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The Big Knife [DVD]

Jack Palance , Ida Lupino , Paul Langton    Parental Guidance   DVD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
Price: 9.67 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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The Big Knife [DVD] + Kiss Me Deadly [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Jack Palance, Ida Lupino, Wendell Corey, Jean Hagen, Rod Steiger
  • Directors: Paul Langton
  • Producers: Frank de Vol
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Studiocanal
  • DVD Release Date: 31 Aug 2009
  • Run Time: 111 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002BC9YR0
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 59,542 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

The Hollywood studio system is the subject of director Robert Aldrich's amoral tale of greed and power. Film actor Charles Castle (Jack Palance) has made a successful career for himself by negotiating the swings and roundabouts of the star system. Now, refusing to sign a new long-term contract for movie mogul Stanley Hoff (Rod Steiger) brings him into direct conflict with the megalomaniacal studio boss. When the appeals of his agent fall on deaf ears, Hoff raises the ante, threatening blackmail with a lurid incident from the star's past.

Product Description

United Kingdom released, PAL/Region 2 DVD: LANGUAGES: English ( Dolby Digital Stereo ), SPECIAL FEATURES: Black & White, Interactive Menu, Scene Access, SYNOPSIS: From acclaimed director Robert Aldrich (The Dirty Dozen, Kiss Me Deadly) comes this classic noir thriller, set in the darkest underbelly of Hollywood. Charles Castle (Jack Palance) has it all. With fame, talent, and devastating looks, he is the studio's biggest star. But when disillusionment sets in and the actor wants to quit tinsel town, he finds himself in battle with inexorable studio boss Stanley Shriner Hoff (Rod Steiger). Reluctant to lose his hottest property, he is about to show Charles Castle just how ruthless Hollywood can be, as in a series of explosive showdowns, a murderous cover-up is revealed and Charles finds himself trapped by the dark secrets of his own past. The Big Knife is at once a fast paced Noir thriller, and a scathing, satirical attack on the morality of the film industry, with Steiger's outrageous and remarkable performance as the venal, tyrannical Hoff widely rumored to be based on the infamous studio bosses of the time. SCREENED/AWARDED AT: Venice Film Festival, ...The Big Knife ( Intimidad de una estrella )

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Failure is not Permitted here".... 8 May 2012
By Tim Kidner TOP 500 REVIEWER
Bel Air. The well-manicured area of LA where the successful actors, producers and directors in Hollywood live. So says the opening voice-over.

Jack Palance, not the obvious choice for a leading man (& director Robert Aldrich's lame excuse for the film's box office failure) has never been better, nor has he had such a meaty role. His portrayal of pent-up anger and frustration is powerful yet still believable.

He's the washed up star who's unravelling at the seams, wrestling with a dark secret and Rod Steiger, complete with blonde hairdo as his studio manager who is out to keep a lid on bad publicity at all costs. He will stop at nothing at getting a new contract signed.

Ida Lupino is also extremely fine as Charles Castle's (Palance) wife. Their marriage is on the rocks and she pleads that Charles takes the rest that he desperately needs and to not sign. She won't go back to him otherwise. There's good support from tease Shelley Winters and as Charles' agent, Everett Sloane plus Wendell Corey as a ruthless producer.

Much of the action takes place in the Castle's vast living room, nodding to the theatrics of the original play by Clifford Odets.

This is a slow-burning, quite talky, intelligent character-led and well scripted study of Hollywood's mechanics - its layers of people. Not as flashy or melodramatic as some and certainly not as well known, but still directed with surety and skill. Today's viewer will have to adjust to the pace and style but that's easy and the rewards to those attuned can be high.

There's enough depth to the material for a second viewing, which helps bring out the characters even more vividly. The DVD's transfer is excellent, with no visible flaws, good contrast and very good sound, with just a hint of hiss at high volumes.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Bravo Jack Palance 7 April 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I was amazed at the superb quality of Jack Palance's acting. The film is extremely hard-hitting and still relevant today.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Big Knife 7 Jan 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Quite obvious that this was a play rather than a movie - and would possibly work in that medium. A little unbelievable and self-regarding in terms of the 'Hollywood' story; it is just too hard to buy the premise of Palance playing a vulnerable & believable 'Luvvie'. One did not feel enough genuine sympathy for him due to the far-fetched and stretched to breaking point nature of the storyline. Although Steiger is a favourite actor from the period, his turn at being both camp and menacing falls very short of his usually captivating standard.

Pretty disappointed really as like both the main actors very much - if you have a few quid, it would be better to invest in another noir. It seems that Hollywood stuchk the prefix 'The Big...' to anything in those days and this was a selling point.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A FILMED PLAY 25 Oct 2013
With lapino palance and steiger u would expect fireworks but this film is v static and steigers role comes over hammy and camp.neverthelers palace is at his most handsome and lapino looks great.could of been so much better
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4 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Big Knife 5 Sep 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Classic thriller brought back memories from when i seen it on the cinema in the 50's
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