movie film review | chris tookey

Ace In The Hole / The Big Carnival

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  Ace In The Hole  / The Big Carnival Review
Tookey's Rating
8 /10
Average Rating
8.50 /10
Kirk Douglas , Jan Sterling , Bob Arthur
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Directed by: Billy Wilder
Written by: Billy Wilder, Lesser Samuels, Walter Newman

Released: 1951
Genre: DRAMA
Origin: US
Length: 111

An unscrupulous journalist (Kirk Douglas, pictured) delays rescue of a cave-in victim (Richard Benedict).

Reviewed by Chris Tookey

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Billy Wilder's mordant masterpiece, featuring one of Kirk Douglas's finest performances, was very unpopular on release. As Wilder says, “Americans expected a cocktail and felt I was giving them a shot of vinegar instead”. Although often regarded as an attack on gutter journalists, it’s just as cruelly accurate when satirising the morbid mob psychology that creates the demand for gutter journalism.
"I think Ace in the Hole is one of Billy Wilder's best pictures. It was a hit in the rest of the world, but it wasn't doing well in the United States, so they changed the title to The Big Carnival . I think the reason it wasn't successful here was the newspapers. The unfavorable reviews of this movie about an unscrupulous newspaper reporter — based on a true incident, the Floyd Collins case, where a reporter actually kept a man down in a mine — were written by newspaper reporters. Critics love to criticize, but they don't like being criticized. Also, Billy Wilder was saying to Mr and Mrs Average, 'This is you, the people who stop and stare at accidents.'"
(Kirk Douglas)

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