7.4/10
5,268
72 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:

Joseph H. Lewis (as Joseph Lewis)

Writer:

Philip Yordan (by)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Cornel Wilde ... Police Lt. Leonard Diamond
Richard Conte ... Mr. Brown
Brian Donlevy ... Joe McClure
Jean Wallace ... Susan Lowell
Robert Middleton ... Police Capt. Peterson
Lee Van Cleef ... Fante
Earl Holliman ... Mingo
Helen Walker ... Alicia Brown
Jay Adler ... Detective Sam Hill
John Hoyt ... Nils Dreyer
Ted de Corsia ... Ralph Bettini
Helene Stanton ... Rita
Roy Gordon Roy Gordon ... Audubon
Whit Bissell ... Doctor (scenes deleted) (as Whit Bissel)
Steve Mitchell 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:

USA

Language:

English | Swedish

Release Date:

13 February 1955 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Hoodlum See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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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

In the final scene at the airport, the position of the spotlight attached to the car that Susan keeps aiming at Brown changes from the top of the windshield to the bottom and back again. See more »

Quotes

Leonard Diamond: I know his name. The name of a man who will pick up a phone and call Chicago and New Orleans and say "Hey Bill, Joe is coming down for the weekend. Advance him fifty thousand," and he hangs up the phone and the money's advanced, protection money. A new all night bar opens, with gambling outside city limits. A bunch of high school kids come in for a good time. They get loaded, they get irresponsible, they lose their shirts. Then they get a gun, cause they're worried, they want to make up their ...
See more »

Connections

Featured in Morning Patrol (1987) See more »

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User Reviews

 
unacknowledged film noir classic!
9 October 1999 | by RajdeepSee 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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