9, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Noir wasn't new in 1955, but The Big Combo still found plenty of life within its limits.

October 14, 2013 Full Review Source: The Dissolve
The Dissolve

A pond of shifting alliances and kinks

October 17, 2009 Full Review Source: CinePassion
CinePassion

A fatalistic symphony of light and shade.

January 25, 2008 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Brilliant mix of genuine mystery, film noir, and creative visuals.

August 9, 2007 Full Review Source: Classic Film and Television
Classic Film and Television

Shadows and lies are the stars of The Big Combo, a spellbinding black-and-white chiaroscuro with the segmented texture of a spider's web.

May 1, 2006 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

Strong noir with sadistic flashes

June 13, 2005
Film Journal International

Conte is convincing as the maniacal hood, while Wilde is a good counter-balance to Conte.

August 15, 2001 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for The Big Combo

Cornel Wilde stars as detective in love with society girl and gangster's moll Jean Wallace whose suicide attempt gives him the name "Alicia"; the clue that could be the break he needs to bring the sinister kingpin down. The Big Combo is the kind of Film Noir that feels like it's trying a bit TOO hard to be Film Noir. It has much to admire, mostly from a stylistic standpoint and has some excellent visual moments, but underneath it feels a little stale. The plot is simplistic and rather episodic, it misses the witty, literary dialogue of the best of the genre and Wilde and Richard Conte as his evil nemesis make for rather bland protagonists. What makes the film are some superbly directed scenes of gritty violence that invariably lack these two characterless adversaries; the joy of the film is definitely to be found in the supporting cast. Best of all are the two sexually ambiguous assassins played by a young Lee Van Cleef and Earl Holliman and Wilde's burlesque queen love interest, someone I wished we'd seen a lot more of. If you're a fan of Noir it's well worth it for the highlights and cinematography but if you're new to the genre, there are much better starting points.
December 30, 2009
garyX
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

The Big Combo left me kind of flustered when it was over for a couple of reasons. First, the story was pretty weak. Cornel Wilde as the worn out and obsessed detective going after the city's kingpin played by the otherwise smug and dull Richard Conte. Throw in a somewhat cute but mostly dopey Jean Wallace for good measure and mix them all together in a script that could've easily been written by Edward D Wood, jr. But at the same time The Big Combo also embodies everything that film noir is from a visual standpoint. It's incredibly atmospheric and beautifully composed courtesy of cinematographer John Alton and brilliantly directed by Joseph Lewis that you just might find yourself forgiving all of it's shortcomings because it looks so damn good. Especially during the execution of... well, you'll see. And that finale is the stuff that dreams are made of. The Big Combo is the femme fatale of film noir movies--it's incredibly beautiful but on the inside it's pretty much rotten otherwise.
February 23, 2008
mjgildea

Super Reviewer

The characters in "The Big Combo" aren't well-drawn or well-acted and there lies one of the film's biggest problems. While the script does have some interesting twists, it's flimsy and thinly written. Richard Conte provides a somewhat memorable performance, but the rest of the characters are instantly forgettable. "The Big Combo" works well when it comes to passing an hour and a half, but there's nothing about it that'll make you want to watch it again.
October 24, 2012
Stephen Earnest

Super Reviewer

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

Discussion Forum

Discuss The Big Combo on our Movie forum!

What's Hot On RT

Critics Consensus
Critics Consensus

Maze Runner is Better than Average

Simon Pegg
Simon Pegg

What are his Five Favorite Films?

Hunger Games
Hunger Games

New Mockingjay - Part 1 trailer

Talk Like a Pirate Day
Talk Like a Pirate Day

Memorable pirates picture gallery

Foreign Titles

  • The Big Combo (1955) (DE)
  • The Big Combo (1955) (UK)
Find us on:                     
Help | About | Jobs | Critics Submission | Press | API | Licensing | Mobile