IMDb > Bigger Than Life (1956)
Bigger Than Life
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Bigger Than Life (1956) More at IMDbPro »


Overview

User Rating:
7.6/10   3,606 votes »
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Down 45% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Cyril Hume (story) and
Richard Maibaum (story) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Bigger Than Life on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
2 August 1956 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
The story of the handful of hope that became a fistful of hell! See more »
Plot:
A seriously ill schoolteacher becomes dependent on a "miracle" drug that begins to affect his sanity. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Awards:
1 nomination See more »
NewsDesk:
(64 articles)
Film Review: ‘Noah’
 (From Variety - Film News. 20 March 2014, 10:01 PM, PDT)

Blu-ray Release: The Blue Max
 (From Disc Dish. 30 December 2013, 2:23 PM, PST)

Obamas’ Dog Sunny Knocks Over Girl, 2, At White House Christmas Party
 (From HollywoodLife. 5 December 2013, 9:39 AM, PST)

User Reviews:
Great 1950s Subversive Cinema! See more (51 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

James Mason ... Ed Avery

Barbara Rush ... Lou Avery

Walter Matthau ... Wally Gibbs
Robert F. Simon ... Dr. Norton (as Robert Simon)
Christopher Olsen ... Richie Avery
Roland Winters ... Dr. Ruric
Rusty Lane ... Bob LaPorte
Rachel Stephens ... Nurse
Kipp Hamilton ... Pat Wade
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Dee Aaker ... Joe (uncredited)
David Bedell ... X-Ray Doctor (uncredited)
Gail Bonney ... Mother at PTA Meeting (uncredited)
Harold Bostwick ... Gentleman (uncredited)
Mary Carroll ... Mother at PTA Meeting (uncredited)
Virginia Carroll ... Mrs. Jones (uncredited)
Mary Carver ... Saleslady (uncredited)
Betty Caulfield ... Mrs. LaPorte (uncredited)
Lewis Charles ... Dr. MacLennan (uncredited)
George Chester ... Janitor (uncredited)
Richard Collier ... Andy - the Milkman (uncredited)
Fred Dale ... Male Nurse (uncredited)
Nan Dolan ... Dr. Norton's Nurse (uncredited)
Alex Frazer ... Clergyman (uncredited)
Grace Hayle ... Mother at PTA Meeting (uncredited)
Bill Jones ... Mr. Byron (uncredited)
Colin Kenny ... Churchgoer (uncredited)
Wilbur Mack ... Churchgoer (uncredited)
Eve March ... Mother at PTA MEETING (uncredited)
Thomas Martin ... Cab Dispatcher (uncredited)
Portland Mason ... Nancy (uncredited)
Natalie Masters ... Mrs. Tyndal (uncredited)

Jerry Mathers ... Freddie (uncredited)
Mary McAdoo ... Mrs. Edwards (uncredited)
Renny McEvoy ... Mr. Jones (uncredited)
Joseph Mell ... Frank - the Cab Dispatcher (uncredited)

Sid Melton ... Cabby (uncredited)
Joe Merritt ... Husband (uncredited)
John Monaghan ... Sam - the Cabby (uncredited)
Eugenia Paul ... Saleslady (uncredited)
Paul Peters ... Gentleman (uncredited)
Gladys Richards ... Lab Nurse (uncredited)
Mary Margaret Robinson ... Child (uncredited)
Gus Schilling ... Druggist (uncredited)
Ann Spencer ... Nurse (uncredited)
Hal Taggart ... Churchgoer (uncredited)
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Directed by
Nicholas Ray 
 
Writing credits
Cyril Hume (story and screenplay) and
Richard Maibaum (story and screenplay)

Burton Roueche (article in The New Yorker) (as Berton Roueché)

Gavin Lambert  uncredited
James Mason  uncredited
Clifford Odets  uncredited
Nicholas Ray  uncredited

Produced by
James Mason .... producer
 
Original Music by
David Raksin 
 
Cinematography by
Joseph MacDonald (director of photography) (as Joe MacDonald)
 
Film Editing by
Louis R. Loeffler  (as Louis Loeffler)
 
Art Direction by
Jack Martin Smith 
Lyle R. Wheeler 
 
Set Decoration by
Stuart A. Reiss (set decorations)
Walter M. Scott (set decorations)
 
Costume Design by
Mary Wills (costumes designed by)
 
Makeup Department
Ben Nye .... makeup artist
Helen Turpin .... hair styles
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Eli Dunn .... assistant director
 
Sound Department
W.D. Flick .... sound
Harry M. Leonard .... sound
Ray Bomba .... sound editor (uncredited)
Ralph Hickey .... sound editor (uncredited)
 
Visual Effects by
Ray Kellogg .... special photographic effects
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Charles Le Maire .... executive wardrobe designer (as Charles LeMaire)
 
Editorial Department
Leonard Doss .... color consultant
 
Music Department
Lionel Newman .... conductor
Edward B. Powell .... orchestrator
 
Crew verified as complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
95 min | 91 min (FMC Library Print)
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
2.55 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (optical prints) (Westrex Recording System) | 4-Track Stereo (magnetic prints) (Westrex Recording System)
Certification:
Finland:K-16 | UK:X (original rating) | UK:12 (tv rating) | UK:12 (video rating) (2006) | UK:12A (re-rating) (2003) | USA:Not Rated | USA:Approved (MPAA rating: certificate #18042) | West Germany:16 (f)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Marilyn Monroe, who was friends with Nicholas Ray and shooting Bus Stop (1956) at an adjoining stage at 20th Century Fox, shot a brief cameo as a nurse during a hospital sequence. Her scene was deleted because the studio was afraid that Monroe would use this cameo as the second film she owed under her contract.See more »
Goofs:
Crew or equipment visible: 37 minutes into the movie, Ed is at the bathroom sink and has just replaced the pill bottle in the medicine cabinet. As he closes the cabinet door, the director and the camera are reflected in the mirror.See more »
Quotes:
Ed Avery:God was wrong!See more »
Movie Connections:

FAQ

Will Nicholas Ray's 'Bigger Than Life' ever be available on DVD?
See more »
34 out of 44 people found the following review useful.
Great 1950s Subversive Cinema!, 2 May 2000
Author: Skot Christopherson from San Francisco, CA

This film, much like the melodramas of Douglas Sirk, has far more going on than meets the eye. James Mason's character, after getting whacked out of Cortizone (a "Miracle Drug") indeed becomes hysterical and abusive. But he was made ill in the first place by the strain caused his intensely driven lifestyle, where he kept two jobs to finance his family's social and financial ascent.

What the viewer has to watch for is what his character says during his cortizone-induced delusions. His criticisms of his wife, kid, PTA and society in general are over-the-top, but essentially valid. It's a classic narrative device: by allowing a main character a way out of societal responsibility and place (In this case, being bombed on Cortizone), he is allowed to comment on and criticize American society directly without actually threatening the status quo. and in the case of 1950s America, that's a monolithic status quo to criticize.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (51 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Bigger Than Life (1956)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Inspiration for 'The Shining?' shaggy61
Anyone else a bit disappointed with the end? motherfckzombies-261-668745
Plot hole? rahul_capri
I wonder if MAD MEN's creator has seen this movie... deering24
inspiration for 'Mutiny' episode of VTTBOTS? jarnoldfan
Cortisone is an excuse ***spoilers*** chapmanshomer
See more »

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