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
Actor Rex Reason was originally cast in this movie to portray Tierney or Detective Burke, but his agent was negotiating for him to play a bigger role in it, possibly that of Lee Marvin's villain, but since there was no agreement reached, Reason did not appear in the movie, even though some 1950s era books and magazines sources give him credit for this movie. See more »
In the opening scene, after Duncan shoots himself, his hand and the gun fall to the desk onto an envelope and right next to his badge. When the camera angle changes, only the barrel of the gun is on the envelope, and it's a few inches from the badge. See more »
[on the phone]
This is not a social call, Debby. Tell Vince I want him, right away.
Oh, sure, Mr. Lagana, I always like to tell Vince you're calling. I like to see him jump.
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Every character in THE BIG HEAT is fascinating. In fact, the script is so hot, I'd be surprised to see any director mess it up. Nonetheless, Fritz knows where to throw the spice (and the dolly moves). Not to mention, how to employ a younger Lee Marvin, who not only puts out a cigarette on a woman's hand but also dumps scalding hot coffee in her face. No, this ain't your mama's black and white. So grab the remote, a small glass of whiskey, and say with me on three:
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