8.2/10
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146 user 129 critic

Ace in the Hole (1951)

Not Rated | | Drama, Film-Noir | 29 June 1951 (USA)
A frustrated former big-city journalist now stuck working for an Albuquerque newspaper exploits a story about a man trapped in a cave to re-jump start his career, but the situation quickly escalates into an out-of-control circus.

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Herbie Cook (as Bob Arthur)
Porter Hall ...
...
Al Federber
Richard Benedict ...
Leo Minosa
...
Lewis Martin ...
McCardle
John Berkes ...
Papa Minosa
Frances Dominguez ...
Mama Minosa
Gene Evans ...
Deputy Sheriff
Frank Jaquet ...
Sam Smollett
...
Dr. Hilton
Bob Bumpas ...
Radio Announcer
Geraldine Hall ...
Nellie Federber
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Storyline

Charles Tatum, a down-on-his-luck reporter, takes a job with a small New Mexico newspaper. The job is pretty boring until he finds a man trapped in an old Indian dwelling. He jumps at the chance to make a name for himself by taking over and prolonging the rescue effort, and feeding stories to major newspapers. He creates a national media sensation and milks it for all it is worth - until things go terribly wrong. Written by John Oswalt <jao@jao.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Rough, tough Chuck Tatum, who battered his way to the top ... trampling everything in his path - men, women and morals !

Genres:

Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

29 June 1951 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Big Carnival  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,821,052 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Actor Victor Desny brought a lawsuit against this film while the script was being written. He claimed the film was an unauthorized version of the Floyd Collins story. Collins was actually stuck in a cave years earlier, as mentioned in the film. Since Desny owned the rights to the Collins story, he claimed copyright infringement. Desny prevailed, although Wilder appealed. The California Supreme Court ruled in Desny's favor. ('Desny v. Wilder', 46 Cal. 2d 715, 299 (Cal. Sup. Ct. 1956).) See more »

Goofs

Rattlesnakes will not eat bubble gum, in or out of the wrapper. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Charles Tatum: Hey. Pull up at the corner.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Billy Wilder Speaks (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

We're Coming, Leo
(uncredited)
Written by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans
Performed by unidentified vocalist and band
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Media of 1951 acting like media of 2001
9 March 2001 | by (Houston) – See all my reviews

A powerful toasting of the media of the day. Imagine what this would have been like in the age of television. Kirk Douglas plays a self-centered heel, and does so very well. I also liked Jan Sterling as Lorraine. It's true that there is no really sympathetic character in this film, except maybe Leo, the man trapped in the cave. Someone wrote that he too, wasn't a sympathetic character, because he was trapped while collecting Indian artifacts for sale, but I don't think that would have bothered anyone in 1951. The tone of the film throughout was one of total cynicism, that seems a bit out of place for the times. Maybe that's why this movie was not a commercial success. It fits much better now, though, since everyone has seen the media behaving in such disgraceful fashion. However, that may rob it of some of its (probably intended) shock value. Grade: A


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