6.9/10
2,458
53 user 27 critic

The Big Knife (1955)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 25 November 1955 (France)
Hollywood actor Charles Castle is pressured by his studio boss into a criminal cover-up to protect his valuable career.

Director:

Writers:

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

Watch Now

From $4.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Action | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

At the end of the Second World War six German ex-soldiers return to Berlin and set up as a bomb disposal group. The pressure of the dangerous work starts to affect them, the more so as they... See full summary »

Director: Robert Aldrich
Stars: Jack Palance, Jeff Chandler, Martine Carol
Apache (1954)
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Refusing to let himself be re-settled on a Florida reservation, Massai, an Apache warrior, escapes his captors and returns to his homeland to become a peaceful farmer.

Director: Robert Aldrich
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Jean Peters, John McIntire
Attack (1956)
Drama | War | Action
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

In 1945, an American Infantry company sets up an artillery observation post but tensions between captain Cooney and lieutenant Costa run high.

Director: Robert Aldrich
Stars: Jack Palance, Lee Marvin, Eddie Albert
Drama | War | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

In 1941, Greek resistance entrusts an American journalist with a Greek double-agent secret list that must reach London and must not fall into Nazi hands.

Director: Robert Aldrich
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Stanley Baker, Elisabeth Müller
The Choirboys (1977)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

A group of Los Angeles cops decide to take off some of the pressures of their jobs by engaging in various forms of after-hours debauchery.

Director: Robert Aldrich
Stars: Charles Durning, Louis Gossett Jr., Perry King
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
Autumn Leaves (1956)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Millicent Wetherby is a middle-aged woman whose life is devoid of love and affection. Millicent's solitary existence changes when she encounters Burt Hansen a charismatic younger man. As ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Aldrich
Stars: Joan Crawford, Cliff Robertson, Vera Miles
Vera Cruz (1954)
Adventure | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

During the Mexican Rebellion of 1866, an unsavory group of American adventurers are hired by the forces of Emporer Maximilian to escort a countess to Vera Cruz.

Director: Robert Aldrich
Stars: Gary Cooper, Burt Lancaster, Denise Darcel
Hustle (1975)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

At the instigation of a grieving father, a Los Angeles cop investigates the suspicious circumstances of a girl's apparent suicide.

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
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Set in the 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 British film... See full summary »

Director: Robert Aldrich
Stars: Kim Darby, Scott Wilson, Tony Musante
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:
...
Charles Castle
...
...
...
Connie Bliss
...
Stanley Shriner Hoff
...
Patty Benedict
...
Nat Danziger
...
Horatio 'Hank' Teagle
...
Buddy Bliss
Nick Dennis ...
Mickey Feeney
Bill Walker ...
Russell
...
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 »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

25 November 1955 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Hollywood-Story  »

Box Office

Budget:

$423,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording) (5.0) (L-R)| (Glen Glenn Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

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

Stanley Hoff: [to Castle, after being slapped] I'll - break - you!
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the opening credits: Upholstered furniture by Martin/ Brattrud. See more »

Connections

Version of American Playhouse: The Big Knife (1988) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

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).


23 of 31 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?