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 5,219 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

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 7.5/10 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
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
Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A woman planning to testify against the mob must be protected against their assassins on the train trip from Chicago to Los Angeles.

Director: Richard Fleischer
Stars: Charles McGraw, Marie Windsor, Jacqueline White
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
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
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 | 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
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
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 | 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


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?


A 'fin' is $5 in American slang. See more »


At the magazine staff meeting right after an investigator has visited Louise Patterson and gotten the name of "the blonde woman", the shadow of the boom microphone can be seen moving on the upper left of the chalkboard frame. See more »


Pauline York: You know, Earl has a passion for obscurity. He won't even have his biography in 'Who's Who'.
George Stroud: Sure. He doesn't want to let his left hand know whose pocket the right one is picking.
See more »


Referenced in L.A. Noire (2011) See more »


The Wearin' of the Green
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

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.

18 of 20 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: