The Big Knife (1955)
Movie InfoThe original Broadway production of Clifford Odets' +The Big Knife starred John Garfield. The film version stars Jack Palance, not an unfair exchange, but certainly an offbeat one. Palance plays big-time movie star Charlie Castle, who refuses to sign a binding, $3,000 per week contract with Louis B. Mayer-like mogul Stanley Hoff (Rod Steiger). Charlie is supported in this by his wife Marion (Ida Lupino), who'd previously left him because of his sexual peccadilloes but who admires his courage. Hoff tries to blackmail Castle into re-signing by revealing that Charlie was behind the wheel during a hit-and-run accident for which a studio flunkey took the blame (this plot point was allegedly based on a true-life incident involving Clark Gable). The only witness to the accident was drunken starlet Dixie Evans (Shelley Winters); protecting his investment, Hoff's slimy agent Smiley Coy (Wendell Corey) tries to convince Castle to stage a fatal 'accident' for Evans. Director Robert Aldrich places blame on the failure of The Big Knife on two things: for one, Jack Palance isn't entirely credible as a major movie star; for another, audiences in 1955 couldn't understand why anyone would turn down $3,000 per week. … More
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Critic Reviews for The Big Knife
Audience Reviews for The Big Knife
A pretty good Hollywood story movie, but I saw it on TV and didn't get to watch the whole thing, so I can't say much about it. I would like to see the end.More
Good film about Hollywood with great performances and script. This would get another star if they cut about 15 minutes toward the end. Everyone is good in it but Palance gives the best performance of his career,and Steiger is fucking amazing as a L.B. Mayer type studio head. Good film.Watch it!More
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