7.7/10
6,978
76 user 55 critic

The Big Clock (1948)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 9 April 1948 (USA)
After murdering someone, a magazine tycoon tries to frame an unknown, innocent man for the murder instead, while the innocent man tries to solve the murder himself.

Director:

John Farrow

Writers:

Jonathan Latimer (screenplay), Kenneth Fearing (novel)
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2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ray Milland ... George Stroud
Charles Laughton ... Earl Janoth
Maureen O'Sullivan ... Georgette Stroud
George Macready ... Steve Hagen
Rita Johnson ... Pauline York
Elsa Lanchester ... Louise Patterson
Harold Vermilyea ... Don Klausmeyer
Dan Tobin ... Ray Cordette
Harry Morgan ... Bill Womack (as Henry Morgan)
Richard Webb ... Nat Sperling
Elaine Riley ... Lily Gold
Luis Van Rooten Luis Van Rooten ... Edwin Orlin
Lloyd Corrigan ... McKinley
Frank Orth ... Burt
Margaret Field Margaret Field ... Second Secretary
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Storyline

When powerful publishing tycoon Earl Janoth commits an act of murder at the height of passion, he cleverly begins to cover his tracks and frame an innocent man whose identity he doesn't know but who just happens to have contact with the murder victim. That man is a close associate on his magazine whom he enlists to trap this "killer" - George Stroud. It's up to George to continue to "help" Janoth, to elude the police and to find proof of his innocence and Janoth's guilt. Written by Ron Kerrigan

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Unanimously acclaimed as the super-suspense hit! See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 April 1948 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Spiel mit dem Tode See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

"Screen Director's Playhouse" broadcast a 30 minute radio adaptation of the movie on July 8, 1949 with Ray Milland and Maureen O'Sullivan reprising their film roles. See more »

Goofs

George Stroud introduces McKinley to Pauline York as the "23rd President of the United States." McKinley corrects him by saying "25th" (which is correct). However, McKinley's lips say "24th" (which is incorrect as Grover Cleveland was the 24th) and the "25th" is an obvious voice over. See more »

Quotes

Earl Janoth: [talking on intercom to Steve Hagen] On the fourth floor - in the broom closet - a bulb has been burning for several days. Find the man responsible, dock his pay.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Where Danger Lives: White Rose for Julie (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

I'm in the Mood for Love
(uncredited)
Music by Jimmy McHugh
source music heard when Pauline first meets George at the bar
See more »

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User Reviews

 
"Where are the green clocks of yesteryear?"
7 July 2015 | by utgard14See all my reviews

Taut thriller about a crime magazine editor (Ray Milland) trying to stay one step ahead of being framed for murder by his tyrannical boss (Charles Laughton). Ray Milland is great but it's scenery-chewing Charles Laughton that is the most memorable part of this movie. George Macready plays Laughton's crony and partner-in-crime. Rita Johnson is fantastic as Laughton's mistress. Elsa Lanchester has a small but amusing part that she makes the most of. Harry Morgan appears in an early role as a "problem solver" for Laughton. This was Maureen O'Sullivan's first movie in five years and her first non-Tarzan movie in seven. Director John Farrow was also her husband at the time so I'm sure that had something to do with her returning to the screen.

A tightly paced film with a great script. Fine direction from Farrow. It was remade in 1987 as No Way Out, which isn't a bad movie itself. Thankfully it isn't a direct copy but a reworking of the original story. Both the remake and this original have wonderful (and completely different) endings. This is definitely one you'll want to check out if you're a fan of film noir or thrillers from the '40s.


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