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The Big Knife (1955)

6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 2,243 users  
Reviews: 53 user | 23 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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Title: The Big Knife (1955)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Charles Castle
...
...
...
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)
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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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

25 November 1955 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Hollywood-Story  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording) (5.0) (L-R)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The original Broadway production of "The Big Knife" by Clifford Odets opened at the National Theater on February 24, 1949, ran for 109 performances and closed on May 28, 1949. Directed by Lee Strasberg, the play starred John Garfield as Charles Castle. See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

Charlie Castle: [to Marion] "You swat the fly from my face with a hammer"
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Marilyn Monroe: Beyond the Legend (1987) See more »

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User Reviews

 
For collectors only...
12 June 2007 | by (London) – See all my reviews

Wow...overwrought, overacted, over-the-top melodrama trying ever-so-hard to be *about* something. But it's really not about much, despite the putative 'Corrupt-Hollywood' theme. Just a series of intermittently-entertaining, scenery-chewing set pieces in a Bel-Air living room.

A whole lot of talent wasted here--acting, writing, not so much directing. Fans of the film's several excellent actors will survive this viewing more readily than others. Everyone's finest chops--and then some--are on display, over and over, desperately in search of significance. Even the music is ridiculously overdone. "Pay attention! This is wrenching drama!" Only, it's not.

"The Big Knife" reminds me of nothing so much as a lame stage play where shouting and noisemaking take the place of genuine dramatic tension. This whole mess was generously forgotten in a couple years, thanks to 1957's vastly superior "Sweet Smell of Success" --check that one out instead.


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