6.8/10
3,073
57 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)
Reviews
1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Action | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

After 1945, six German ex-soldiers are hired to defuse unexploded Allied bombs in the ruins of Berlin.

Director: Robert Aldrich
Stars: Jack Palance, Jeff Chandler, Martine Carol
Attack (1956)
Action | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

In 1945, an American Infantry company sets up an artillery observation post, but tensions between Captain Cooney and Lieutenant Costa run high.

Director: Robert Aldrich
Stars: Jack Palance, Lee Marvin, Eddie Albert
Autumn Leaves (1956)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Millicent Wetherby is a middle-aged woman whose life is devoid of love and affection. Millicent's solitary existence changes when she encounters Burt Hansen a charismatic younger man. As ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Aldrich
Stars: Joan Crawford, Cliff Robertson, Vera Miles
Apache (1954)
Certificate: Passed Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Refusing to let himself be re-settled on a Florida reservation, Massai, an Apache warrior, escapes his captors and returns to his homeland to become a peaceful farmer.

Director: Robert Aldrich
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Jean Peters, John McIntire
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

The struggle of a lady's garment workers' organization to unionize a New York clothing sweat shop; the owner of which is determined to keep the union out of his business at any cost.

Directors: Vincent Sherman, Robert Aldrich
Stars: Lee J. Cobb, Kerwin Mathews, Gia Scala
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The life of a soap opera actress begins to unravel as she fears her character will be written out of the series.

Director: Robert Aldrich
Stars: Beryl Reid, Susannah York, Coral Browne
Crime | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A doomed female hitchhiker pulls Mike Hammer into a deadly whirlpool of intrigue, revolving around a mysterious "great whatsit".

Director: Robert Aldrich
Stars: Ralph Meeker, Albert Dekker, Paul Stewart
Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Rough city cop Jim Wilson is disciplined by his captain and is sent upstate, to a snowy mountain town, to help the local sheriff solve a murder case.

Directors: Nicholas Ray, Ida Lupino
Stars: Ida Lupino, Robert Ryan, Ward Bond
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

In Singapore, a private detective and the British authorities are on the trail of a crime syndicate that kidnaps a nuclear physicist with the aim of selling him to the highest bidder.

Director: Robert Aldrich
Stars: Dan Duryea, Gene Lockhart, Patric Knowles
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

When 2 detectives steal $80,000 from a dead robber, one of them suffers from a guilty conscience which could lead to murder.

Director: Don Siegel
Stars: Ida Lupino, Steve Cochran, Howard Duff
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A serial killer has been killing beautiful women in New York and the new owner of a media company offers a high ranking job to the first of his senior executives who can get the earliest scoops on the case.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Dana Andrews, Rhonda Fleming, George Sanders
I Walk Alone (1947)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Frankie Madison leaves prison expecting a share from his ex-partner. But Prohibition bootlegging didn't prepare Frankie for Big Business.

Director: Byron Haskin
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Lizabeth Scott, Kirk Douglas
Edit

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)
Edit

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 »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 November 1955 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Hollywood-Story See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$423,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

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
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Robert Aldrich rather cattily laid the blame for the film's box office failure at the door of Jack Palance, claiming that he didn't have leading man looks. This obviously didn't bother both parties too much as Palance worked with Aldrich several times later in his career, starting with Attack (1956) the following year. See more »

Goofs

In the living room, as Hoff begins "We all love you..." his hands are clasped in front of him. But on the cut, in mid-sentence ("...you're a great artist...") his arms are spread wide. See more »

Quotes

Nat Danziger: [to Charlie] Well, darling, first I want to tell you that Stanley had me in his office about the contract this morning - for two hours, hail Columbia! Which all leads to the fact they're dropping in here.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Overwritten and overacted -- what's not to like
24 May 2005 | by gws-2See all my reviews

"The Big Knife" is really a stage play recorded on film. It's a Hollywood soap opera that features a lot of good actors eating the scenery. Rod Steiger and Everett Sloan are great as the monstrous studio honcho and weaselly agent, respectively. Jack Palance is a competent actor but was woefully miscast as the sensitive, tortured matinée idol -- nobody would ever confuse Palance with a matinée idol. Nevertheless, he does an adequate job.

The power of the studio system in the '50s is well depicted, if a bit overwrought. Steiger's performance is particularly delicious as his toweringly self-centered character cries, wheedles, and intimidates his underlings into doing what he wants.

The movie is showing its age but its excesses, especially its colorful language, are a lot of fun. Recommended, 7 out of 10.


41 of 47 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 57 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series



Recently Viewed