8.2/10
24,824
172 user 148 critic

Ace in the Hole (1951)

Not Rated | | Drama, Film-Noir | 4 July 1951 (USA)
Trailer
2:23 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $3.99 on Prime Video

ON DISC
A frustrated former big-city journalist now stuck working for an Albuquerque newspaper exploits a story about a man trapped in a cave to re-jump start his career, but the situation quickly escalates into an out-of-control circus.

Director:

Billy Wilder
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

The desperate life of a chronic alcoholic is followed through a four-day drinking bout.

Director: Billy Wilder
Stars: Ray Milland, Jane Wyman, Phillip Terry
Stalag 17 (1953)
Comedy | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

When two escaping American World War II prisoners are killed, the German P.O.W. camp barracks black marketeer, J.J. Sefton, is suspected of being an informer.

Director: Billy Wilder
Stars: William Holden, Don Taylor, Otto Preminger
Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Powerful but unethical Broadway columnist J.J. Hunsecker coerces unscrupulous press agent Sidney Falco into breaking up his sister's romance with a jazz musician.

Director: Alexander Mackendrick
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Tony Curtis, Susan Harrison
White Heat (1949)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A psychopathic criminal with a mother complex makes a daring break from prison and leads his old gang in a chemical plant payroll heist. Shortly after the plan takes place, events take a crazy turn.

Director: Raoul Walsh
Stars: James Cagney, Virginia Mayo, Edmond O'Brien
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

In West Berlin during the Cold War, a Coca-Cola executive is given the task of taking care of his boss' socialite daughter.

Director: Billy Wilder
Stars: James Cagney, Horst Buchholz, Pamela Tiffin
Drama | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A potentially violent screenwriter is a murder suspect until his lovely neighbor clears him. But she begins to have doubts.

Director: Nicholas Ray
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Gloria Grahame, Frank Lovejoy
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

In occupied Berlin, an army captain is torn between an ex-Nazi café singer and the U.S. congresswoman investigating her.

Director: Billy Wilder
Stars: Jean Arthur, Marlene Dietrich, John Lund
The Big Heat (1953)
Crime | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Tough cop Dave Bannion takes on a politically powerful crime syndicate.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Glenn Ford, Gloria Grahame, Jocelyn Brando
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Jealous piano teacher Orville Spooner sends his beautiful wife, Zelda, away for the night while he tries to sell a song to famous nightclub singer Dino, who is stranded in town.

Director: Billy Wilder
Stars: Dean Martin, Kim Novak, Ray Walston
Irma la Douce (1963)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

In Paris, a former policeman falls in love with a prostitute, and tries to get her out of that life by paying for all of her time.

Director: Billy Wilder
Stars: Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine, Lou Jacobi
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A crooked lawyer persuades his brother-in-law to feign a serious injury.

Director: Billy Wilder
Stars: Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau, Ron Rich
Sabrina (1954)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A playboy becomes interested in the daughter of his family's chauffeur, but it's his more serious brother who would be the better man for her.

Director: Billy Wilder
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Audrey Hepburn, William Holden
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kirk Douglas ... Chuck Tatum
Jan Sterling ... Lorraine Minosa
Robert Arthur ... Herbie Cook (as Bob Arthur)
Porter Hall ... Jacob Q. Boot
Frank Cady ... Al Federber
Richard Benedict ... Leo Minosa
Ray Teal ... Sheriff Gus Kretzer
Lewis Martin Lewis Martin ... McCardle
John Berkes ... Papa Minosa
Frances Dominguez Frances Dominguez ... Mama Minosa
Gene Evans ... Deputy Sheriff
Frank Jaquet ... Sam Smollett
Harry Harvey ... Dr. Hilton
Bob Bumpas Bob Bumpas ... Radio Announcer
Geraldine Hall Geraldine Hall ... Nellie Federber
Edit

Storyline

Charles Tatum, a down-on-his-luck reporter, takes a job with a small New Mexico newspaper. The job is pretty boring until he finds a man trapped in an old Indian dwelling. He jumps at the chance to make a name for himself by taking over and prolonging the rescue effort, and feeding stories to major newspapers. He creates a national media sensation and milks it for all it is worth - until things go terribly wrong. Written by John Oswalt <jao@jao.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Rough, tough Chuck Tatum, who battered his way to the top ... trampling everything in his path - men, women and morals !

Genres:

Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish | Latin

Release Date:

4 July 1951 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Human Interest Story See more »

Filming Locations:

USA See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$1,800,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$3,969,893
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

This film is part of the Criterion Collection, spine #396. See more »

Goofs

Rattlesnakes will not eat bubble gum, in or out of the wrapper. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Charles Tatum: Hey. Pull up at the corner.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Spielberg on Spielberg (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

The Hut-Sut Song
(uncredited)
Written by Leo Killion, Ted McMichael and Jack Owens
Sung by Richard Benedict and Kirk Douglas
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
"Go home! The carnival is over."
5 May 1999 | by PearseySee all my reviews

This is a movie I have loved since the first time I saw it as a child. Kirk Douglas plays the lead role in "The Big Carnival", or "Ace in the Hole" as it was originally titled. As down and out former ace newspaper reporter Chuck Tatum, he finds himself broke in the southwest and manages to talk himself into a reporting job with a small town newspaper. He and a cub photographer are sent to cover a snake hunt and on the way they come across a more interesting story. A man hunting Navaho artifacts got caught in a cave in.

Tatum, after visiting the man, Leo Minoso in the cave, has visions of Floyd Collins and a Pulitzer prize dancing in his head. Through blackmail and manipulation of the story, Tatum sells his soul and his journalistic ethics in his quest for a chance at the big time again.

This movie was ahead of it's time in estimating how low the media would go to sell a story. Tatum leads the carnival of onlookers, vendors and other reporters wanting a piece of the story until the inevitable tragic ending occurs. He realizes too late how he has turned a simple event into a tragedy and become part of the story instead of a reporter. Kirk Douglas turns in a powerful performance.


6 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 172 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed