The Big Heat (1953)

Not Rated  |   |  Crime, Film-Noir, Thriller  |  14 October 1953 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 15,733 users  
Reviews: 132 user | 85 critic

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



(screenplay), (Saturday Evening Post serial)
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2 wins. See more awards »



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


Dave Bannion is an upright 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


A hard cop and a soft dame! See more »


Not Rated | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

14 October 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Heißes Eisen  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Columbia wanted to borrow Marilyn Monroe from 20th Century-Fox to play the role of Debby Marsh, but Fox's asking price was too high. Gloria Grahame was cast instead. See more »


When Sgt Bannion first meets Lucy Champam in 'The Retreat' bar the waiter pours Bannion a glass of beer with a head at least 2 inches thick. Bannion is then seen to sip from the glass and the beer has virtually no head at all. See more »


Debby Marsh: [to Mrs. Duncan about their almost identical fur coats] We're sisters under the mink.
See more »


Featured in Breaking Bad: Say My Name (2012) See more »


Put the Blame on Mame
by Doris Fisher and Allan Roberts
Heard instrumentally during one of the scenes at The Retreat
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

I'll take mine black, no sugar
20 July 2001 | by (La La Land) – See all my reviews

Fantastic film noir features 2 potent scenes involving tossed coffee, and Gloria Grahame as a mob moll who is definitely a woman not be messed with. Tough cop Ford is not afraid of anyone as he goes on movie long crusade to bring down every villian in the story. Entertaining pulp is fast and cynical and will leave lasting impression long after it's over. Great characters dot the brutal landscape from beginning to end.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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