7.4/10
5,187
70 user 61 critic

The Big Combo (1955)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 13 February 1955 (USA)
A police lt. is ordered to stop investigating deadly crime boss Mr. Brown, because he hasn't been able to get any hard evidence against him. He then goes after Brown's girlfriend who despises him, for information instead.

Director:

(as Joseph Lewis)

Writer:

(by)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Police Lt. Leonard Diamond
... Mr. Brown
... Joe McClure
... Susan Lowell
... Police Capt. Peterson
... Fante
... Mingo
... Alicia Brown
... Detective Sam Hill
... Nils Dreyer
... Ralph Bettini
... Rita
Roy Gordon ... Audubon
... Doctor (scenes deleted) (as Whit Bissel)
Steve Mitchell ... Bennie Smith - Boxer
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Storyline

Police Lt. Diamond is told to close his surveillance of suspected mob boss Mr. Brown because it's costing the department too much money with no results. Diamond makes one last attempt to uncover evidence against Brown by going to Brown's girlfriend, Susan Lowell. Written by Norman L Cook <cook@ssdgwy.mdc.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Most Startling Story The Screen Has Ever Dared Reveal!


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

13 February 1955 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Hoodlum  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was considered very daring for its time. Cornel Wilde's detective character is clearly having a casual sexual relationship with Helene Stanton's Rita, while the film quite openly infers that the two henchmen played by Lee Van Cleef and Earl Holliman are in a homosexual relationship. See more »

Goofs

When John Hoyt as Dreyer reaches into his desk for a gun, the contents of the desk on the insert close-up do not match the contents on the master shot. See more »

Quotes

Leonard Diamond: Do you know Mr. Brown?
Nils Dreyer: I had lunch with him last week. He's a very fine gentleman.
Leonard Diamond: He's a hoodlum.
Nils Dreyer: Because I have lunch with him, that is not a crime. I'll have lunch with anybody, I'm democratic. I'll even have lunch with you.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Witch Hunt (1994) See more »

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User Reviews

 
unacknowledged film noir classic!
9 October 1999 | by See all my reviews

It is surprising that the brilliance of this film has not been adequately recognised by the viewing public or the critics. Probably inspired by the prototypical rogue cop in Fritz Lang's "The Big Heat", this film features the crusade of one man - Lieutenant Diamond (Cornel Wilde in a super performance) to pin down Richard Conte's smooth-tongued gangster. Struggling to keep away the departmental bureaucracy, he battles singlehandedly against organised crime with a devotion to duty bordering on the obsessional ("It's my sworn duty to push too far").

Despite the absence of any big name in the cast, this film presents all the elements that we have come to love about American film noir - great lighting and photography, tight script ("First is first, and second is nobody"), a great storyline, and some superb performances (Susan Lowell as a society girl - the gangster's moll - is ravishing).

Watch this film. It's time it got recognition amongst the greatest films to come out of Hollywood. Ever.


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