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The Big Clock (1948)

Approved  |   |  Crime, Drama, Film-Noir  |  9 April 1948 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 5,133 users  
Reviews: 62 user | 35 critic

A career oriented magazine editor finds himself on the run when he discovers his boss is framing him for murder.



(screenplay), (novel), 1 more credit »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Earl Janoth
Steve Hagen
Rita Johnson ...
Pauline York
Louise Patterson
Harold Vermilyea ...
Don Klausmeyer
Dan Tobin ...
Ray Cordette
Bill Womack (as Henry Morgan)
Richard Webb ...
Nat Sperling
Elaine Riley ...
Lily Gold
Luis Van Rooten ...
Edwin Orlin
Lloyd Corrigan ...
Frank Orth ...
Margaret Field ...
Second Secretary


When powerful publishing tycoon Earl Janouth commits an act of murder at the height of passion, he cleverly begins to cover his tracks and frame an innocent man, whose identity he doesn't know, but who just happen to have contact with the murder victim. That man is a close associate on his magazine whom he enlists to trap this "killer" George Stroud. It's up to George to continue to "help" Janouth, to elude the police and to find proof of his innocence and Janouth's guilt. Written by Ron Kerrigan

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The strangest and most savage manhunt in history!


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

9 April 1948 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A nagy óra  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


"Screen Director's Playhouse" broadcast a 30 minute radio adaptation of the movie on July 8, 1949 with Ray Milland and Maureen O'Sullivan reprising their film roles. See more »


At the beginning of the scene just after the scene where the investigator trips on a roller skate on the stairs, there is a blackboard where they are listing crime clues. The shadow of the boom microphone is seen moving down the left side of the blackboard. This appears on an HD resolution TV image on the Turner Classic Movie channel--not a DVD--and is clearly several inches into the original camera frame. See more »


George Stroud: I thought he was only interested in clocks?
Pauline York: Maybe I have a clock.
See more »


Version of Police Python 357 (1976) See more »


I'm in the Mood for Love
Music by Jimmy McHugh
source music heard when Pauline first meets George at the bar
See more »

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User Reviews

Noir fans have found a hidden gem
10 October 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The Big Clock, starring Ray Milland and Charles Laughton, is a great black and white thriller in every way. Unlike many noirs of it's time, it's not a B movie. The lighting, sets, talent and camera-work are top notch. The acting is perfect, as would be expected with a cast like this. Milland is charming and easy to route for. In fact, I usually find him kind of stiff - a little to up tight and proper. Here he seems to be a real guy with real problems. Milland was most famously known for playing an alcoholic three years earlier. In a kind of nod to that "lost weekend" there's a fun scene of him going on a bender in Manhattan - with unforeseen results. Like all noirs, a small wrong decision becomes a bigger and bigger problem latter on. When Milland decides to hang out with a hot blonde instead of going home to his wife, you just know he's gonna get into big trouble. And boy does he. The big trouble is Laughton.

I've always enjoyed Charles "Capt. Bligh" Laughton. He was such a good actor. In The Big Clock he manages to be fascinating and loathsome playing the media empire kingpin. His character has no morals, and it's fun to watch him work. He clearly enjoyed himself making this film.

Oh, and isn't Elsa Lanchester great as the crazy artist? Everyone know's Lanchester. She wore the most famous hairdos in movie history.

Remade as No Way Out with Costner and Hackman in the leads.

17 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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