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The Big Heat
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The Big Heat (1953) More at IMDbPro »

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The Big Heat -- Trailer for this crime drama directed by Fritz Lang

Overview

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8.0/10   13,888 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Sydney Boehm (screenplay)
William P. McGivern (Saturday Evening Post serial)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Big Heat on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
14 October 1953 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
A hard cop and a soft dame! See more »
Plot:
Tough cop Dave Bannion takes on a politically powerful crime syndicate. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Awards:
2 wins See more »
User Reviews:
Corruption in higher places See more (128 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Glenn Ford ... Det. Sgt. Dave Bannion

Gloria Grahame ... Debby Marsh

Jocelyn Brando ... Katie Bannion
Alexander Scourby ... Mike Lagana

Lee Marvin ... Vince Stone

Jeanette Nolan ... Bertha Duncan
Peter Whitney ... Tierney

Willis Bouchey ... Lt. Ted Wilks
Robert Burton ... Det. Gus Burke

Adam Williams ... Larry Gordon
Howard Wendell ... Police Commissioner Higgins
Chris Alcaide ... George Rose
Michael Granger ... Hugo
Dorothy Green ... Lucy Chapman

Carolyn Jones ... Doris
Ric Roman ... Baldy
Dan Seymour ... Mr. Atkins
Edith Evanson ... Selma Parker
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Phil Arnold ... Retreat Waiter (uncredited)
Linda Bennett ... Joyce Bannion (uncredited)
Charles Cane ... Police Guard Outside Lagana Home (uncredited)

Phil Chambers ... Hettrick (uncredited)
John Close ... Policeman (uncredited)
Sidney Clute ... Retreat Bartender (uncredited)
John Crawford ... Al - Bannion's Brother-in-Law (uncredited)

John Doucette ... Mark Reiner (uncredited)
Kathryn Eames ... Marge - Bannion's Sister-in-Law (uncredited)
Al Eben ... Harry Shoenstein (uncredited)
Douglas Evans ... Councilman Gillen (uncredited)
Fritz Ford ... Sailor (uncredited)
Jimmy Gray ... Man (uncredited)
Michael Jeffers ... Retreat Patron (uncredited)
Byron Kane ... Police Surgeon (uncredited)
Donald Kerr ... Cabby (uncredited)
Lyle Latell ... Moving Man (uncredited)
Harry Lauter ... Hank O'Connell (uncredited)
Nico Lek ... Canteen Patron (uncredited)

Celia Lovsky ... Lagana's Mother in Portrait (uncredited)
Herbert Lytton ... Martin (uncredited)
Mike Mahoney ... Dixon (uncredited)
Laura Mason ... B-Girl (uncredited)
Paul Maxey ... George Fuller (uncredited)
Joseph Mell ... Medical Examiner (uncredited)
John Merton ... Man (uncredited)
Patrick Miller ... Intern (uncredited)
William Murphy ... Reds (uncredited)
Ezelle Poule ... Mrs Tucker (uncredited)
Norma Randall ... Jill (uncredited)
Michael Ross ... Segal (uncredited)
Ted Stanhope ... Lagana's Butler (uncredited)
Robert Stevenson ... Bill Rutherford (uncredited)
William Vedder ... Janitor (uncredited)

Directed by
Fritz Lang 
 
Writing credits
Sydney Boehm (screenplay)

William P. McGivern (Saturday Evening Post serial)

Produced by
Robert Arthur .... producer
 
Original Music by
Henry Vars (uncredited)
 
Cinematography by
Charles Lang (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Charles Nelson 
 
Art Direction by
Robert Peterson 
 
Set Decoration by
William Kiernan 
 
Costume Design by
Jean Louis (gowns)
 
Makeup Department
Clay Campbell .... makeup artist
Helen Hunt .... hair styles
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Milton Feldman .... assistant director
 
Sound Department
George Cooper .... sound engineer
 
Music Department
Mischa Bakaleinikoff .... musical director
Daniele Amfitheatrof .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
George Duning .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Fred Karger .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Arthur Morton .... composer: title music (uncredited)
Hans J. Salter .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Ernst Toch .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
90 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Recording)
Certification:
Australia:PG | Canada:G (Nova Scotia/Québec) | Finland:K-16 (1966) | Finland:(Banned) (1953) | Germany:BPjM Restricted | Germany:16 (nf) (re-rating) | Netherlands:18 (original rating) (1954) | Norway:16 | Portugal:M/12 | South Korea:15 | Spain:13 | Sweden:15 | UK:X (original rating) | UK:15 (tv rating) | UK:15 (video rating) (1988) (1991) (2006) | USA:Approved (PCA #16549) | West Germany:18 (nf) (original rating)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Bannion's wife Katie is played by Jocelyn Brando, older sister of Marlon Brando.See more »
Goofs:
Revealing mistakes: When Bannion lets the dead Debby's hand go, it gently moves downward obviously still under her control.See more »
Quotes:
Debby Marsh:[Has just thrown scalding coffee in Vince's face] It'll burn for a long time, Vince. It doesn't look bad now. But in the morning your face will be like mine.
Debby Marsh:[Sticks her face up close to Vince's, then dramatically rips the bandages from her scarred face] Look at it. It isn't pretty, is it? You'll walk through the side streets and alleys so that people won't stare at you. But you're lucky. It won't be for long.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in The Godfather (1972)See more »
Soundtrack:
Put the Blame on MameSee more »

FAQ

New York Opening Happened When?
Chicago Opening Happened When and Where?
See more »
44 out of 49 people found the following review useful.
Corruption in higher places, 12 January 2006
Author: jotix100 from New York

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.

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