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Hollywood actor Charles Castle is pressured by his studio boss into a criminal cover-up to protect his valuable career.

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


Certificate:

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Details

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Release Date:

25 November 1955 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Hollywood-Story  »

Company Credits

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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

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

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

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in Mulholland Drive (2001) See more »

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User Reviews

Powerful fifties' drama
15 April 2003 | by (Brick, NJ) – See all my reviews

The Big Knife is a mostly good adaptation of a Clifford Odets play about a Hollywood actor who's being blackmailed into studio servitude while trying to patch up his failing marriage. This is a movie for which the word powerful was truly invented. Most of the film takes place on one set and places heavy emphasis on speeches from the individual characters for its really riveting moments (as I would expect from a stage play), but those moments definitely get across. The whole cast is good, but Jack Palance in a nuanced and fiery performance as the actor Charlie Castle, and Rod Steiger, giving a deeply felt and passionate realization of the corrupt studio boss are nothing short of superb. The screenplay is full of smart, incisive, biting dialogue as well. Except for a melodramatic turn at the end, that, for me, takes a lot of the edge off the story, this is a well-acted film that is solid, though not spectacular, entertainment. 3*** out of 4


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