8.2/10
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159 user 136 critic

Ace in the Hole (1951)

Not Rated | | Drama, Film-Noir | 4 July 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:
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...
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Herbie Cook (as Bob Arthur)
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...
Al Federber
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Leo Minosa
...
Lewis Martin ...
McCardle
John Berkes ...
Papa Minosa
Frances Dominguez ...
Mama Minosa
...
Deputy Sheriff
...
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:

4 July 1951 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Big Carnival  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,800,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$3,969,893 (USA)
 »

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

When Chuck meets the sheriff for the first time and sits down with him, he puts the cigarette in his mouth twice as the camera changes; in the same shots, the sheriff's arm changes from the palm of his hand being on the table to his forearm leaning on the table. 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
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

wow!

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.


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