8.0/10
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164 user 89 critic

The Big Heat (1953)

Not Rated | | Crime, Film-Noir, Thriller | 6 December 1953 (Japan)
Trailer
1:43 | Trailer
Tough cop Dave Bannion takes on a politically powerful crime syndicate.

Director:

Fritz Lang

Writers:

Sydney Boehm (screenplay), William P. McGivern (Saturday Evening Post serial)
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Popularity
1,405 ( 7,016)
2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Glenn Ford ... Dave Bannion
Gloria Grahame ... Debby Marsh
Jocelyn Brando ... Katie Bannion
Alexander Scourby ... Mike Lagana
Lee Marvin ... Vince Stone
Jeanette Nolan ... Bertha Duncan
Peter Whitney ... Tierney
Willis Bouchey ... Lt. Ted Wilks
Robert Burton ... Gus Burke
Adam Williams ... Larry Gordon
Howard Wendell Howard Wendell ... Commissioner Higgins
Chris Alcaide ... George Rose
Michael Granger Michael Granger ... Hugo
Dorothy Green ... Lucy Chapman
Carolyn Jones ... Doris
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Storyline

Dave Bannion is an upright cop on the trail of a vicious gang he suspects holds power over the police force. Bannion is tipped off after a colleague's suicide and his fellow officers' suspicious silence lead him to believe that they are on the gangsters' payroll. When a bomb meant for him kills his wife instead, Bannion becomes a furious force of vengeance and justice, aided along the way by the gangster's spurned girlfriend Debby. As Bannion and Debby fall further and further into the Gangland's insidious and brutal trap, they must use any means necessary (including murder) to get to the truth. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

From the Shock-packed Saturday Evening Post Serial! See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Mike Lagana (Alexander Scourby) says, "Vince gave you two simple contracts." In the old days' gangster slang, a "contract" meant "a murder on request." See more »

Goofs

As Bannion is moving out of his house, he goes to a back room to get something. As he goes around a corner, we see his shadow stop, then it just disappears. Bannion then comes back into the shot carrying his bag. An obvious cut, but done without the camera being moved. See more »

Quotes

Lt. Ted Wilks: It was bad judgment to bother a cop's widow about the love life of her husband.
Dave Bannion: Good or bad, it was my judgment.
Lt. Ted Wilks: You're missing the point. I'm the one that gets the pressure calls from upstairs. I'm the one that has to explain. You don't keep an office like this very long stepping on a lot of corns.
Dave Bannion: You want me to go upstairs and explain?
Lt. Ted Wilks: Not you. You're a corn stepper by instinct.
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Connections

Featured in My One and Only (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Put the Blame on Mame
(uncredited)
Written by Doris Fisher and Allan Roberts
Heard instrumentally during one of the scenes at The Retreat
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User Reviews

 
nice attention to detail
24 March 2005 | by RanchoTuVuSee all my reviews

A violent story about a detective working in a corrupt department who investigates the apparent suicide of a fellow officer. Worth seeing for Glenn Ford's prototypical performance and Gloria Grahme's show stealing portrayal of a boozing moll with a conscience. With facial disfigurement and cigarette burns it took violence up a notch from the standard gun play of the past, making it grimmer and more realistic, and giving the story more punch. Grahme's tough and tender role stands out and gives the film a tragic element, while certain of its portrayals of greed and corruption (namely the dead officer's wife) stand out for their attention to detail. In the end, it IS the details that give this formulaic story its clout, and we can thank director Fritz Lang for that.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 December 1953 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

The Big Heat See more »

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Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$6,324
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Columbia Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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