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The Big Heat (1953)

Filmnoir | 89 minutes
3,76 288 votes

Genre: Filmnoir / Thriller

Duration: 89 minuten

Alternative title: Tot het Bittere Einde

Country: United States

Directed by: Fritz Lang

Stars: Glenn Ford, Gloria Grahame and Lee Marvin

IMDb score: 7,9 (29.133)

Releasedate: 14 October 1953

The Big Heat plot

"A hard cop and a soft dame."

A respected police officer commits suicide. No clue is found as to the reason for his suicide, but there seems to be more to it. Intrepid police detective Dave Bannion then digs into the case, which doesn't make life any easier for him and his family...

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Full Cast & Crew

Actors and actresses

Det. Sgt. Dave Bannion

Katie Bannion

Vince Stone

Bertha Duncan

Lt. Ted Wilks

Det. Gus Burke

Larry Gordon

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avatar van mister blonde

mister blonde

  • 12473 messages
  • 5425 votes

Beautiful film once again by Lang, who really belongs to the greatest of all. To show even more how this movie compares to my favorite; is definitely in my film noir top 5 (which also includes the Maltese Falcon, Double Indemnity, Kiss Me Deadly and the Big Sleep).

The good 50s are only shaken by a handful of fine film noirs like this one. Knowing that this movie is from '53, I sat in amazement watching preferably 2 femme fatales, the hot coffee on several left and a rather surprising car explosion. Got a bit tired of that very happy family at first. 'Fortunately' that became a strong point, which made the film extra powerful in the last hour.

Other than that, the usual things that belong to a strong film noir. Smart dialogues, a clever plot about a kind of detective (that's how I think of him after he was suspended), beautiful black and white photography, smoky rooms, a lot of assholes and a nice dark atmosphere. In short, enjoyed again. Fritz Lang turns out to be a real generalist. 4.5 stars.

dutch flagTranslated from Dutch · View original

avatar van Woland


  • 4168 messages
  • 3409 votes

So, this was a noir of the better kind. Fritz Lang puts on a story that contains all the usual noir ingredients, and therefore may not be the most surprising story ever, but it is very well put together. Dave Bannion is a hard-boiled detective who investigates the suicide of a colleague who turns out to be not squeaky clean. Soon there is more to it, and he is also of the official side as local organized crime also has its tentacles high up in the police force. Many complications follow, resulting in murder and manslaughter, rampant corruption, and also a number of mafia molls that turn out to be more than you might initially expect. But enough plot, because although that in itself is interesting If there is enough in the film, a lot of good is also done.

Fritz Lang keeps the film exciting without looking for overly exaggerated action. The film looks good, and the acting is really solid without exception - although I do want to give some special mentions to Lee Marvin as a nasty henchman, and Gloria Grahame who does an excellent moll with problems of conscience . The atmosphere is as befits a noir, with the far-reaching influence of the crime giving an oppressive atmosphere. Admittedly a few hard scenes, but in the end the film ends pretty well (Hays code?) and it's also not as pitch dark as some other noirs I've seen. A strong noir, a fine police film, which may not be super original but is very well put together. You know what, I'm rounding it up.

dutch flagTranslated from Dutch · View original

avatar van IH88


  • 8782 messages
  • 3088 votes

“This is my home, and I don't like dirt tracked into it.”

Strikingly violent film by Fritz Lang. Striking for a film from 1953, and especially after the quiet beginning, The Big Heat changes into an explosive and vengeful second part due to a certain scene. Great acting by Glenn Ford, and Gloria Grahame, Lee Marvin, Alexander Scourby and Jocelyn Brando also have fantastic roles. Lang seems to be aiming for some sort of happy ending, but luckily he eventually opts for a bittersweet and dark ending. Murder, violence, romance, corruption, a cop driven by revenge… Delicious.

dutch flagTranslated from Dutch · View original