6.4/10
701
13 user 19 critic

The Big Night (1951)

Approved | | Drama, Film-Noir, Thriller | 7 December 1951 (USA)
A teenager comes of age while seeking revenge on the man who beat up his father.

Director:

Joseph Losey

Writers:

Stanley Ellin (novel), Joseph Losey (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
Reviews
Popularity
461 ( 9,118)

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A small town newspaperman's investigation into a local bookie operation turns up a web of organized crime.

Director: Robert Wise
Stars: John Forsythe, Joan Camden, Harold J. Kennedy
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

On New Year's Eve 1946, Sheila Page kills her husband Barney. She wishes that she could relive 1946 and avoid the mistakes that she made throughout the year. Her wish comes true but cheating fate proves more difficult than she anticipated.

Director: Alfred L. Werker
Stars: Louis Hayward, Joan Leslie, Virginia Field
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A charming but ruthless criminal holds the family of a bank manager hostage as part of a cold-blooded plan to steal 97,000 pounds.

Director: Quentin Lawrence
Stars: Peter Cushing, André Morell, Richard Vernon
Danger Signal (1945)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A very romantic murderer has plans to seduce, marry and kill a beautiful woman for her wealth, but finds her younger sister to be even better prey.

Director: Robert Florey
Stars: Faye Emerson, Zachary Scott, Richard Erdman
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A multinational group of train passengers become involved in a post-World War II Nazi assassination plot.

Director: Jacques Tourneur
Stars: Merle Oberon, Robert Ryan, Charles Korvin
Criss Cross (1949)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

An armored truck driver and his lovely ex-wife conspire with a gang to have his own truck robbed on the route.

Director: Robert Siodmak
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Yvonne De Carlo, Dan Duryea
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Mary Astor has to make a difficult choice after learning her personal diaries have been stolen.

Director: Alexa Foreman
Stars: Lee Grant, Molly Haskell, Leonard Maltin
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

With a war on and most men being drafted, Howard Oil Supply Company has no salesmen left. So daughter Jean hits the road and does not make one sale. She finally gets one tentative sale with... See full summary »

Director: Vincent Sherman
Stars: Ida Lupino, Sydney Greenstreet, William Prince
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Mystery writer Cornelius Leyden becomes intrigued when the murdered body of a vicious career criminal washes up in the Bosphorus.

Director: Jean Negulesco
Stars: Peter Lorre, Sydney Greenstreet, Zachary Scott
Trapped (1949)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Secret Service agents make a deal with a counterfeiting inmate to be released on early parole if he will help them recover some bogus moneymaking plates, but he plans to double cross them.

Director: Richard Fleischer
Stars: Lloyd Bridges, Barbara Payton, John Hoyt
M (1951)
Drama | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

In this Americanization of the 1931 German thriller, both the police and the criminal underworld stalk a mysterious killer who preys on small children.

Director: Joseph Losey
Stars: David Wayne, Howard Da Silva, Martin Gabel
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

An ex-con trying to go straight is framed for a million dollar armored car robbery and must go to Mexico in order to unmask the real culprits.

Director: Phil Karlson
Stars: John Payne, Coleen Gray, Preston Foster
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
John Drew Barrymore ... George La Main (as John Barrymore Jr.)
Preston Foster ... Andy La Main
Joan Lorring ... Marion Rostina
Howard St. John ... Al Judge
Dorothy Comingore ... Julie Rostina
Philip Bourneuf ... Dr. Lloyd Cooper
Howland Chamberlain ... Flanagan (as Howland Chamberlin)
Myron Healey ... Kennealy
Emile Meyer ... Peckinpaugh (as Emil Meyer)
Mauri Leighton ... Terry Angelus (as Mauri Lynn)
Edit

Storyline

George La Main, just turned 17, suffers growing pains and is anxious to prove his manhood. That night, George's adored father Andy is savagely beaten by sportswriter Al Judge. Traumatized and unable to learn why it happened, George goes gunning for Judge. His mission becomes an odyssey through the town's seamy side, and his coming of age is more of a trial by fire than he bargained for. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

whiskey | poker | metaxa | cognac | beer | See All (36) »

Taglines:

GRIPPING! Under cover of darkness a kid learns about life!


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 December 1951 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Big Night See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

According to interviews that director Joseph Losey gave in the mid-1970s to Michel Ciment, the FBI wanted to spy on him in Europe, where he relocated to work after being blacklisted by Hollywood because of his political activities. So they paid John Drew Barrymore (who became a good friend after this movie) to furnish information about Losey's political activities, if any, in London. Barrymore later met Losey in London and confessed to him about the money and expense account the FBI had given him to spy on Losey. Losey, recalling that the young actor had been under tremendous pressure at the time, forgave him and, in fact, suggested that they have several lavish meals together and put the cost on Barrymore's FBI expense account, which they promptly did. See more »

Goofs

The magazine racks outside the corner store are mostly issues contemporary to 1951, with one glaring exception. A copy of the famous first issue of The New Yorker (published in 1925). See more »

Quotes

George La Main: I remember the stairs.
Marion Rostina: You ought to. You spent a long time on 'em.
See more »

Soundtracks

Am I Too Young
Music by Lyn Murray
Lyrics by Sid Kuller
Sung by Mauri Leighton (uncredited)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Cop out ending
17 January 2020 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

A truly cop out ending really ruins what was potentially a great coming of age film. John Drew Barrymore gave an outstanding performance as our youth protagonist who does a lot of growing up in The Big Night.

Young Barrymore celebrating his 17th birthday is horrified that at his birthday party sportswriter Howard St.John gives Barrymore's father Preston Foster one severe and public thrashing. And Foster who back in his prime Hollywood days in the 30s was one rugged tough guy just submits to it. A case of directolr Joseph Losey casting successfully against type. i do wish we saw a bit more of Foster in the film though.

Looking to avenge the family honor Barrymore has quite an odyssey on his Big Night.

I can't say more lest I spoil things, but the ending was a cop out. My guess was that the soon to be blacklisted Joe Losey made some concession to Hollywood convention. It was not over politics though.

Not the best note Losey could have left America on.


0 of 0 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 13 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed