Ace in the Hole 1951

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(13) IMDb 8.2/10
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A cave collapse in New Mexico traps a man, and all eyes turn toward the tragedy, including those of Charles "Chuck" Tatum (Kirk Douglas), a washed-up newspaper reporter who sees the incident as a ticket back to his former days at the top of the journalism heap. As the media circus begins to swirl around the trapped man's plight, Tatum takes command of the situation, embellishing the unfolding drama and prolonging the rescue effort - while feeding stories to the nation's reporters clamoring to cover the event. He's become the self-anointed mastermind behind what soon becomes a national media sensation - and he's desperately determined to milk it for all it is worth. Celebrated director Billy Wilder (Sunset Boulevard, Stalag 17, The Apartment) mixes gritty cynicism with a superb cast - Douglas, Jan Sterling (The High and the Mighty), Robert Arthur (Just For You), Frank Cady (The Bad Seed) - in this powerful, fascinating study of the dark side of the human soul.

Starring:
Frank Cady, Richard Benedict
Rental Formats:
DVD, Blu-ray

ACE IN THE HOLE

Product Details

Discs
  • Feature parental_guidance
Runtime 1 hour 51 minutes
Starring Frank Cady, Richard Benedict, John Berkes, Frances Dominguez, Jan Sterling, Robert Arthur, Ray Teal, Lewis Martin, Porter Hall, Kirk Douglas
Director Billy Wilder
Genres Drama
Studio EUREKA ENTERTAINMENT
Rental release 5 May 2014
Main languages English
Discs
  • Feature parental_guidance
Runtime 1 hour 51 minutes
Starring Frank Cady, Richard Benedict, John Berkes, Frances Dominguez, Jan Sterling, Robert Arthur, Ray Teal, Lewis Martin, Porter Hall, Kirk Douglas
Director Billy Wilder
Genres Drama
Studio EUREKA ENTERTAINMENT
Rental release 5 May 2014
Main languages English

Customer Reviews

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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By C. O. DeRiemer HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 3 Nov 2007
Format: DVD
"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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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Nobody VINE VOICE on 9 Aug 2007
Format: DVD
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 By Mr. Charles R. Day on 17 July 2007
Format: DVD
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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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By J. Lovins TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 22 Dec 2010
Format: DVD
The Criterion Collection presents "ACE IN THE HOLE" (1951) (111 min/B&W) (Fully Restored/Dolby Digitally Remastered) -- Also released as "The Big Carnival", this disturbing noir tells of a frustrated former big-city journalist who is now stuck working for a small Albuquerque newspaper --- He sees his chance of returning to the big time when he exploits a story about a man trapped in a cave, but the situation quickly escalates into an out-of-control circus.

Oscar nominated for Best Screenplay --- Powerful portrayal by Kirk Douglas joining "Detective Story" of the same year as two of the very best from Kirk.

Under the production staff of:
Billy Wilder [Director/Screenplay/Producer]
Lesser Samuels [Screenwriter]
Walter Newman [Screenwriter]
Victor Desny [Story]
William Schorr [Associate Producer]
Hugo Friedhofer [Original Film Score]
Charles Lang [Cinematographer]
Arthur P. Schmidt [Film Editor]

BIOS:
1. Billy Wilder [Director]
Date of Birth: 22 June 1906 - Sucha, Galicia, Austria-Hungary [now Sucha Beskidzka, Malopolskie, Poland]
Date of Death: 27 March 2002 - West Los Angeles, California

2. Kirk Douglas [aka: Issur Danielovitch Demsky]
Date of Birth: 9 December 1916 - Amsterdam, New York
Date of Death: Still Living

3. Jan Sterling [aka: Jane Sterling Adriance]
Date of Birth: 3 April 1921 - New York City, New York
Date of Death: 26 March 2004, Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California

the cast includes:
Kirk Douglas - Chuck Tatum
Jan Sterling - Lorraine Minosa
Robert Arthur - Herbie Cook (as Bob Arthur)
Porter Hall - Jacob Q. Boot
Frank Cady - Mr.
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