Ace in the Hole (1951)

Not Rated  |   |  Drama, Film-Noir  |  29 June 1951 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.2/10 from 17,885 users   Metascore: 72/100
Reviews: 146 user | 128 critic | 6 from

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.


Watch Trailer
0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

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



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

The desperate life of a chronic alcoholic is followed through a four day drinking bout.

Director: Billy Wilder
Stars: Ray Milland, Jane Wyman, Phillip Terry
Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Powerful but unethical Broadway columnist J.J. Hunsecker coerces unscrupulous press agent Sidney Falco into breaking up his sister's romance with a jazz musician.

Director: Alexander Mackendrick
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Tony Curtis, Susan Harrison
Drama | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A private eye escapes his past to run a gas station in a small town, but his past catches up with him. Now he must return to the big city world of danger, corruption, double crosses and duplicitous dames.

Director: Jacques Tourneur
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Jane Greer, Kirk Douglas
Stalag 17 (1953)
Comedy | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

When two escaping American World War II prisoners are killed, the German POW camp barracks black marketeer, J.J. Sefton, is suspected of being an informer.

Director: Billy Wilder
Stars: William Holden, Don Taylor, Otto Preminger
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

An insurance representative lets himself be talked into a murder/insurance fraud scheme that arouses an insurance investigator's suspicions.

Director: Billy Wilder
Stars: Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwyck, Edward G. Robinson
Drama | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A potentially violent screenwriter is a murder suspect until his lovely neighbor clears him. But she begins to have doubts...

Director: Nicholas Ray
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Gloria Grahame, Frank Lovejoy
White Heat (1949)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A psychopathic criminal with a mother complex makes a daring break from prison and leads his old gang in a chemical plant payroll heist. Shortly after the plan takes place, events take a crazy turn

Director: Raoul Walsh
Stars: James Cagney, Virginia Mayo, Edmond O'Brien
The Big Heat (1953)
Crime | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Tough cop Dave Bannion takes on a politically powerful crime syndicate.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Glenn Ford, Gloria Grahame, Jocelyn Brando
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Comedy about Coca-Cola's man in West Berlin, who may be fired if he can't keep his American boss's daughter from marrying a Communist.

Director: Billy Wilder
Stars: James Cagney, Horst Buchholz, Pamela Tiffin
Certificate: Passed Crime | Film-Noir | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A major heist goes off as planned, until bad luck and double crosses cause everything to unravel.

Director: John Huston
Stars: Sterling Hayden, Louis Calhern, Jean Hagen
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
Laura (1944)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A police detective falls in love with the woman whose murder he is investigating.

Director: Otto Preminger
Stars: Gene Tierney, Dana Andrews, Clifton Webb


Cast overview, first billed only:
Herbie Cook (as Bob Arthur)
Porter Hall ...
Al Federber
Richard Benedict ...
Leo Minosa
Lewis Martin ...
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


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 <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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


Drama | Film-Noir


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





| |

Release Date:

29 June 1951 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Big Carnival  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$1,821,052 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The second Billy Wilder film to feature a character who works for the fictitious 'Pacific All-Risk Insurance Company'. The first being 'Double Indemnity' (1944). See more »


When Lorraine and Chuck are talking out in front of Minosa's store by the gas pumps, reflections of the crew moving around behind the camera can be seen in the store windows. See more »


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


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


The Hut-Sut Song
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


Saw this films years ago and it's still gripping.Mr.Wilder seldom did films that gripped the human condition like this one.After this movie flopped he stuck to screen adaptions of stage hits through most of the fifties.Both director and star,Kirk Douglas really delivered a stinging expose of media hype and manipulation of the newspaper business.Herein,burned out reporter Douglas chances on a man trapped in a cave and ruthlessly exploits it for his own gain.There's no softness here,even the leading lady (played wonderfully by Jan Sterling)is as hard as Douglas.The scenes of all the gawkers showing up,complete with carnival,are outright creepy.There's even a cheesy country western singer plunking a guitar and singing about poor Leo,(the trapped man.) The only sympathetic person is poor Leo's mom who continually prays for his release.Definitely a film for lovers of great movie drama.

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

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Albuquerque Killingforcompany
Can't accept the major plot point theclockticks
Really a Film-Noir? NJCHoBITSlvr
Minimum Votes for Top 250? catmantu
Rumour Has It - Coming on DVD! catmantu
what's the purpose of the mother's character? Diego_rjc
Discuss Ace in the Hole (1951) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: