Ace in the Hole (The Big Carnival)


Ace in the Hole (The Big Carnival)

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.



Total Count: 30


Audience Score

User Ratings: 6,160
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Ace in the Hole (The Big Carnival) 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.

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

All Critics (30) | Top Critics (7)

  • In a lesser movie, Tatum would share our sympathy for the pathetic man. Here, he's on a parabola in that direction but wants it to intersect with the moment of his own greatest fame.

    Feb 21, 2019 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…
  • Ace in the Hole is a revelation, as timely now as when it was made.

    Aug 29, 2014 | Full Review…
  • A lurid pulp indictment of exploitation, opportunism, doctored intelligence, torture for profit, insatiable greed, and shady journalism.

    Jan 9, 2007 | Full Review…
  • As a diatribe against all that is worst in human nature, it has moments dipped in pure vitriol.

    Feb 9, 2006 | Full Review…
    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.

    Sep 9, 2002 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    Sep 9, 2002 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

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

  • Oct 17, 2016
    It's an overlooked, rarely mentioned film, but it's probably Billy Wilder's best, and darkest, satire. Kirk Douglas is outstanding. And the movie is more relevant today than ever. Find it. Watch it.
    Joe S Super Reviewer
  • Jul 25, 2016
    Controversial at the time of its release, and considered a classic today, Ace in the Hole not only benefits from one of Kirk Douglas' best performances, nor from Billy Wilder's exceptional direction, both in terms of performances and visuals. Rather, Ace in the Hole rings so true today because its screenplay remains as relevant today as it did back in 1951. Its commentary on journalism, and the emphasis that we place on stories rather than individual human lives, is effectively unsettling. Furthermore, the amount of subtext that the film has on issues such as feminism, human intimacy, and greed are equally as powerful. Ace in the Hole lives up to its name. It is a timeless masterpiece that should be seen by everyone.
    Joey T Super Reviewer
  • Mar 10, 2016
    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. W Super Reviewer
  • Feb 17, 2016
    A brilliant film and as relevant today as ever it was.
    Marcus W Super Reviewer

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