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Criterion Collection: Ace in the Hole [Blu-ray] [1951] [US Import]

Kirk Douglas , Robert Arthur    Blu-ray
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
Price: £18.26
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Frequently Bought Together

Criterion Collection: Ace in the Hole [Blu-ray] [1951] [US Import] + Violent Saturday (Eureka Classics) (Dual Format Edition) [Blu-ray + DVD] [1955] + Boomerang! (Masters of Cinema) (Dual Format Edition) [Blu-ray + DVD] [1947]
Price For All Three: £44.83

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Product details

  • Actors: Kirk Douglas, Robert Arthur, Frank Cady, Porter Hall
  • Format: Black & White
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Classification: Unrated (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Studio: Criterion
  • DVD Release Date: 6 May 2014
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00IGK6T9W
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 106,549 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 18 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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8 of 10 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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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shame on you, the Human Race 13 Sep 2014
By Val G
A little known film classic. Only just available on DVD from Lovefilm and long awaited. Although somewhat stereotypical of 50s America, it encapsulates the rubber necking mentality within so many of us and the brutal, fly-by-night necromancy of the press. T

The first family to 'turn up' at the scene of Leo's misfortune are also one of the last to depart and the women in this family cries as they pack up to leave after Leo's death. Why? Is it a) because she feels for Leo and his family, b) because she feels the shame of her own cruelly voyeuristic ways or c) because she has now to return to her own mundane, workaday life and, both literally and symbolically, leave the carnival behind? I suspect it's a mixture of all three, and sums up the mood of the film.

If exploding cars don't do it for you (and let's face it, there's more to Cinema than the ubiquitous exploding car) and you like your movies to be a little more thought-provoking, watch Ace in the Hole.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By J. Lovins TOP 1000 REVIEWER
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]

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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Ace in the hole
Great film! Douglas in top form.
Published 5 days ago by Lisa J.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A classic film
Published 1 month ago by Robert Hardwick
5.0 out of 5 stars To be this frighteningly relevant 63 years later is incredible
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. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Rob Simpson
1.0 out of 5 stars 5 stars for the film, one for this DVD
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. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Celia
5.0 out of 5 stars ACE IN THE HOLE dvd
Ace in the Hole is a typical Billy Wilder masterpiece from this golden period.A story of a journalists total coruption and exploitation (so whats new?). Read more
Published 20 months ago by Mr. Malcolm J. Greaves
5.0 out of 5 stars ace in the hole
cd arrived well packed and when it was supposed to film was of a top quality regards picture no problems regards ths item.
Published on 8 July 2011 by patrick
5.0 out of 5 stars An Ageless Classic
This film was made by Billy Wilder between his film noir period of "Double Indemnity"/"Sunset Boulevard"
and his comedy period of "Some Like It Hot"/"The Apartment". Read more
Published on 24 Dec 2010 by B. Ying
5.0 out of 5 stars An ace in Billy Wilder's output
This is another classic Billy Wilder movie which, like Kiss Me Stupid, was sorely underestimated on its initial release. Read more
Published on 28 July 2007 by Mr. Charles R. Day
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