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The Big Clock (1948)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 9 April 1948 (USA)
When powerful publishing tycoon Earl Janoth 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 ... See full summary »

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(screenplay), (novel)
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2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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...
...
...
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...
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Ray Cordette
...
Bill Womack (as Henry Morgan)
...
Nat Sperling
Elaine Riley ...
Lily Gold
Luis Van Rooten ...
Edwin Orlin
...
McKinley
...
Burt
Margaret Field ...
Second Secretary
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Storyline

When powerful publishing tycoon Earl Janoth 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 happens 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" Janoth, to elude the police and to find proof of his innocence and Janoth's guilt. Written by Ron Kerrigan

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Unanimously acclaimed as the super-suspense hit! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

9 April 1948 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Spiel mit dem Tode  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

"Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on November 22, 1948 with Ray Milland and Maureen O'Sullivan reprising their film roles. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Earl Janoth: [talking on intercom to Steve Hagen] On the fourth floor - in the broom closet - a bulb has been burning for several days. Find the man responsible, dock his pay.
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Connections

Version of No Way Out (1987) See more »

Soundtracks

The Wearin' of the Green
(uncredited)
Traditional
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User Reviews

 
"The Big Clock" delivers BIG suspense
11 February 2009 | by (Greensboro, NC) – See all my reviews

I thoroughly enjoyed this film. I'm not sure I would categorize it a noir as much as I would a Mystery/suspense film. But whatever you call it, I call it a great way to spend 95 minutes. I can't recall a film that does a better job of building the suspense as this one. I was on the edge of my seat for the entire last half of the film.

The film makes great use of irony to help achieve this - in that the lead character, George Stroud (Ray Milland), is called upon to search for a wanted man - who turns out to be himself. He is mistakenly believed to be the killer of his boss' mistress, when in reality, it is the boss, Earl Janoth (Charles Laughton), who is the guilty party. It is a classic cat and mouse game - except that instead of searching for the "Randolph" character, Stroud is actually trying to find the real killer so as to clear his own name.

Stroud is literally surrounded on all sides by people who could identify him as the man who was with the murdered mistress on the night she was killed. He is running for his life within his own office building trying to avoid being identified. I love how the painting and the artist are used in the story. Elsa Lanchester was a true gem and quite a funny character. It's interesting to note that she was married to Charles Laughton. They certainly make an odd pair - especially in light of the fact of his known homosexuality.

Another married couple from the film was actress Maureen O'Sullivan, who played Stroud's wife, and Director John Farrow. They were married for 27 years (until his death) and had 7 children together, including Mia Farrow. Maureen and Mia appeared together in HANNAH AND HER SISTERS (1986).

Overall, a very good movie with a talented cast.


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