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Bigger Than Life ()


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A seriously ill schoolteacher becomes dependent on a "miracle" drug that begins to affect his sanity.

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...
Ed Avery
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Lou Avery
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Wally Gibbs
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Dr. Norton (as Robert Simon)
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Richie Avery
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Dr. Ruric
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Bob LaPorte
Rachel Stephens ...
Nurse
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Pat Wade
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Dee Aaker ...
Joe (uncredited)
David Bedell ...
X-Ray Doctor (uncredited)
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Mother at PTA Meeting (uncredited)
Harold Bostwick ...
Gentleman (uncredited)
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Churchgoer (uncredited)
Mary Carroll ...
Mother at PTA Meeting (uncredited)
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Mrs. Jones (uncredited)
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Saleslady (uncredited)
Betty Caulfield ...
Mrs. LaPorte (uncredited)
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Man at PTA Meeting (uncredited)
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Dr. MacLennan (uncredited)
George Chester ...
Janitor (uncredited)
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Churchgoer (uncredited)
Richard Collier ...
Andy - the Milkman (uncredited)
Fred Dale ...
Male Nurse (uncredited)
Nan Dolan ...
Dr. Norton's Nurse (uncredited)
Nestor Eristoff ...
Parent (uncredited)
George Ford ...
Parent (uncredited)
Alex Frazer ...
Clergyman (uncredited)
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Mother at PTA Meeting (uncredited)
Bill Jones ...
Mr. Byron (uncredited)
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Churchgoer (uncredited)
Gustave Lax ...
Churchgoer (uncredited)
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Churchgoer (uncredited)
Eve March ...
Mother at PTA Meeting (uncredited)
Thomas Martin ...
Cab Dispatcher (uncredited)
Portland Mason ...
Nancy (uncredited)
Natalie Masters ...
Mrs. Tyndal (uncredited)
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Freddie (uncredited)
Mary McAdoo ...
Mrs. Edwards (uncredited)
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Mr. Jones (uncredited)
Joseph Mell ...
Frank - the Cab Dispatcher (uncredited)
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Cabby (uncredited)
Joe Merritt ...
Husband (uncredited)
John Monaghan ...
Sam - the Cabby (uncredited)
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Saleslady (uncredited)
Paul Peters ...
Gentleman (uncredited)
Gladys Richards ...
Lab Nurse (uncredited)
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Child (uncredited)
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Druggist (uncredited)
Ann Spencer ...
Nurse (uncredited)
Hal Taggart ...
Churchgoer (uncredited)

Directed by

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Nicholas Ray

Written by

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Cyril Hume ... (story and screenplay) and
Richard Maibaum ... (story and screenplay)
 
Burton Roueche ... (article in The New Yorker) (as Berton Roueché)
 
James Mason ... () (uncredited)
 
Gavin Lambert ... () (uncredited)
 
Clifford Odets ... () (uncredited)
 
Nicholas Ray ... () (uncredited)

Produced by

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James Mason ... producer

Music by

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David Raksin

Cinematography by

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Joseph MacDonald ... director of photography (as Joe MacDonald)

Film Editing by

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Louis R. Loeffler ... (as Louis Loeffler)

Editorial Department

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Leonard Doss ... color consultant

Art Direction by

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Jack Martin Smith
Lyle R. Wheeler

Set Decoration by

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Stuart A. Reiss ... (set decorations)
Walter M. Scott ... (set decorations)

Costume Design by

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Mary Wills ... (costumes designed by)

Makeup Department

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Ben Nye ... makeup artist
Helen Turpin ... hair stylist

Second Unit Director or Assistant Director

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Eli Dunn ... assistant director

Sound Department

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W.D. Flick ... sound
Harry M. Leonard ... sound
Ray Bomba ... sound editor (uncredited)
Ralph Hickey ... sound editor (uncredited)

Visual Effects by

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Ray Kellogg ... special photographic effects

Costume and Wardrobe Department

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Charles Le Maire ... executive wardrobe designer (as Charles LeMaire)

Music Department

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Lionel Newman ... conductor
Edward B. Powell ... orchestrator
Crew verified as complete

Production Companies

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Distributors

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Special Effects

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Other Companies

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Storyline

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Plot Summary

Schoolteacher and family man Ed Avery, who's been suffering bouts of severe pain and even blackouts, is hospitalized with what's diagnosed as a rare inflammation of the arteries. Told by doctors that he probably has only months to live, Ed agrees to an experimental treatment: doses of the hormone cortisone. Ed makes a remarkable recovery, and returns home to his wife, Lou, and their son, Richie. He must keep taking cortisone tablets regularly to prevent a recurrence of his illness. But the "miracle" cure turns into its own nightmare as Ed starts to abuse the tablets, causing him to experience increasingly wild mood swings. Written by Eugene Kim

Plot Keywords
Taglines The story of the handful of hope that became a fistful of hell! See more »
Genres
Parents Guide View content advisory »
Certification

Additional Details

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Also Known As
  • One in a Million (United States)
  • Derrière le miroir (France)
  • Mensch oder Teufel (Germany)
  • Más poderoso que la vida (Spain)
  • Delirio de locura (Argentina)
  • See more »
Runtime
  • 95 min
Country
Language
Color
Aspect Ratio
Sound Mix
Filming Locations

Box Office

Budget $1,000,000 (estimated)

Did You Know?

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Trivia Marilyn Monroe, who was friends with Nicholas Ray and shooting Bus Stop (1956) at an adjoining stage at 20th Century Fox, visited the set one afternoon. Ray talked her over to shoot a brief cameo as a nurse during a hospital sequence, but in the end, the scene was not shot because of her nervousness. The cameo was never intended to be included in the movie. See more »
Goofs 37 minutes into the movie, Ed is at the bathroom sink and has just replaced the pill bottle in the medicine cabinet. As he closes the cabinet door, the director and the camera are reflected in the mirror. See more »
Movie Connections Featured in A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese Through American Movies (1995). See more »
Quotes Ed Avery: God was wrong!
See more »

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