6.9/10
2,378
53 user 26 critic

The Big Knife (1955)

Approved | | Drama, Film-Noir | 25 November 1955 (France)
Trailer
2:28 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

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
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

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
Ruthless (1948)
Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Horace Vendig shows himself to the world as a rich philanthropist. In fact, the history of his rise from his unhappy broken home shows this to be far from the case. After being taken in by ... See full summary »

Director: Edgar G. Ulmer
Stars: Zachary Scott, Louis Hayward, Diana Lynn
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Rough city cop Jim Wilson is disciplined by his captain and is sent upstate, to a snowy mountain town, to help the local sheriff solve a murder case.

Directors: Nicholas Ray, Ida Lupino
Stars: Ida Lupino, Robert Ryan, Ward Bond
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The Assistant DA falls for mysterious Thelma when she seeks help solving robberies of her aunt's estate. He is suspicious of her, but weakened as he is love-stuck.

Director: Robert Siodmak
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Wendell Corey, Paul Kelly
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

After discovering the dead body of her teenage daughter's lover, a housewife takes desperate measures to protect her family from scandal.

Director: Max Ophüls
Stars: James Mason, Joan Bennett, Geraldine Brooks
Nocturne (1946)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

In 1940s Los Angeles, when womanizing composer Keith Vincent is found dead, the inquest concludes it was a suicide but police detective Joe Warne isn't so sure.

Director: Edwin L. Marin
Stars: George Raft, Lynn Bari, Virginia Huston
The Chase (1946)
Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Chuck Scott gets a job as chauffeur to tough guy Eddie Roman; but Chuck's involvement with Eddie's fearful wife becomes a nightmare.

Director: Arthur Ripley
Stars: Robert Cummings, Michèle Morgan, Steve Cochran
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Dave Burke hires two very different debt-burdened men for a bank robbery. Suspicion and prejudice threaten to end their partnership.

Director: Robert Wise
Stars: Harry Belafonte, Robert Ryan, Gloria Grahame
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Claude is a ruthless and efficient contract killer - until he finds his next target is a woman.

Director: Irving Lerner
Stars: Vince Edwards, Phillip Pine, Herschel Bernardi
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Through a fluke circumstance a ruthless woman stumbles across a suitcase filled with $60,000, and she is determined to hold onto it even it if means murder.

Director: Byron Haskin
Stars: Lizabeth Scott, Don DeFore, Dan Duryea
Angel Face (1953)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Ambulance driver Frank Jessup is ensnared in the schemes of the sensuous but dangerous Diane Tremayne.

Director: Otto Preminger
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Jean Simmons, Mona Freeman
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Kathy leaves the newspaper business to marry homicide detective Bill but is frustrated by his lack of ambition and the banality of life in the suburbs. Her drive to advance Bill's career soon takes her down a dangerous path.

Director: Gerd Oswald
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Sterling Hayden, Raymond Burr
Edit

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)
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:

Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Approved | 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:

(RCA Sound Recording) (5.0) (L-R)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Burt Lancaster turned down the role of Charles Castle. See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

[Wanting Charlie to woo Dixie, who's talking too much about Charlie's dangerous 'secret']
Smiley Coy: Call her.
Charlie Castle: All right. Anything for my art.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

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

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

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.


23 of 28 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Chewing the scenery Bodine
Hoff = Cohn? Redmoskito
wes addy ksf-2
Hoff: Louis Mayer or Harry Cohn? louchilson
Imagine Garfield hildyjohnson1
The Weeknd - The Hills oknar1977
Discuss The Big Knife (1955) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?