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The Big Knife (1955)

6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 1,952 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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Title: The Big Knife (1955)

The Big Knife (1955) on IMDb 6.9/10

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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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
Paul Langton ...
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

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Release Date:

25 November 1955 (France)  »

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The Big Knife  »

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1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The part of Charles Castle was originally written for John Garfield. He was supposed to play the part in the film version but died in 1952 of a premature heart attack. See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

Smiley Coy: What do you think of women, kiddie?
Charlie Castle: Oh, there's room in the world for 'em.
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Connections

Referenced in What's My Line?: Episode dated 27 November 1955 (1955) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Overwritten and overacted -- what's not to like
24 May 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"The Big Knife" is really a stage play recorded on film. It's a Hollywood soap opera that features a lot of good actors eating the scenery. Rod Steiger and Everett Sloan are great as the monstrous studio honcho and weaselly agent, respectively. Jack Palance is a competent actor but was woefully miscast as the sensitive, tortured matinée idol -- nobody would ever confuse Palance with a matinée idol. Nevertheless, he does an adequate job.

The power of the studio system in the '50s is well depicted, if a bit overwrought. Steiger's performance is particularly delicious as his toweringly self-centered character cries, wheedles, and intimidates his underlings into doing what he wants.

The movie is showing its age but its excesses, especially its colorful language, are a lot of fun. Recommended, 7 out of 10.


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