MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 11,994 this week

The Big Night (1951)

6.5
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.5/10 from 338 users  
Reviews: 7 user | 13 critic

A teenager comes of age while seeking revenge on the man who beat up his father.

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay), 3 more credits »
0Check in
0Share...

Editors' Spotlight

IMDb Picks: March

IMDb's editors share the movies and TV shows they are excited to see in March.

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 55 titles
created 06 Sep 2013
 
a list of 444 titles
created 06 Jan 2014
 
a list of 94 titles
created 28 Jan 2014
 
list image
a list of 1594 titles
created 11 months ago
 
a list of 28 titles
created 10 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "The Big Night" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Big Night (1951)

The Big Night (1951) on IMDb 6.5/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Big Night.
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Certificate: GP Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Tale of torrid and forbidden love between Christie and Bates in the English countryside.

Director: Joseph Losey
Stars: Julie Christie, Alan Bates, Margaret Leighton
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

What is real and what is fiction? Faced with writer's block with his novel, Lewis Fielding turns to a film script about a woman finding herself after his wife Elizabeth returns from Baden ... See full summary »

Director: Joseph Losey
Stars: Glenda Jackson, Michael Caine, Helmut Berger
Galileo (1975)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

This bio-pic is about Galileo, the 17th century Italian who laid the foundations of modern science. Galileo made himself one of the world's first telescopes and discovered the moons of ... See full summary »

Director: Joseph Losey
Stars: Topol, Edward Fox, Colin Blakely
The Servant (1963)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

The aristocratic Tony moves to London and hires the servant Hugo Barrett for all services at home. Barrett seems to be a loyal and competent employee, but Tony's girlfriend Susan does not ... See full summary »

Director: Joseph Losey
Stars: Dirk Bogarde, Sarah Miles, Wendy Craig
Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

A spy spoof in the 60s tradition featuring the comic book heroine Modesty Blaise set in the Italian Mediterranean.

Director: Joseph Losey
Stars: Monica Vitti, Terence Stamp, Dirk Bogarde
Sci-Fi | Mystery | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Radioactive mud-like creature terrorizes a Scottish village during the 1950's.

Directors: Joseph Losey, Leslie Norman
Stars: Dean Jagger, Edward Chapman, Leo McKern
White Skin (2004)
Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Two roommates discover that the family of one of their girlfriends is populated with vampires.

Director: Daniel Roby
Stars: Marc Paquet, Marianne Farley, Frédéric Pierre
Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.5/10 X  

When Travis, middle-aged, working class man, returns home to visit his parents, he quickly learns that his hood is rife with criminal activity and gang warfare. Quickly, Travis finds ... See full summary »

Director: Alan Stewart
Stars: Richard Hatch, R.G. Armstrong, Richard Jaeckel
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.8/10 X  

A Doukhobor sect in Northern Alberta tries to prevent the wedding of a Russian girl to a Canadian.

Director: Larry Matanski
Stars: Dennis O'Keefe, Kasey Rogers, Al Ruscio
The Big Night (1959)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Una notte di due balordi, Scintillone e Ruggero, a cui si aggiunge in seguito un terzo, Bellabella, che dopo un furto vengono a loro volta derubati. Tentano poi di rubare un'apparecchio ... See full summary »

Director: Mauro Bolognini
Stars: Rosanna Schiaffino, Elsa Martinelli, Laurent Terzieff
Black Jesus (1968)
Certificate: GP Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A Congo rebel leader is captured and imprisoned with two white felons in this 81-minute feature containing religious symbolism and condemnation of colonial exploitation. Maurice Lalubi is ... See full summary »

Director: Valerio Zurlini
Stars: Woody Strode, Franco Citti, Jean Servais
Crime | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  
Director: Massimo Pupillo
Stars: Barbara Nelli, Erika Blanc, Gordon Mitchell
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
George La Main (as John Barrymore Jr.)
Preston Foster ...
Andy La Main
...
Marion Rostina
Howard St. John ...
Al Judge
...
Julie Rostina
Philip Bourneuf ...
Dr. Lloyd Cooper
Howland Chamberlain ...
Flanagan (as Howland Chamberlin)
Myron Healey ...
Kennealy
Emile Meyer ...
Peckinpaugh (as Emil Meyer)
Mauri Lynn ...
Terry Angelus
Edit

Storyline

George La Main, just turned 17, suffers growing pains and is anxious to prove his manhood. That night, George's adored father Andy is savagely beaten by sportswriter Al Judge. Traumatized and unable to learn why it happened, George goes gunning for Judge. His mission becomes an odyssey through the town's seamy side, and his coming of age is more of a trial by fire than he bargained for. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

13 November 1951 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Die Nacht der Wahrheit  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

According to interviews that director Joseph Losey gave in the mid-1970s to Michel Ciment, the FBI wanted to spy on him in Europe, where he relocated to work after being blacklisted by Hollywood because of his political activities. So they paid John Drew Barrymore (who became a good friend after this movie) to furnish information about Losey's political activities, if any, in London. Barrymore later met Losey in London and confessed to him about the money and expense account the FBI had given him to spy on Losey. Losey, recalling that the young actor had been under tremendous pressure at the time, forgave him and in fact suggested that they have several lavish meals together and put the cost on Barrymore's FBI expense account, which they promptly did. See more »

Goofs

George blows out all but one of his birthday candles. When the view changes from over George's shoulder to a position over his father's shoulder, all the candles are out, but when it changes back, the one candle is again lit. See more »

Quotes

George La Main: I remember the stairs.
Marion Rostina: You ought to. You spent a long time on 'em.
See more »

Soundtracks

Am I Too Young
Music by Lyn Murray
Lyrics by Sid Kuller
Sung by Mauri Lynn
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A Little Deeper Look at an Oddly Affecting Noir
27 March 2014 | by (Claremont,USA) – See all my reviews

Uneven film that at times seems to drift. Still, there are genuinely compelling moments, as when burly dad LeMaine (Foster, in a fine performance) meekly submits to a brutal cane lashing that had me cringing. Why he's submitting remains a puzzle until the end. Because of the beating, Dad's insecure son George (Barrymore Jr.) spends the movie's remainder trying to avenge his father.

Beneath the revenge narrative, however, is really a rite-of-passage story. For example, in a not very believable opening, a cringing George is pounded in humiliating fashion by his teenage peers. We're given no explanation, nor does actor Barrymore physically resemble an easy mark. It's not a promising beginning. Then, in a much more persuasive scene, Dad casts a slightly disapproving eye over his nervous son's birthday cake (symbolic of the story). So the kid must prove himself not only to Dad, but to himself.

It's not a tight screenplay. Events more or less simply follow one another, tied together by the theme of vengeance. Happily, however, the narrative doesn't drag. Actor Barrymore Jr. had a rather brief career despite the pedigree. One thing for sure, he's certainly different looking. With a mop of unruly hair and slightly crooked mouth, he's no glamor boy. Nonetheless, his looks are perfect for the role, such that, when he dons a sport coat and hat, he still looks like a kid trying to take a big step up. All in all, the young actor does pretty well in the kind of difficult role that would later go to James Dean. I also like a de-glamorized Joan Lorring, who's a good match for him. My one real complaint is the way Al Judge (St. John) is written. His behavior is so crude and ugly, it's hard thinking of him as a respected sports writer. A racketeer would have been more credible and easier, so the scriptwriters must have had a reason.

Then too, the screenwriters, Butler and Lardner Jr., along with director Losey, were all blacklisted during Hollywood's commie hunting period. I suspect it was their leftist leanings that are responsible for one of the film's most arresting sequences. George goes to a nightclub where a drop-dead beautiful black songstress (Mauri Lynn) entertains. Afterward, he encounters her outside and is compelled to compliment her looks and talent. She glows at the flattering remark. Trouble is his heartfelt momentum carries over to the unspoken qualification "for a Negro woman". She grasps the unfortunate hanging-in-the-air racial reference, and is reminded of her not-fully-equal status. Thus, disappointment clouds her former glow. It's a beautifully played moment and quite powerful in emotional impact. I wonder what happened to that fine actress.

Anyway, the movie does have a number of effective noir touches, especially George's twilight escape through LA's towering industrial district. It's a mysterious world so much larger than himself. All in all, the film is oddly memorable, thanks, I think, to Barrymore's unusual presence. I know I sought it out on DVD, lo, so many years after having first seen it in a theatre.

(In passing—the burly guy sitting next to Barrymore and Bourneuf ringside at the fights is Robert Aldrich, the great director of such classics as Kiss Me Deadly {1955} and Attack {1956}.)


2 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Why was the father arrested at the end? IcksPigeon
Discuss The Big Night (1951) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?