6.8/10
3,068
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)
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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:

BEHIND THE SCENE...BEHIND THE MAKE-UP! (original print ad-all caps) See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Stanley Hoff is supposedly a composite of studio heads, but primarily Harry Cohn of Columbia and to a lesser extent Louis B. Mayer of MGM (the crying). The hearing aid may be a nod to RKO's Howard Hughes who was hard of hearing. Another hint that Hoff is primarily Cohn are the secret recordings of Marion. Cohn had recording devices planted throughout the studio. 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 Pulp Cinema (2001) See more »

User Reviews

 
Tough 50's Hollywood Nightmare!
12 December 2004 | by shepardjessica-1See all my reviews

One of the 10 best of '55 with sparks flying between Palance & Steiger. Subtle performance by Ms. Ida Lupino and intensity personified by J. Palance. Rod Steiger with white hair and hearing aid is pretty scary. Written by Clifford Odets, this realistic Hollywood tale cuts no corners and does not see out.

An 8 out of 10. Best performance = Rod Steiger. Too grim for some. Beautiful B/W cinematography and terrific script and the entire cast is deliberate and impassioned. I don't believe it was nominated for anything, but should have been. I'm not sure if this is on video or DVD, but check it out!


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 November 1955 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Hollywood-Story 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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