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Ace in the Hole [Region 2] [import]

Kirk Douglas , Jan Sterling , Billy Wilder    DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
Price: £14.59
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Frequently Bought Together

Ace in the Hole [Region 2] [import] + Stalag 17 [1952] [DVD] [1953]
Price For Both: £17.84

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Product details

  • Actors: Kirk Douglas, Jan Sterling, Robert Arthur
  • Directors: Billy Wilder
  • Format: Import, Black & White, PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Dubbed: Castilian, English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Unrated (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Studio: Paramount
  • Run Time: 107 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000T2JHTY
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 105,162 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



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4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
"Don't worry, Leo. I'm your pal." That's Chuck Tatum speaking. He's a hot-shot big city reporter who has been fired from every top paper he's ever worked for. Now he's hit bottom. He works for the Albuquerque Sun=Bulletin, a small town daily which puts yard sales on its front page. Tatum needs the job, but he's determined to find that one big ticket story that'll put him back in New York. The man he's talking to is going to be that big ticket. His name is Leo Mimosa, owner of the desolate, dusty Mimosa's Indian Curios ("Gas and Oil, Drinks on Ice") in Escudero, in New Mexico's high desert. Leo is currently 300 feet underground, trapped in a cave-in while looking for ancient Indian pots he can sell for a few hundred dollars. In the next 111 minutes, covering five or so days, we're going to experience so much corruption of the soul, misplaced trust and consuming ambition...leavened by so little humanity...that we'll want to take a bath afterwards. This is one of director Billy Wilder's greatest pictures. For me, it's permeated not by Wilder's famously sardonic outlook toward humanity but by the inevitability of commonplace tragedy. That there are only one or two people we might think well of isn't so much a limitation as an element that sharpens the fascination with great story-telling combined with vivid acting.

While Tatum controls his big story, and while Leo becomes increasingly desperate, to the point of believing Tatum is his only friend, we encounter a cast of characters who are either stupid and venal or sly and venal. Top of the list is Tatum, himself. Kirk Douglas gives an utterly believable portrait of a man, excellent at his job, who can taste the big-time again and is determined to do whatever it takes to achieve it.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent presentation of a great film 9 Aug 2007
Ace In The Hole was written, produced & directed by American cinema legend Billy Wilder in 1951 following his success with `Sunset Boulevard'. Wilder only began directing in order to protect his scripts and this film is testament to that. Ace In The Hole is as bitingly cynical and pessimistic a film you'll get. I rate it alongside `Sweet Smell Of Success' (1957, Mackendrick) and `Network' (1976, Lumet) for its bleak vision of the media and our complicity in it. Kirk Douglas stars in what has to be regarded as one of his greatest performances as irredeemable reporter Charles Tatum who'll stop at nothing for a story. No punches are pulled here; this is hard-boiled with some excellent memorable dialogue. Cinematography was by Charles B. Lang (A Foreign Affair; Some Like It Hot; The Big Heat).

Criterion have excelled again with this wonderful presentation boasting a superb transfer with excellent contrast as well as many extras including an informative commentary. Other extras are included on a bonus disc.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An ace in Billy Wilder's output. 17 July 2007
This is another classic Billy Wilder movie which,like Kiss Me Stupid, was sorely underestimated when first released. Whereas the public of the time was not ready for a comedy like 'Kiss' with its controversial moral values, this drama punched too hard at the American way and cynical journalism. This is one of the four best films Kirk Douglas made (the other three are Paths of Glory, Lonely Are The Brave and Spartacus). I have been waiting a long time for this one and the only work of Wilder's I would give it up for is the Peter Sellars footage of Kiss Me Stupid (dream on). Billy Wilder's films range from (with the exception of Buddy Buddy)very good to great and this is undoubtedy in the latter category. Anyone interested in well made intelligent films (the kind where you get really annoyed at the moronic voice overs at the end credit roll when they are shown on TV) should give this one top priority.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Among Billy Wilder's work, this and Stalag 17 stood out as one's that I needed to see that have been long unavailable in the UK. Stalag 17 will have to wait - looking at you here, Masters of Cinema - but Ace in the Hole was a marvel. This 1951 is the most perfectly volatile satire of journalism I've ever seen - to be this frighteningly relevant 63 years later is incredible.

Upon finding a man trapped under a burial mound on the way to a rattlesnake hunt, Chuck Tatum (Douglas) manipulates the situation, prolonging it however he can to further his career. As the one sparky line of dialogue states, “I can handle big news and little news. And if there's no news, I'll go out and bite a dog”. The man has no shame and Kirk Douglas gives the most urgent and passionate performance of his career as this man with no morality, the perfect capsule of everything wrong with modern journalism. Best of all, Tatum doesn't go through an awakening, realising the folly of his ways. No, the only awakening he goes through is the one when he realises he's fudged his career - Wilder is 100% committed to this cause. The sharp intelligence of Ace in the Hole is another Masterpiece from one of the best American directors of all.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars 5 stars for the film, one for this DVD 3 Dec 2013
By Celia
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This version I bought is aimed at the Asian market so I was not surprised that it contained a dubbed Chinese option as well as the original English. However, what I was not expecting was the inability to play this disc without subtitles. One has to chose English, simplified Chinese and Mandarin with no Subtitles Off option, I viewed it with simplified Chinese as being the least intrusive but I would not have bought this version if this state of affairs had been flagged up.
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