For years, Ace In The Hole was the phantom item in Billy Wilder's filmography; it was made when the director was at the height of his talents and was a favorite with critics, but after it landed with a thud at the box office in 1951 (when audiences were doubtless not ready for a movie quite this cynical), Paramount Pictures seemed to wash their hands of it, and it was rarely shown on television and never released on home video. Thankfully, the Criterion Collection have finally made Ace In The Hole available on DVD, and they've taken care to give this long-overdue release the quality presentation it deserves. Disc one of Criterion's Ace In The Hole set features the movie in a superb, pin-sharp digital transfer that captures all the nooks and crannies of Charles B. Lang Jr.'s black and white cinematography, and it's far superior to the versions that have occasionally appeared on cable TV over the years. The picture has been transferred in its original full-frame aspect ratio of 1.33:1, and the audio has been mastered in Dolby Digital Mono, capturing the sound track with admirable clarity and detail. The dialogue is in English, with optional English subtitles but no multiple language options. An optional audio commentary accompanies the film, with Neil Sinyard discussing the making of the film and Wilder's style and technique. Disc Two is devoted to supplementary material, including a fine documentary on Billy Wilder, Portrait of a 60% Perfect Man, and highlights from a 1986 appearance by Wilder at the American Film Institute. Also featured is an appreciation of Ace In The Hole from filmmaker Spike Lee (who shows off his autographed lobby card from the movie), a interview with Kirk Douglas shot in 1984 in which he discusses working with Wilder, an audio-only interview with Walter Newman (who co-wrote the screenplay), and a gallery of stills from the picture (including some behind-the-scenes production shots). And the accompanying booklet, mocked-up to look like an edition of the Albuquerque Sun-Bulletin, includes fine original essays on Ace In The Hole from critic Molly Haskell and filmmaker Guy Maddin. One could hardly ask for a better or more thorough video release of Ace In The Hole, and if Criterion's definitive edition was a long time in coming, the results amply reward the patience of film buffs everywhere.