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Thumbnail for Ace in the Hole (1951) Ace in the Hole (1951)

Basics Critics:71Viewers:73Rusty:78
Category: Drama, Mystery/Noir/ThrillerNotable as: Film noirSub-Category: drama film, film noirNarrative location: New MexicoRuntime: 111 minutesLanguage: English, Spanish, LatinCountry: United StatesFilming location: New MexicoDirector: Billy WilderScreenwriter: Billy Wilder, Walter Newman, Lesser SamuelsMusic: Hugo FriedhoferCinematography: Charles LangStars: Kirk Douglas, Jan Sterling, Porter Hall, Robert Arthur, Frank Cady, Richard Benedict, Ray Teal, Lewis Martin, John Berkes, Frances Dominguez Producer: Billy WilderAward nominations: Academy Award for Best Writing, Original Screenplay (Billy Wilder, Lesser Samuels, Walter Newman)Award details: (details at IMDb)

Ace in the Hole is a 1951 American film noir starring Kirk Douglas as a cynical, disgraced reporter who stops at nothing to try to regain a job on a major newspaper. It marked a series of firsts for auteur Billy Wilder: it was the first time he was involved in a project as a writer, producer, and director; his first film following his breakup with long-time writing partner Charles Brackett, with whom he had collaborated on The Lost Weekend and Sunset Boulevard, among others; and his first film to be a critical and commercial failure. The story is a biting examination of the seedy relationship between the press, the news it reports and the manner in which it reports it. Without consulting Wilder, Paramount Pictures executive Y. Frank Freeman changed the title to The Big Carnival just prior to its release. Early television broadcasts retained that title, but when aired by Turner Classic Movies—and when released on DVD by The Criterion Collection in July 2007—it reverted to Ace in the Hole.

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