The Big Clock (1948)

Approved  |   |  Crime, Drama, Film-Noir  |  9 April 1948 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.7/10 from 5,155 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 »
0Check in

On Disc

at Amazon

Top 25 Trivia Items From the Last 25 Years

Here are some amazing facts and figures to deepen your appreciation of the movies you love.

See the full list

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 40 titles
created 28 Mar 2011
a list of 48 titles
created 30 Oct 2011
a list of 25 titles
created 10 months ago
a list of 33 titles
created 3 months ago
a list of 24 titles
created 1 month ago

Related Items

Search for "The Big Clock" on

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: The Big Clock (1948)

The Big Clock (1948) on IMDb 7.7/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Big Clock.

User Polls

2 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Criss Cross (1949)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

An armored truck driver and his lovely ex-wife conspire with a gang to have his own truck robbed on the route.

Director: Robert Siodmak
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Yvonne De Carlo, Dan Duryea
Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The rise and fall of Stanton Carlisle, a mentalist who's lies and deceit prove to be his downfall.

Director: Edmund Goulding
Stars: Tyrone Power, Joan Blondell, Coleen Gray
Gun Crazy (1950)
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A well meaning crack shot husband is pressured by his beautiful marksman wife to go on an interstate robbery spree, where he finds out just how depraved and deadly she really is.

Director: Joseph H. Lewis
Stars: John Dall, Peggy Cummins, Berry Kroeger
The Window (1949)
Drama | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

To avoid the heat of a sweltering summer night a 9 year old Manhattan boy decides to sleep on the fire escape and witnesses a murder, no one will believe him.

Director: Ted Tetzlaff
Stars: Bobby Driscoll, Barbara Hale, Arthur Kennedy
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Stephen Neale has just been released from an asylum during World War 2 in England when he stumbles on a deadly Nazi spy plot by accident, and tries to stop it.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Ray Milland, Marjorie Reynolds, Carl Esmond
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

When hired killer Philip Raven shoots a blackmailer and his beautiful female companion dead, he's is paid off in marked bills by his treasonous employer who is working with foreign spies.

Director: Frank Tuttle
Stars: Alan Ladd, Veronica Lake, Robert Preston
Crime | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

An ex-bomber pilot is suspected of murdering his unfaithful wife.

Director: George Marshall
Stars: Alan Ladd, Veronica Lake, William Bendix
The Killers (1946)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Hit men kill an unresisting victim, and investigator Reardon uncovers his past involvement with beautiful, deadly Kitty Collins.

Director: Robert Siodmak
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Ava Gardner, Edmond O'Brien
Crime | Film-Noir | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Det. Sgt. Mark Dixon wants to be something his old man wasn't: a guy on the right side of the law. But Dixon's vicious nature will get the better of him.

Director: Otto Preminger
Stars: Dana Andrews, Gene Tierney, Gary Merrill
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

After being hired to find an ex-con's former girlfriend, Philip Marlowe is drawn into a deeply complex web of mystery and deceit.

Director: Edward Dmytryk
Stars: Dick Powell, Claire Trevor, Anne Shirley
The Glass Key (1942)
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

During the campaign for reelection, the crooked politician Paul Madvig decides to clean up his past, refusing the support of the gangster Nick Varna and associating to the respectable ... See full summary »

Director: Stuart Heisler
Stars: Alan Ladd, Veronica Lake, Brian Donlevy
Crime | Film-Noir | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

An escaped convict, injured during a robbery, falls in love with the woman who nurses him back to health, but their relationship seems doomed from the beginning.

Director: Nicholas Ray
Stars: Cathy O'Donnell, Farley Granger, Howard Da Silva


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?


The novel on which this film is based was written by its author, poet Kenneth Fearing, as revenge on publisher Henry Luce and his "Time" magazine, where Fearing was obliged to work (for financial reasons) for many years. The fearsome Earl Janoth is often regarded as a libelous parody of Luce, although the book was given a rave review in "Time" when it was first published, as was the film. 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 »


Louise Patterson: [after George Stroud outbids her for a picture] Isn't it a pity... the wrong people always have money.
See more »


Edited into The Clock (2010) See more »


The Wearin' of the Green
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

The Problem of Publishers
4 March 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

For some reason (despite a tendency to join forces to protect the first amendment's freedom of speech), movies tend to make publishers look venal and awful. Even that most sympathetic of publishers, Charles Foster Kane, is a megalomaniac (albeit one robbed of a happy childhood). Look at the news publishers in "Five Star Final" or even "Unholy Partners"...anything for a story,for circulation, no matter who gets hurt by the publicity. Look at Walter Burns in all the versions of "The Front Page". Look at Sydney Kidd (Henry Daniell) in "The Philadelphia Story". In this film the publisher is a trifle closer to Charles Foster Kane. Earl Janoth does not own and run a newspaper or a magazine, but a whole empire of different magazines with names like "NewsWays" and "CrimeWays". He even centers it in one single building in New York City. And he has no doubt about his prominence. When his right hand man (George Macready) suggests he was not recognized by a witness, Janoth moans (a trifle loud for affect), "Everybody knows me." This film is a nice combination of film noir and study of a publishing empire. Kenneth Fearing had worked in advertising in a magazine, and had an idea of how they actually ran. His novel (which was recently published in the two volume edition on noir novels in the "Library of America" series of books) became a best seller and classic of that field of writing. The movie (with some changes) is a classic too. The issue of this film is can the hero (Ray Milland) manage to sabotage the investigation he is ordered by Janoth (Charles Laughton) to conduct, without Laughton or his ally Macready realizing he is the man they are seeking. It is done with style and comic timing (thanks to Elsa Lanchester, Philip Van Zandt, and several other character actors). Even Laughton and Macready are used for humor, although their characters are menacing. Macready has just set up the orders for Milland's investigation, and Milland (confused but trying to buy time), says "Right." Macready looks at him and says, "What do you mean "Right"?" And look at Laughton's silent reaction to Lanchester's portrait of the sort for witness Milland has to find.

This is one film noir that gets better with every new viewing. Watch it by all means.

27 of 31 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
The moustache! bbowman-7
No Way Out (1987) vs. The Big Clock (1948) H_Kivel
Big plot hole oldsaurora
Rita Johnson billellis
Excellent 40's 'film noir' thriller clive-38
Is There a Hidden Homage to 'Hitch,' Here? ange_gabb
Discuss The Big Clock (1948) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: