MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 329 this week

The Big Heat (1953)

8.0
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.0/10 from 13,165 users  
Reviews: 125 user | 78 critic

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

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (Saturday Evening Post serial)
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 35 titles
created 20 Mar 2011
 
a list of 34 titles
created 13 Jan 2012
 
a list of 25 titles
created 03 Mar 2012
 
a list of 25 titles
created 27 Sep 2012
 
a list of 39 titles
created 8 months ago
 

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Big Heat (1953)

The Big Heat (1953) on IMDb 8/10

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

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Big Heat.
2 wins. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Big Sleep (1946)
Crime | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Private detective Philip Marlowe is hired by a rich family. Before the complex case is over, he's seen murder, blackmail, and what might be love.

Director: Howard Hawks
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, John Ridgely
Crime | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A doomed female hitchhiker pulls Mike Hammer into a deadly whirlpool of intrigue, revolving around a mysterious "great whatsit."

Director: Robert Aldrich
Stars: Ralph Meeker, Albert Dekker, Paul Stewart
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Amid a semi-documentary portrait of New York and its people, Jean Dexter, an attractive blonde model, is murdered in her apartment. Homicide detectives Dan Muldoon and Jimmy Halloran ... See full summary »

Director: Jules Dassin
Stars: Barry Fitzgerald, Howard Duff, Dorothy Hart
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A married woman and a drifter fall in love, then plot to murder her husband... but even once the deed is done, they must live with the consequences of their actions.

Director: Tay Garnett
Stars: Lana Turner, John Garfield, Cecil Kellaway
Detour (1945)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Chance events trap hitch-hiker Al Roberts in a tightening net of film noir trouble.

Director: Edgar G. Ulmer
Stars: Tom Neal, Ann Savage, Claudia Drake
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A telephone operator ends up drunk and at the mercy of a cad in his apartment. The next morning she wakes up with a hangover and the terrible fear she may be a murderess.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Anne Baxter, Richard Conte, Ann Sothern
The Big Clock (1948)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A career oriented magazine editor finds himself on the run when he discovers his boss is framing him for murder.

Director: John Farrow
Stars: Ray Milland, Maureen O'Sullivan, Charles Laughton
Crime | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

This film-noir piece, told in semi-documentary style, follows police on the hunt for a resourceful criminal who shoots and kills a cop.

Directors: Alfred L. Werker, Anthony Mann
Stars: Richard Basehart, Scott Brady, Roy Roberts
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

An ex-bomber pilot is suspected of murdering his unfaithful wife.

Director: George Marshall
Stars: Alan Ladd, Veronica Lake, William Bendix
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Bill Dietrich becomes a double agent for the FBI in a Nazi spy ring.

Director: Henry Hathaway
Stars: William Eythe, Lloyd Nolan, Signe Hasso
The Stranger (1946)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

An investigator from the War Crimes Commission travels to Connecticut to find an infamous Nazi.

Director: Orson Welles
Stars: Orson Welles, Edward G. Robinson, Loretta Young
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A young woman discovers her visiting "Uncle Charlie" may not be the man he seems to be.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Teresa Wright, Joseph Cotten, Macdonald Carey
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Alexander Scourby ...
...
...
Peter Whitney ...
...
Robert Burton ...
...
Howard Wendell ...
Chris Alcaide ...
George Rose
Michael Granger ...
Hugo
Dorothy Green ...
...
Edit

Storyline

Dave Bannion is an upright but unscrupulous cop on the trail of a vicious gang he suspects holds power over the police force. Bannion is tipped off after a colleague's suicide and his fellow officers' suspicious silence lead him to believe that they are on the gangsters' payroll. When a bomb meant for him kills his wife instead, Bannion becomes a furious force of vengeance and justice, aided along the way by the gangster's spurned girlfriend Debbie. As Bannion and Debbie fall further and further into the Gangland's insidious and brutal trap, they must use any means necessary (including murder) to get to the truth. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

police | gangster | suicide | mob boss | murder | See more »

Taglines:

Somebody's going to pay ...because he forgot to kill me... See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

14 October 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Big Heat  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The fictional city where the story takes place is named Kenport. See more »

Goofs

In the opening scene, after Duncan shoots himself, his hand and the gun fall to the desk onto an envelope and right next to his badge. When the camera angle changes, only the barrel of the gun is on the envelope, and it's a few inches from the badge. See more »

Quotes

Debby Marsh: [to Bannion] The main thing is to have the money. I've been rich and I've been poor. Believe me, rich is better.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Terror Firmer (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Put the Blame on Mame
by Doris Fisher and Allan Roberts
Heard instrumentally during one of the scenes at The Retreat
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Corruption in higher places
12 January 2006 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

Fritz Lang, a man who knew the business like no other, is seen at the top of his craft with this interesting film noir that pays off in unexpected ways. Mr. Lang was a man that believed in total control and who wanted to get the best out of everyone in all his films. "The Big Heat" is one of those rare films in which all the elements come together with surprising results.

Corruption in higher places is the basis of the story. A good police detective who cares enough to keep on probing into the suicide of one of his comrades, is what brings Dave Bannion, not only to the attention of the higher ups in the police department, but to Lagano and the mobsters that work for this evil man. Tragedy finds a way into Dave's home that makes him even more resolved into seeking justice and unmasking the mobsters found along the way that have a grip on the police department.

The casting of "The High Heat" is what makes this film different from the rest of the films of the genre. Glenn Ford made an excellent appearance in the film. He gives one of the best performances of his career. But of course, the film belongs to Gloria Grahame, the bad girl in most of the films of this genre. What a joy it's to watch her! Her Debby Marsh is one of the best roles she portrayed for the movies. Surprisingly, Ms. Grahame and Mr. Ford show a lot of chemistry in their scenes together.

The others in the film do good work under Mr. Lang's direction. A young Lee Marvin is perfectly creepy as Vince Stone, a man who gets what's coming to him at the end in a memorable sequence playing against Ms. Grahame. Jeannette Nolan makes a valuable contribution as the bad widow of the man that commits suicide. Alexander Scourby, as Lagana has some good moments. Joselyn Brando plays Dave's wife. Also, in a small part we see Carolyn Jones.

"The Big Heat" demonstrates why Fritz Lang was one of the best influences in the American cinema.


43 of 48 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Gloria Grahame nicknazareth
excellent 'in' joke for movie buffs colin2000
Some of the best dialogue in a film noir...ever! jcremona
The Dark Knight aarongleason
Music from Big Heat jlantz200
Alexander Scourby's Character mrmime
Discuss The Big Heat (1953) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?