6.8/10
3,180
58 user 40 critic

The Big Knife (1955)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 25 November 1955 (France)
Hollywood actor Charles Castle is pressured by his studio boss into a criminal cover-up to protect his valuable career.

Director:

Robert Aldrich

Writers:

James Poe (adapted for the screen by), Clifford Odets (stage play)
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1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Jack Palance ... Charles Castle
Ida Lupino ... Marion Castle
Wendell Corey ... Smiley Coy
Jean Hagen ... Connie Bliss
Rod Steiger ... Stanley Shriner Hoff
Ilka Chase ... Patty Benedict
Everett Sloane ... Nat Danziger
Wesley Addy ... Horatio 'Hank' Teagle
Paul Langton ... Buddy Bliss
Nick Dennis ... Mickey Feeney
Bill Walker ... Russell
Michael Winkelman ... Billy Castle (as Mike Winkelman)
Shelley Winters ... Dixie Evans (as Miss Shelley Winters)
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Storyline

Charles Castle is a successful Hollywood actor who has opted for screen success over art. He must make critical decisions regarding his career, his marriage, his art & morality. In this screen adaptation of a Clifford Odets play, Castle is pressured by his studio boss and manipulated into a potentially murderous cover-up to protect his career. An indictment of the amoral world of 50's Hollywood and its corrosive effect upon the artist. Written by Thomas Robbin

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

REVEALED...The dark secrets behind the glamour of a famous star...the women in his life that hushed-up scandals...the ruthless forces that stalked him! (original poster) See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Perhaps only movie in film history to carry screen credit for company that supplied "upholstered furniture." See more »

Goofs

The camera and operator are visibly reflected in one scene in the living room. See more »

Quotes

Charlie Castle: [to Marion] "You swat the fly from my face with a hammer"
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the opening credits: Upholstered furniture by Martin/ Brattrud. See more »

Connections

Featured in American Cinema: The Studio System See more »

User Reviews

Powerful fifties' drama
15 April 2003 | by rcraig62See all my reviews

The Big Knife is a mostly good adaptation of a Clifford Odets play about a Hollywood actor who's being blackmailed into studio servitude while trying to patch up his failing marriage. This is a movie for which the word powerful was truly invented. Most of the film takes place on one set and places heavy emphasis on speeches from the individual characters for its really riveting moments (as I would expect from a stage play), but those moments definitely get across. The whole cast is good, but Jack Palance in a nuanced and fiery performance as the actor Charlie Castle, and Rod Steiger, giving a deeply felt and passionate realization of the corrupt studio boss are nothing short of superb. The screenplay is full of smart, incisive, biting dialogue as well. Except for a melodramatic turn at the end, that, for me, takes a lot of the edge off the story, this is a well-acted film that is solid, though not spectacular, entertainment. 3*** out of 4


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 November 1955 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

The Big Knife See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$423,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

3 Channel Stereo (RCA Sound Recording) (5.0) (L-R)| Mono (Glen Glenn Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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