The Big Heat
A hard cop and a soft dame.
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- Digitally Mastered Audio and Video
- Languages: English and French
- Subtitles in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Korean, and Thai
- Theatrical Trailers
- Rated: Not Rated
- Run Time: 1 hours, 29 minutes
- Video: Black & White
- Released: December 18, 2001
- Originally Released: 1953
- Label: Sony Pictures
- Encoding: Region 1 (USA & Canada)
- Packaging: Keep Case
- Aspect Ratio: Full Frame - 1.33
- Dolby Digital Mono - English, French
- Additional Release Material:
- THE BIG HEAD
- THE LADY FROM SHANGHAI
- SUDDENLY LAST SUMMER
- Interactive Menus
- Scene Selection
Performers, Cast and Crew:
|Performer:||Gloria Grahame, Jocelyn Brando, Lee Marvin, Alexander Scourby, Jeanette Nolan, Peter Whitney, Willis Bouchey & Robert Burton|
|Directed by||Fritz Lang|
|Edited by||Charles Nelson|
|Screenwriting by||Sydney Boehm|
|Composition by||Daniele Amfitheatrof|
|Produced by||Robert Arthur|
|Director of Photography:||Charles Lang|
Memorable Quotes and Dialog:
- Debbie to Bannion in regards to his hotel room
"We're sisters under the mink."
- Debbie to Bertha
...Among the best movies Fritz Lang made in America after fleeing the Nazis. It's certainly the toughest...
Rating: 4/4 -- That's the beauty of Lang's moral ambidexterity. He tells the story of a heroic cop, while using it to mask another story, so much darker, beneath. Full Review
Above all, it is directed with a dramatic incisiveness, a sharp-edged observation that keeps the pitch of interest and excitement continuously high. Full Review
Sight and Sound
5 stars out of 5 -- THE BIG HEAT has aged best, achieving an emotional force rare in the crime genre, and almost unparalleled in Lang's own oeuvre.
Rating: 5/5 -- The film is drum-tight, directed with muscular clarity and force. Full Review
Rating: 5/5 -- Extremes of light/shade are tight-focused in ace turns from a malignant Lee Marvin and vivacious Gloria Grahame, while Lang's direction kicks hard: just like a shot of hot, black coffee. Full Review
Lang strips down William P McGivern's novel to essentials, giving the story a narrative drive as efficient and powerful as a handgun. Full Review
Description by OLDIES.com:
Ruthless criminals, a dedicated honest cop, sultry women and a gripping plot - all the elements of a classic police action-drama are here in full force. Police Sergeant Bannion (Glenn Ford) is investigating the apparent suicide of a corrupt cop, then is suddenly ordered to stop - and The Big Heat is on. Driven to unravel the mystery, Bannion continues probing until an explosion meant for him, kills his wife. He resigns from the force and soon learns that behind it all is the powerful underworld led by Mike Lagana (Alexander Scourby) and his cold-blooded henchman, Vince Stone (Lee Marvin). When Stone's girl Debby (Gloria Grahame) makes a play for Bannion, Stone disfigures her face. In revenge, she tells all she knows. Ultimately, Bannion and Stone square off in a life-or-death confrontation.
THE BIG HEAT, Fritz Lang's most celebrated American film, is a chilling and violent tale of corruption, vengeance, and loss. Dave Bannion, played by distinguished Film Noir actor Glenn Ford, is an upright but unscrupulous cop on the trail of a vicious gang he suspects holds power over the police force. Bannion is tipped off after a colleague's suicide and his fellow officers' suspicious silence lead him to believe that they are on the gangsters' payroll. When a bomb meant for him kills his wife instead, Bannion becomes a furious force of vengeance and justice, aided along the way by the gangster's spurned girlfriend Debbie (Gloria Grahame). As Bannion and Debbie fall further and further into the Gangland's insidious and brutal trap, they must use any means necessary (including murder) to get to the truth. The violence comes suddenly and unrelentingly, as Lang explodes the stripped down story with economic yet forceful cinematography and editing, and gritty yet emotionally gripping performances from Ford and Grahame.
One of the most classic of the film noir genre and one of the darkest and most violent, as well. A bomb goes off and although it was meant to kill a detective, someone else dies in his place. Now he's determined to catch whoever is responsible; unfortunately, the more he searches and the more he learns, the more it seems like the culprits might be the police themselves.
- Theatrical Release: October 6, 1953
- THE BIG HEAT was filmed in Hollywood, California.
- Sydey Boehm, who wrote the screenplay for THE BIG HEAT, worked for fourteen years as a crime reporter for The New York Evening Journal, before moving to Hollywood.
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