MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 1,975 this week

The Big Knife (1955)

6.9
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.9/10 from 2,013 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 »

Director:

Writers:

(adapted for the screen by), (stage play)
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

with Prime Instant Video

Editors' Spotlight

Fall TV Premiere Week

Many of your favorite shows are coming back, along with plenty of series premieres. Here's a list of the shows premiering between Sunday, September 21 and Friday, September 26.


User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 41 titles
created 20 Mar 2011
 
a list of 32 titles
created 03 Nov 2011
 
a list of 21 titles
created 26 Dec 2011
 
list image
a list of 31 titles
created 25 May 2012
 
a list of 31 titles
created 05 Sep 2013
 

Related Items

Search for "The Big Knife" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Big Knife (1955)

The Big Knife (1955) on IMDb 6.9/10

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

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Big Knife.
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Attack (1956)
Drama | War | Action
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

During the closing days of WWII, a National Guard Infantry Company is assigned the task of setting up artillery observation posts in a strategic area. Lieutenant Costa knows that Cooney is ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Aldrich
Stars: Jack Palance, Lee Marvin, Eddie Albert
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Set in the 1920s Depression, a gang of half-witted small-time hoods led by Slim Grissom kidnap heiress Barbara Blandish and Slim proceeds to fall in love with her. Remake of the 1948 ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Aldrich
Stars: Kim Darby, Scott Wilson, Tony Musante
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

George lives with her lover, Childie and plays a cheerful district nurse in a BBC soap opera. However, her character is to be killed off, and George realises that the only other job she can... See full summary »

Director: Robert Aldrich
Stars: Beryl Reid, Susannah York, Coral Browne
Apache (1954)
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Following the surrender of Geronimo, Massai, the last Apache warrior is captured and scheduled for transportation to a Florida reservation. Instead, he manages to escape and heads for his ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Aldrich
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Jean Peters, John McIntire
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 6.6/10 X  

A story about the struggle of the International Ladys Garment Worker Union (ILGWU) to unionize a New York sweat shop... See full synopsis »

Directors: Vincent Sherman, Robert Aldrich
Stars: Lee J. Cobb, Kerwin Mathews, Gia Scala
Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Made by the same production set-up on the same lot that was producing the 1953-54 "China Smith/Captain China" TV series that starred Dan Duryea as soldier-of-fortune China Smith, using many... See full summary »

Director: Robert Aldrich
Stars: Dan Duryea, Gene Lockhart, Patric Knowles
Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A renegade USAF general, Lawrence Dell, escapes from a military prison and takes over an ICBM silo near Montana and threatens to provoke World War 3 unless the President reveals details of ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Aldrich
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Richard Widmark, Roscoe Lee Browne
Hustle (1975)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Phil Gaines is a bitter, cynical cop who investigates the case of a dead stripper/porno actress found on the beach. Gaines is experiencing a troubled relationship with a hooker, and things ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Aldrich
Stars: Burt Reynolds, Catherine Deneuve, Ben Johnson
Ulzana's Raid (1972)
Adventure | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

After fierce war chief Ulzana and a small war party jump the reservation bent on murder and terror, an inexperienced young lieutenant is assigned to track him down.

Director: Robert Aldrich
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Bruce Davison, Jorge Luke
Action | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Harry manages The California Dolls, a female wrestling tag team endlessly touring America, and he's also romantically involved with one of them. Their fortunes seem on the slide (... See full summary »

Director: Robert Aldrich
Stars: Peter Falk, Vicki Frederick, Laurene Landon
Adventure | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Sex, torture and betrayal in Biblical Sodom and Gomorrah. Lot, leader of the Hebrews, believes his people can co-exist with the Sodomites, a disastrous decision.

Director: Robert Aldrich
Stars: Stewart Granger, Pier Angeli, Stanley Baker
Edit

Cast

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

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

Taglines:

A journey to the dark heart of Hollywood. See more »


Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

25 November 1955 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Hollywood-Story  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Shot in 15 days. See more »

Goofs

In the living room, as Hoff begins "We all love you..." his hands are clasped in front of him. But on the cut, in mid-sentence ("...you're a great artist...") his arms are spread wide. See more »

Quotes

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

Connections

Featured in The Best of Film Noir (1999) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
The Realist, the Philistine and the Idealist....You figure it out.
20 July 2007 | by (Lala Land) – See all my reviews

There is very much room for debate on The Big Knife. The casting of Palance and Steiger, good 'ol whinny Winters, the stage-related lack of locales, etc., etc. Each of these can be parsed to illuminate why the film works or doesn't. In a way that's a sign of a good film, one that has made bold choices, and risks it's essential qualities. I liked it. The thing that stood out for me though, was the seeming-multiple-endings. About three times I felt an ending, only to have another character enter, another scene. This may be Odets the writer, or Aldrich the director. In any case I loved Palance. I am a fan of his, and in a lead, a somewhat straight lead, his casting is inspired. I felt he was emotionally resonant, quickly rising and falling with the clipped Odets' poetics. I watched it last night on TCM, and Robert Osborne remarked in the opening that this was a film about "weird people, Hollywood types" (paraphrase). I think that poorly sells the story, limiting it's scope and personality. Palance as Charlie Castle is a wreck because of his life in Hollywood, sure, but he isn't weird for it. His close relationships with his trainer/masseur and his publicist, among others, highlights his isolation and need for loving contact. Which makes Ida Lupino, as his possibly-leaving wife Marion, and her dilemma such a good parallel to Charlie's wanting to leave Hollywood. And Rod Steiger....Over the top? Yes. But it a beautiful thing to watch. I love his commanding physical presence, his melodramatic crying, his hand-wringing. It may be scene-chewing and distracting to some, but again, it works within the story and the character. His psychological make up is so apparent, especially when he fears Castle will strike him, how he crosses his arms and tucks in. Ida Lupino, who looks like she could be Stockard Channing's mother, was strong and poised despite her rancorous life, and I appreciated her for it. Her character was winning because of the strength she debated having to exert. Again, a Hollywood consequence. Character actors, one and all, Smiley, Connie, Shelley Winter's wonkie Dixie, Hank (who could be Grey Davis' father), Nat (his slapping of Stanley Hoff's glass was awesome) , they all embody the inherent lack of stability in Hollywood. The message is clear, and the execution (pardon the pun), was dramatic and interesting.


13 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Chewing the scenery Bodine
Hoff = Cohn? Redmoskito
Hoff: Louis Mayer or Harry Cohn? louchilson
Imagine Garfield hildyjohnson1
wes addy ksf-2
Discuss The Big Knife (1955) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?