8.2/10
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168 user 146 critic

Ace in the Hole (1951)

Not Rated | | Drama, Film-Noir | 4 July 1951 (USA)
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A frustrated former big-city journalist now stuck working for an Albuquerque newspaper exploits a story about a man trapped in a cave to re-jump start his career, but the situation quickly escalates into an out-of-control circus.

Director:

Billy Wilder
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Popularity
1,956 ( 7,542)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kirk Douglas ... Chuck Tatum
Jan Sterling ... Lorraine Minosa
Robert Arthur ... Herbie Cook (as Bob Arthur)
Porter Hall ... Jacob Q. Boot
Frank Cady ... Al Federber
Richard Benedict ... Leo Minosa
Ray Teal ... Sheriff Gus Kretzer
Lewis Martin Lewis Martin ... McCardle
John Berkes ... Papa Minosa
Frances Dominguez Frances Dominguez ... Mama Minosa
Gene Evans ... Deputy Sheriff
Frank Jaquet ... Sam Smollett
Harry Harvey ... Dr. Hilton
Bob Bumpas Bob Bumpas ... Radio Announcer
Geraldine Hall Geraldine Hall ... Nellie Federber
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Storyline

Charles Tatum, a down-on-his-luck reporter, takes a job with a small New Mexico newspaper. The job is pretty boring until he finds a man trapped in an old Indian dwelling. He jumps at the chance to make a name for himself by taking over and prolonging the rescue effort, and feeding stories to major newspapers. He creates a national media sensation and milks it for all it is worth - until things go terribly wrong. Written by John Oswalt <jao@jao.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Rough, tough Chuck Tatum, who battered his way to the top ... trampling everything in his path - men, women and morals !

Genres:

Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish | Latin

Release Date:

4 July 1951 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Human Interest Story See more »

Filming Locations:

USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,800,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$3,969,893
See more on IMDbPro »

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

When the film was released, it got bad reviews and lost money. The studio, without Billy Wilder's permission, changed the title to "The Big Carnival" to increase the box office take of the film. It didn't work. On top of that, Wilder's next picture, Stalag 17 (1953), was a hit and he expected a share of the picture's profits. Paramount accountants told him that since this picture lost money, the money it lost would be subtracted from the profits of "Stalag 17". See more »

Goofs

Lorraine stabbed Chuck with her right hand, meaning the wound should be on his left side. However, it is on his right side. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Charles Tatum: Hey. Pull up at the corner.
See more »

Connections

References Citizen Kane (1941) See more »

Soundtracks

We're Coming, Leo
(uncredited)
Written by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans
Performed by unidentified vocalist and band
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A Prophetic film
3 June 2002 | by noir1991See all my reviews

There are some films that when you see them you ask why they aren't available to rent or own. This is one of them. I had the fortune of seeing this hidden gem on the big screen and was pleasantly surprised.

With Kirk Douglas playing a Reporter whose been around the block, always looking for a shortcut, comes across an opportunity to exploit a man caught in a mine shaft. I have read where critics had considered the circus atmosphere of the the film unrealistic. It seems Mr. Wilder got the last laugh. If you are interesting in great dialogue and good story telling, I suggest you find this


35 of 40 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
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