7.7/10
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80 user 57 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)
Reviews
2 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

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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
Learn more

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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:

The Strangest and most Savage Manhunt in History! See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Paramount bought the film rights to Fearing's novel for $45,000 before it was published, based on the success of his previous novel "The Hospital", which was a best seller. See more »

Goofs

Killer Earl Janoth (Laughton) dispatches his employee Steve Hagen (Macready) to the crime scene to eliminate any evidence connecting him to victim Pauline York (Johnson). Hagen alters the broken clock time as well as removing the murder weapon and misc.incriminating evidence.George Stroud (Milland) subsequently enters the York apartment and changes the clock time again. What both fail to see and leave behind is the most incriminating evidence of all. A photo of the real killer, Earl Janoth, prominently displayed in the apartment. See more »

Quotes

George Stroud: You're the only blonde in my life.
Georgette Stroud: I'm a brunette.
George Stroud: And you're the only brunette too.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Americans: Rififi (2018) 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 »

User Reviews

 
"The Big Clock" delivers BIG suspense
11 February 2009 | by PudgyPandaManSee all my reviews

I thoroughly enjoyed this film. I'm not sure I would categorize it a noir as much as I would a Mystery/suspense film. But whatever you call it, I call it a great way to spend 95 minutes. I can't recall a film that does a better job of building the suspense as this one. I was on the edge of my seat for the entire last half of the film.

The film makes great use of irony to help achieve this - in that the lead character, George Stroud (Ray Milland), is called upon to search for a wanted man - who turns out to be himself. He is mistakenly believed to be the killer of his boss' mistress, when in reality, it is the boss, Earl Janoth (Charles Laughton), who is the guilty party. It is a classic cat and mouse game - except that instead of searching for the "Randolph" character, Stroud is actually trying to find the real killer so as to clear his own name.

Stroud is literally surrounded on all sides by people who could identify him as the man who was with the murdered mistress on the night she was killed. He is running for his life within his own office building trying to avoid being identified. I love how the painting and the artist are used in the story. Elsa Lanchester was a true gem and quite a funny character. It's interesting to note that she was married to Charles Laughton. They certainly make an odd pair - especially in light of the fact of his known homosexuality.

Another married couple from the film was actress Maureen O'Sullivan, who played Stroud's wife, and Director John Farrow. They were married for 27 years (until his death) and had 7 children together, including Mia Farrow. Maureen and Mia appeared together in HANNAH AND HER SISTERS (1986).

Overall, a very good movie with a talented cast.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 April 1948 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Big Clock 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
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