Ace in the Hole (The Big Carnival) (1951)
Average Rating: 7.9/10
Reviews Counted: 22
Fresh: 19 | Rotten: 3
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 5.8/10
Critic Reviews: 5
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 2
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 4.2/5
User Ratings: 5,614
Billy Winder directed and co-wrote this bitterly satiric comedy-drama which turns a jaundiced eye towards both the news media and its consumers. Chuck Tatum (Kirk Douglas) is a talented but short-tempered reporter whose fondness for booze and unwillingness to bow to authority has cost him jobs at some of America's most prestigious newspapers. When Tatum's car breaks down in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Tatum persuades the editor of the local paper (Porter Hall) to give him a job until he can make
Oct 19, 1951 Wide
Jul 17, 2007
Jacob Q. Boot
Iron Eyes Cody
Indian Copy Boy
Claire Du Brey
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A lurid pulp indictment of exploitation, opportunism, doctored intelligence, torture for profit, insatiable greed, and shady journalism.
As a diatribe against all that is worst in human nature, it has moments dipped in pure vitriol.
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.
By no means a great -- or even a particularly good -- movie, but its sustained nastiness shows a stunning disregard for box-office niceties.
Billy Wilder's take on human selfishness and callousness makes for one of the most angry and cynical films ever made.
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.
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.
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.
Douglas delivers desperation and a cynical rejection of humanity that is repulsive as it is mesmerizing.
Cynical classic looks better (and truer) every year.
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.
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.
Audience Reviews for Ace in the Hole (The Big Carnival)
Movies Like Ace in the Hole (The Big Carnival)
- Lorraine: [to Charles Tatum] I've met some hard boiled eggs in my time, but you... you're twenty minutes.
- Lorraine: Kneeling bags my nylons.
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