8.2/10
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153 user 132 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:
...
...
...
Herbie Cook (as Bob Arthur)
...
...
Al Federber
...
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)
 »

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

Residents of Gallup, New Mexico, were hired as extras. They were paid 75 cents an hour for a ten-hour day. Extras earned an additional three dollars if they could bring an automobile to the set. See more »

Goofs

When Tatum and Herbie walk out to their dust-covered car after all the people left, handprints from where Tatum leans on the car can be seen in the dust indicating that they shot the scene numerous times and decided to put one of the later takes in the movie. 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

A brilliant movie that lingers in the mind
27 March 2004 | by (boston) – See all my reviews

Of the many movies I viewed in the early 50's, so many ,like now, were here today, forgotten tomorrow. However some movies that became memorable and that were able to make a dramatic impact on this young guy include, Duel in the Sun and Gone with the Wind. Strangely enough, Ace in the Hole is the most memorable of all movies viewed. It is one that invades the mind and leaves one sad.

Few films I remember as vividly as this dark movie, the images linger to haunt me still. 'Why?' one might ask 'would a sombre movie like this made over 50 years ago remain so memorable, when so many others have vanished. Was it the surreal inhumanity of the plot, the repugnant newsman devoid of ethics, the exploitation of the trapped victim, the purposeful prolonging of the victim's entrapment to create a media frenzy, the ultimate commercial creation of an 'event' style attraction complete with a circus like atmosphere surrounding the cave while the victim remained entrapped and close to death.'

Supposedly based on a real incident, it's a tough movie to watch and more so if one is prepared to accept the premise that such inhumanity displayed in the movie has an element of truth.

I echo the desires of others to have the availability of this movie on VHS or DVD. In the interim my memory will continue to keep the images intact. See it if you can.


43 of 46 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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