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Ace in the Hole (1951)

 -  Drama | Film-Noir  -  29 June 1951 (USA)
8.2
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 14,904 users   Metascore: 72/100
Reviews: 132 user | 116 critic | 6 from Metacritic.com

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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Title: Ace in the Hole (1951)

Ace in the Hole (1951) on IMDb 8.2/10

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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:
...
Chuck Tatum
...
Robert Arthur ...
Herbie Cook (as Bob Arthur)
Porter Hall ...
...
Al Federber
Richard Benedict ...
Leo Minosa
...
Sheriff Gus Kretzer
Lewis Martin ...
McCardle
John Berkes ...
Papa Minosa
Frances Dominguez ...
Mama Minosa
Gene Evans ...
Deputy Sheriff
Frank Jaquet ...
Sam Smollett
Harry Harvey ...
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

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
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When the film was released, it got bad reviews and lost money. The studio, without Billy Wilder's permission, changed the title to "The Big Carnival" to increase the box office take of the film. It didn't work. On top of that, Wilder's next picture, Stalag 17 (1953), was a hit and he expected a share of the picture's profits. Paramount accountants told him that since this picture lost money, the money it lost would be subtracted from the profits of "Stalag 17". See more »

Goofs

When Tatum and Boot are talking in the Minosa's back room, the amount of alcohol Tatum pours in his glass changes. See more »

Quotes

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

Connections

Referenced in No Man's Land (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

The Hut-Sut Song
(uncredited)
Written by Leo Killion, Ted McMichael and Jack Owens
Sung by Richard Benedict and Kirk Douglas
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
The Press as the Vehicle of Manipulation of a Nation
16 January 2005 | by (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) – See all my reviews

The cynical, unethical and unscrupulous journalist Charles 'Chuck' Tatum (Kirk Douglas) arrives in a small New Mexico newspaper asking for a chance. He was fired from famous newspapers because of drinking problem, lying and even for having an affair with the wife of one of his bosses. His real intention is to use the small newspaper as a "swimming board" to a bigger one. After one year without a bang news and totally bored, Chuck travels with a younger reporter to make the coverage of a matter about rattlesnakes. When they arrive in an isolated gas station, he is informed that a man called Leo Minosa (Richard Benedict) is trapped alive in an old Indian mine in a nearby place called Mountain of the Seven Vultures. Chuck manipulates the local corrupt sheriff, the engineer responsible for the rescue operation and Leo's wife Lorraine Minosa (Jan Sterling), and a rescue that could be made using a simple and common process in twelve hours, lasts six days using a sophisticated drilling system and creating a circus in the previously desert place. Everybody profits with the accident except the victim.

Movies about manipulation of people are usually excellent. I remember Costa-Gravas' "Mad City (1997), Barry Levinson's "Wag the Dog (1997)", Howard Hawks' "His Girl Friday (1940)", and even the recent real case of the chemical weapons. Yesterday I saw "Ace in the Hole" for the first time and I really was impressed how this film is amazingly real and updated. There are elements present in every modern society, such as: the powerful sheriff very corrupt, like most of the worldwide members of the governments; the press, interested in selling news only; the victim used for other interests greater than rescuing him; and the people, completely manipulated and with very short memory. Kirk Douglas is amazing in the role of a nasty reporter. I do not understand why this movie is not in the IMDb Top 250. My vote is ten.

Title (Brazil): "A Montanha dos Sete Abutres" ("The Mountain of the Seven Vultures")


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