The Big Combo - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Big Combo Reviews

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January 23, 2019
A b list film film noir is not necessarily a bad thing. And that's the case here as a tight script and dynamic plot keeps things rolling along. Enough charisma in the lead roles help as does a very young Lee Van Fleet.

Lacking a bit of subtlety, nevertheless this is a hard-edged, entertaining trip into crime and misdemeanours Stateside.
Super Reviewer
½ August 18, 2018
A vicious underworld kingpin (Richard Conte)(and the best thing in the movie) likes his job okay, especially the killing whoever I want part. Cornel Wilde plays the cop out to stop him, while Lee Van Cleef and Earl Holliman are (of course, cause they always are) the evil unthinking henchmen. This saga, while it looks good, lacks pep, vim, and vigor. Time to get that Saturday afternoon nap in.
May 6, 2018
late night old school dopeness
½ November 1, 2017
Now that's a noir, a near perfect example of the genre all but left in the past with its dark settings, tough talk, uncompromising men and beautiful femme fatales. I love these low-budget noirs with fresh approach from the 50's like, for example, "Kiss Me Deadly". "The Big Combo" is a film that couldn't have been bad by definition having such an engaging plot. It only got better with careful direction, solid acting and wonderfully shot scenes in black-and-white, a true friend of film noir. Its characters are thought-out to the minute details and it's a pure pleasure to watch them engage with each other. Even such scenes as when the mob boss Mr. Brown is talking indirectly to Lt. Diamond through one of his man is a fascination.
May 30, 2017
I liked this gangster movie though the whole thing with the wife and trying to leverage her to testify against her husband was a bit hooky to me. Overall I enjoyed this crime drama. Obviously a precursor to better gangster movies.
June 12, 2016
good gangster/mob pic
December 4, 2015
The Big Combo is an old crime drama that was released early 1955. Its main storyline is the classic good vs evil plot. The director did a really good job of depicting certain dilemmas some of the main characters had with personal struggles to choose between right and wrong. One thing in this film that is portrayed well is that there is three different groups of people; the good guys, the bad guys, and then those who are bad who end up doing the right thing. The director did a good job expressing that even though you may be in a bad situation where you are involved with close friends, that it's never too late to make the right decision.
Lt. Diamond seems to be on a personal mission to make sure that he gets his man, Mr. Brown. Mr. Brown is the organized crime boss who has become extremely powerful and wealthy. I really enjoyed how the film portrays Mr. Brown. He is one evil guy, who appears to be heartless. Earlier on in the film Mr. Brown is talking to a boxer and is explaining to him what makes him so "successful" compared to others, his secret is hate. That is what has motivated him, that and power, money and girls. It was a very insightful scene into letting us see more into his life. Mr. Brown has two helpers, Mingo and Fante. They do everything that they are told from Mr. Brown. They are too loyal to such an evil man.
Lt. Diamond is portrayed as a typical cop in that he is a good guy who just wants the right thing done and works tirelessly to make sure that happens. He encounters many situations and setbacks, including that his own superior thinks he is wasting his time, trying to bring down Mr. Brown and how he has used too much money try to accomplish it. But in the end his hard work pays off.
Mr. Brown, as it first starts off, has a girlfriend who keeps trying to escape from him because she is mistreated. As she tries to escape over and over again Mingo and Fante are assigned to keep her on a tight leash. It gets to the point where his girlfriend takes some pills in order to try and kill herself. Luckily for her she gets taken to the hospital in time and survives. But as she was close to dying she repeated "Alicia" multiple times, which gives Lt. Diamond a new lead and even closer to bringing down Mr. Brown. It ends up that Alicia was Mr. Brown's ex-wife, who is in a crazy house because she witnessed so many evil things that Brown did. She ends up being of great help to Lt. Diamond.
Mr. Brown ends up losing patience and starts committing more crimes, so much so that Mingo and Fante have to hide in a hotel for a couple days in order to stay out of sight from the cops. They don't have much food and are surrounded by a lot of alcohol. Mr. Brown shows up one day to bring them food and lots of money so that they can escape and be able to live for a while. As they open the box of money, they realize that Mr. Brown put a bomb in the box and it explodes. Fante dies and Mingo is badly injured. At first Mingo is hesitant to rat out Mr. Brown even after he tries to kill them! But Mingo ended up telling the Lt. what happened. Brown is nowhere to be seen, but his ex-wife knows where he is hiding, at his private airport. Lt. Diamond final is able to get Mr. Brown.
½ July 1, 2015
Terrific Joseph H. Lewis film noir about determined cop Cornel Wilde investigating the mysterious disappearance/murder of mafia crime boss Richard Conte's wife from years earlier. Conte's new girlfriend, Jean Wallace who's quite good and an actress who I wasn't previously familiar with, doesn't know whether to people Wilde or Conte and is caught in the middle who to help. With a tough and at times sadistic script by Philip Yordan, this film is a real gem. Besides Wilde, Conte and Wallace you also get Brian Donlevy is a great supporting role as Conte's envious lieutenant. I really can't remember ever seeing Donlevy in such a hard edged role and he's amazing! I'd really have like to have seen him in more of these heavy type of roles. Lee Van Cleef is also memorable as one of Conte's two nasty thugs, Fante and Mingo. Top this all off with wonderful black & white photography from cinematographer John Alton and a score by "Laura" composer David Raskin add up to a real classic.
½ March 19, 2015
a very good film noir movie good story,jazz music and noir lighting and better in blueray.
November 28, 2014
Noir algo desprezado tem um vilão tão poderoso (Richard Conte é temível como Mr. Brown) que muitas vezes é difícil permanecer do lado do polícia persistente (um Cornel Wilde ao seu bom nível habitual). A excelente composição de preto e branco e um final esquecível são também vantagens.
½ November 7, 2014
A strange (and sometimes goofy), atmospheric (perhaps too atmospheric, too self-conscious) film noir, that at least does well to parallel police and organized crime characteristics and procedures (especially interrogation/torture).
½ July 10, 2014
Great acting and quintessential noir atmosphere make this a must-watch.
June 4, 2014
Magnificent light works really thats the gem of this movie ... Descent acting .. ok plot .. moderate violance
½ April 22, 2014
I feel it should be better than it is for some reason. Maybe a better lead or something would have helped.
½ March 30, 2014
ouch not as good as i expected it to be..
½ August 3, 2013
Richard Conte is surprisingly good as the crime boss, Mr. Brown in this average film noir.
February 20, 2013
Pretty good mobster movie for its time. Richard Conte did an amazing job and plot was very similar to the last gangster movies made.
December 9, 2012
Every now and then I'm reminded why I love film noir. The use of shadows and fog is dreamlike and mesmerizing and the character development is actually really good. The villain isn't as one-dimensional as you'd expect and the score is phenomenal. I love old school Hollywood classics, but they rarely have moments that take me by surprise, but this movie had a few of them. The grenade scene and the scene where Mr. Brown pulls out McClure's hearing aid in the alley were real "Oh Snap!" moments. The movie wasn't even over yet when I decided this was one of my favourite film noirs, and the final shot was absolutely jaw dropping.
Super Reviewer
October 24, 2012
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.
September 30, 2012
The ultimate film noir is Touch of Evil, but this one comes close.
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