Bigger Than Life

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.



Total Count: 28


Audience Score

User Ratings: 1,639
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Movie Info

A seriously ill schoolteacher becomes dependent on a "miracle" drug that begins to affect his sanity.


James Mason
as Ed Avery
Barbara Rush
as Mrs. Lou Avery
Walter Matthau
as Wally Gibbs
Robert F. Simon
as Dr. Norton
Christopher Olsen
as Richie Avery
Roland Winters
as Dr. Rurich
Rusty Lane
as La Porte
Kipp Hamilton
as Pat Wade
Betty Caulfield
as Mrs. La Porte
Virginia Carroll
as Mrs. Jones
Renny McEvoy
as Mr. Jones
Billy Jones
as Mr. Byron
Natalie Masters
as Mrs Tyndal
Lewis Charles
as Dr MacLennan
Gus Schilling
as Druggist
Alex Frazer
as Clergyman
Mary Carver
as Saleslady
Eugenia Paul
as Saleslady
Nan Dolan
as Dr. Norton's Nurse
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Critic Reviews for Bigger Than Life

All Critics (28) | Top Critics (8) | Fresh (26) | Rotten (2)

Audience Reviews for Bigger Than Life

  • Apr 11, 2016
    Bigger Than Life is far more than a tale of a man turned insane by drugs. Rather, Bigger Than Life is an amazing, often times disturbing critique of social class, conformity, and traditional roles in America. Bigger Than Life is an underrated masterpiece. It's a film that is not only powerful in the context of its release, but it is one that remains every bit as powerful today because its themes, sadly, still remain relevant. This is a movie that everyone should see.
    Joey T Super Reviewer
  • Jan 30, 2013
    One of the earliest and powerful discussions on mental illness and how it impacts the typical 50s suburban family. James Mason is wonderful under Nicholas Ray's direction. Kudos as well to a supporting cast that does it's best to keep the family norms together as the patriarch slowly descends into madness.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Oct 17, 2011
    The film is a striking portrait of the rampant paranoia running through peoples mind in the 1950s, but James Mason's powerful performance as a man reaching breaking point and Barbara Rush as the put-upon wife can a strike a chord with audiences anytime today.
    Quinto W Super Reviewer
  • Mar 10, 2011
    Amazing symbolic and the case of psychosis gets to insane levels nearing the end of the film making tension build throughout the movie. Not the easiest film to watch but one definitely worth watching! Highly Recommended!
    Chris B Super Reviewer

Bigger Than Life Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

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