Ace in the Hole


Action / Drama / Film-Noir

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 89%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 93%
IMDb Rating 8.2 10 22230


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April 25, 2014 at 02:46 PM



Kirk Douglas as Chuck Tatum
Frank Cady as Al Federber
Ray Teal as Sheriff Gus Kretzer
Iron Eyes Cody as Indian Copy Boy
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
812.52 MB
23.976 fps
1hr 51 min
P/S 1 / 13
1.64 GB
23.976 fps
1hr 51 min
P/S 4 / 20

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by charlywiles 9 / 10

What good is a pair of deuces when you've got an ace in the hole.

The great director Billy Wilder scores again with this insightful, cynical and sardonic take on sensationalism in news reporting that was years ahead of its time. Kirk Douglas is excellent as the jaded reporter who is looking for his "turn at bat" and thinks he finds his meal ticket when a local yokel gets stuck in a tunnel inside an old Indian cliff dwelling and must be rescued. The human interest story soon creates a media circus with Douglas desperately trying to milk the story for all it is worth. The film is extremely well acted, with Jan Sterling as the victim's cold-hearted wife ("kneeling bags my nylons"), Porter Hall as the honest, small-town newspaper editor and Ray Teal as the opportunistic sheriff all standing out in support. This is a largely forgotten and neglected little gem that should not be missed.

Reviewed by HotToastyRag 10 / 10

A Movie That Really Matters

Billy Wilder, Lesser Samuels, and Walter Newman's screenplay was nominated during the 1952 Oscars, but no other element of Ace in the Hole was honored that year. For the life of me, I can't see how An American in Paris beat this masterpiece out of a golden statue.

Kirk Douglas plays a hotshot journalist who, due to his somewhat difficult personality, isn't working for a big newspaper anymore. The only job he can get is in the small town of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Kirk is desperate for a big story, and when Richard Benedict, a local townsman, gets trapped in an old coal mine, he decides to turn the accident to his advantage. Before long, other news outlets are jumping on the story and tourists are putting Albuquerque on the map.

Did you see All About Steve? Remember the second half of the film where Sandra Bullock gets trapped in the abandoned mine and all the newspeople exploit her situation for their own benefit? If you thought the social commentary aspect of that quirky comedy was interesting, you'll love Ace in the Hole. Granted, this movie is a heavy drama, so it's very different, but the story is one gigantic diatribe about people's selfish nature. Sometimes social commentary movies are tough to take because either the humor is distorted or the metaphors are too obvious, but Ace in the Hole nails it. This movie is fantastic, even though you'll probably feel like you need a shower afterwards.

Kirk Douglas gives a fantastic, multi-layered performance that's one of the best in his career. In my humble opinion-and this comes from decades of crushing on bad boys-no one makes anger look as good as Kirk Douglas. The sexual tension between him and Jan Sterling scorches off the screen. If you didn't think Kirk was a total hunk before, you absolutely will after watching this movie.

But enough about the eye candy. You've got plenty of other reasons to watch this film, and I recommend you do the next time you're in the mood for a movie that really matters.

Reviewed by Paul Kydd 8 / 10

Ace in the Hole (aka The Big Carnival) **** (8/10)

Available on Blu-ray Disc (Region B)

USA 1951 English (B&W); Drama/Mystery (Paramount); 111 minutes (PG certificate)

Crew includes: Billy Wilder (Director/Producer); Billy Wilder, Lesser Samuels, Walter Newman (Screenwriters); Charles B. Lang, Jr. (Cinematographer); Hal Pereira, Earl Hedrick (Art Directors); Arthur Schmidt (Editor); Hugo Friedhofer (Composer)

Cast includes: Kirk Douglas (Chuck Tatum), Jan Sterling (Lorraine Minosa), Bob Arthur (Herbie Cook), Porter Hall (Jacob Q. Boot), Frank Cady (Al Federber), Richard Benedict (Leo Minosa), Ray Teal (Sheriff Gus Kretzer), Frank Jaquet (Sam Smollett)

Academy Award nomination: Story/Screenplay

"Rough, tough Chuck Tatum, who battered his way to the top... trampling everything in his path - men, women and morals!"

Having talked his way into a tedious job on a small-town newspaper, an ambitious, hard-bitten reporter (Douglas) manipulates, and calculatingly drags out, a human interest story he stumbles across (man trapped in underground caves) for his own self-serving purpose (a desperate need to return to big-time, big city journalism), with tragic consequences, unknowingly assisted by the victim's less-than-heartbroken wife (Sterling).

A flop on release (even critically), in more recent years it has taken its rightful place as one of Wilder's (and Hollywood's) most uncompromising masterpieces, featuring a fearless Douglas at his blistering best.

The money lost by Paramount was recouped from profits from the director's next (hit) picture, STALAG 17.

Blu-ray Extras: Documentary, Interview, Trailer, Booklet. ***½ (7/10)

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