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The Big Knife (1955)

6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 1,989 users  
Reviews: 46 user | 21 critic

Charles Castle is a successful Hollywood actor who has opted for screen success over art. He must make critical decisions regarding his career, his marriage, his art & morality. In this ... See full summary »

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(adapted for the screen by), (stage play)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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...
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Connie Bliss
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Stanley Shriner Hoff
Ilka Chase ...
Patty Benedict
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Nat Danziger
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Horatio 'Hank' Teagle
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Buddy Bliss
Nick Dennis ...
Mickey Feeney
Bill Walker ...
Russell
Michael Winkelman ...
Billy Castle (as Mike Winkelman)
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Dixie Evans (as Miss Shelley Winters)
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Storyline

Charles Castle is a successful Hollywood actor who has opted for screen success over art. He must make critical decisions regarding his career, his marriage, his art & morality. In this screen adaptation of a Clifford Odets play, Castle is pressured by his studio boss and manipulated into a potentially murderous cover-up to protect his career. An indictment of the amoral world of 50's Hollywood and its corrosive effect upon the artist. Written by Thomas Robbin

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Release Date:

25 November 1955 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Hollywood-Story  »

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Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Because of its vitriolic take on Tinseltown, this was unsurprisingly turned down by all the major studios in Hollywood. It eventually found a home at United Artists. See more »

Goofs

The camera and operator are visibly reflected in one scene in the living room. See more »

Quotes

Dixie Evans: I don't care if I do see a snake. I'm sure I'd much rather see a snake than a Hollywood producer.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Barton Fink (1991) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Slightly better than average melodrama
20 November 2002 | by (Oakland CA) – See all my reviews

A charged, stage-bound melodrama, with Palance as a movie star in servitude to the studio boss (Steiger) who's blackmailing him. His wife (Lupino) won't agree to live with him until he's his own man again, which means not renewing his 7 year contract.

Palance does his best, but he's not the kind of actor who can show a character going through real transitions and hold the audience's attention for an entire film. Steiger is allowed to go over the top a few too many times, but Corey provides some of the film's best moments as his more ruthless, and at the same time gentlemanly, henchman. Sloane provides an unusual characterization as a somewhat sissified agent.

Ultimately, too cramped in its one room location (which may have been done deliberately to show the character's isolation from the world, but still produced a stagey effect that bind the film too tightly).


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