Ace in the Hole (The Big Carnival) (1951) - Rotten Tomatoes

Ace in the Hole (The Big Carnival) (1951)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Ace in the Hole (The Big Carnival) Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

Billy Wilder's tale of a reporter (Kirk Douglas) who squeezes headlines from a mine cave-in. Jan Sterling, Porter Hall, Bob Arthur. Minosa: Richard Benedict. Ferderber: Frank Cady. Sheriff: Ray Teal.more
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Billy Wilder, Lesser Samuels, Walter Newman
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jul 17, 2007
Paramount Pictures


Kirk Douglas
as Charles Tatum
Jan Sterling
as Lorraine Minosa
Porter Hall
as Jacob Q. Boot
Bob Arthur
as Herbie Cook
Frank Cady
as Ferderber
Ray Teal
as Sheriff
Lewis Martin
as McCardle
John Berks
as Papa Minosa
Robert Arthur
as Herbie Cook
Frances Dominguez
as Mama Minosa
Gene Evans
as Deputy Sheriff
Frank Jaquet
as Smollett
Harry Harvey
as Dr. Hilton
Bob Bumpas
as Radio Announcer
Geraldine Hall
as Mrs. Federber
Paul D. Merrill
as Federber Boy
Edith Evanson
as Miss Deverich
Ralph Moody
as Kusac, the Miner
William Fawcett
as Sad-Faced Man
Frank Keith
as Fireman
Larry Hogan
as Television Announcer
Stanley McKay
as Reporter
Iron Eyes Cody
as Indian Copy Boy
Charles Griffin
as Mr. Wendel
Jack Roberts
as Newspaperman
William N. Peters
as Photographer
Chico Day
as Photographer
Lewis Martin
as McCardle
John Berkes
as Papa Minosa
Bob Bumps
as Radio Announcer
Bert Stevens
as Reporter
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Ace in the Hole (The Big Carnival)

Critic Reviews for Ace in the Hole (The Big Carnival)

All Critics (31) | Top Critics (8)

Ace in the Hole is a revelation, as timely now as when it was made.

Full Review… | August 29, 2014
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

A lurid pulp indictment of exploitation, opportunism, doctored intelligence, torture for profit, insatiable greed, and shady journalism.

Full Review… | January 9, 2007
Village Voice
Top Critic

As a diatribe against all that is worst in human nature, it has moments dipped in pure vitriol.

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | September 9, 2002
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | September 9, 2002
New York Times
Top Critic

"One hell of a whip-smart entertainment, sardonic and sad and always with the wisecracks."

Full Review… | October 1, 2015

Audience Reviews for Ace in the Hole (The Big Carnival)

A harsher indictment of modern culture might be impossible to find. Even the innocent in this film are bottom-feeding leeches who're no better than stopping traffic so that they can get a selfie of themselves at the scene of the accident. Douglas plays a guy not only aware of this but fully convinced that that's the way it should be. Billy Wilder had a axe to grind and he polishes that bad boy to a mirror sheen here. Not only a film but a humanities class as well.

Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

So powerful it made my eyes shed tears. A sucker punch in the soul, I never saw such incredible drama in sometime.

Lucas Martins
Lucas Martins

Super Reviewer

A Criterion Collection Film, Spime Number #396. Its one of the best I've seen from the collection.. Kirk Douglas plays a excellent part and though filmed in 1951, it shows how people are today. Out for one thing the big green dollar. Worth the rent or the purchase, in one word excellent. 5 Stars ( Revised 10-17-11)

Bruce Bruce

Super Reviewer

Ace in the Hole (The Big Carnival) Quotes

Lorraine: [to Charles Tatum] I've met some hard boiled eggs in my time, but you... you're twenty minutes.
– Submitted by Andy C (4 years ago)
Lorraine: Kneeling bags my nylons.
– Submitted by Blake J (4 years ago)

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