6.9/10
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55 user 31 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.

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Writers:

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

The hottest hunk of film Hollywood ever shot ! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Robert Aldrich rather cattily laid the blame for the film's box office failure at the door of Jack Palance, claiming that he didn't have leading man looks. This obviously didn't bother both parties too much as Palance worked with Aldrich several times later in his career, starting with Attack (1956) the following year. 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

Charlie Castle: Am I the worst oaf in the world?
Marion Castle: The world's a big place. You're the worst one in my life.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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