8.1/10
30,816
183 user 116 critic

Ace in the Hole (1951)

Approved | | Drama, Film-Noir | 4 July 1951 (USA)
Trailer
2:23 | Trailer
A frustrated former big-city journalist now stuck working for an Albuquerque newspaper exploits a story about a man trapped in a cave to rekindle his career, but the situation quickly escalates into an out-of-control circus.

Director:

Billy Wilder
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

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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:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The original poster art, which was also used in DVD and blu-ray releases, shows the film's star Kirk Douglas crawling in the cave with an anxious, wide-eyed expression, and gave the impression that he was the one who was trapped. This clever gimmick worked in two ways: First, it gave the first-time viewers the misleading idea that it was the film's lead character who was in a dangerous situation (which, although not true, was good for the box office). Second, it was even true in a metaphorical way, it symbolized him trying to get out of the dull small town where he was unwillingly stuck for years. See more »

Goofs

Rattlesnakes will not eat bubble gum, in or out of the wrapper. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Charles Tatum: Hey. Pull up at the corner.
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Connections

Featured in TCM Guest Programmer: Spike Lee (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

The Hut-Sut Song
(uncredited)
Written by Leo Killion, Ted McMichael and Jack Owens
Sung by Richard Benedict and Kirk Douglas
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User Reviews

 
Overly bombastic performance by Kurk Douglas!
22 December 2007 | by superrflySee all my reviews

I still have to give this film a 7 out of 10 for the subject is a very important and timeless one, that of media manipulation. But the film is anything but subtle. I grant that this acting style of which I complain is very much of the period, but the declamatory nature of Tatum's character comes on way too strong, and makes what could have been a complex character into a very one dimensional one. The overall effect of this and the rest of the writing leaves one with the feeling of being bludgeoned, rather than being exposed to a very disturbing and pervasive phenomena. Could have been handled with more subtlety and delivered greater impact.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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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)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,300,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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