Ace in the Hole

Ace in the Hole

Kirk Douglas
Director: Billy Wilder Cast: Kirk Douglas
Kirk Douglas
, Jan Sterling
Jan Sterling
, Robert Arthur
Robert Arthur
Billy Wilder

Blu-ray (Black & White)

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Overview

Billy Winder directed and co-wrote this bitterly satiric comedy-drama which turns a jaundiced eye towards both the news media and its consumers. Chuck Tatum (Kirk Douglas) is a talented but short-tempered reporter whose fondness for booze and unwillingness to bow to authority has cost him jobs at some of America's most prestigious newspapers. When Tatum's car breaks down in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Tatum persuades the editor of the local paper (Porter Hall) to give him a job until he can make enough to get his jalopy running and find a story that will put him back in the good graces of the Big City journals. After a year in Albuquerque, Tatum begins to wonder if a big scoop will ever cross his path, but when he's sent to Los Barios to cover the annual rattlesnake hunt, he lucks into a great human interest story -- Leo Minosa (Richard Benedict), who runs a local diner, motel and curio emporium, is caught in an abandoned mine shaft after a rockslide, which some superstitious locals attribute to an Indian curse. Tatum writes up the story with all the flourish he can muster, and portrays Leo's wife Lorraine (Jan Sterling) as a devoted spouse fearful for her husband's life, even though she can barely stand Leo and is planning to leave him. Tatum's story is picked up by the wire services and he makes friends with local sheriff Kretzer (Ray Teal) to insure he has an inside line on updates on Leo's rescue. When Tatum learns that Leo can be freed in a mere twelve hours, he persuades Kretzer and his men to adopt another rescue method that will take several days, which will generate more copy for Tatum, more press attention for Ketzer's re-election campaign, and more business for Lorraine's diner. Soon Los Barios is the biggest tourist attraction in the state, but as the media circus mounts, Leo begins to fall seriously ill. Also released as The Big Carnival, Ace In The Hole was a major box-office disappointment upon its original release in 1951, even though it was sandwiched between two of Wilder's biggest hits, Sunset Boulevard and Stalag 17. Despite never being released in home video until 2007, Ace In The Hole's bitter tone earned it an enthusiastic cult following, and it's now regarded as one of Wilder's best films of the Fifties.

Product Details

Release Date: 10/02/2018
UPC: 0715515221818
Original Release: 1951
Source: Criterion Collection
Region Code: A
Presentation: [B&W]
Time: 1:51:00
Sales rank: 12,304

Special Features

2k Digital Restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack ; Audio Commentary by film scholar Neil Sinyard; Portrait of a "60% Perfect Man": Billy Wilder, a 1980 documentary featuring interviews with Wilder by film critic Michel Ciment; Interview with actor Kirk Douglas from 1984; Excerpts from a 1986 appearance by Wilder at the American Film Institute ; Audio excerpts from an interview with Wilder's coscreenwriter Walter Newman; Video afterword by filmmaker Spike Lee; Stills gallery ; Trailer; Plus: Essays by critic Molly Haskell and filmmaker Guy Maddin

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Kirk Douglas Charles Tatum
Jan Sterling Lorraine
Robert Arthur Herbie Cook
Porter Hall Jacob Q. Boot
Frank Cady Mr. Federber
Richard Benedict Leo Minosa
Ray Teal Sheriff
Lewis Martin McCardle
John Berkes Papa Minosa
Frances Dominguez Mama Minosa
Gene Evans Deputy Sheriff
Frank Jaquet Smollett
Geraldine Hall Mrs. Federber
Richard Gaines Nagel
Bob Bumps Radio Announcer
Billy Sheehan Actor
Bob Kortman Digger
Edith Evanson Miss Deverich
Ralph Moody Kusac; Miner
Claire Du Brey Spinster
William Fawcett Sad-Faced Man
Bert Moorhouse Morgan
Ken Christy Jessop
Lester Dorr Priest
Larry Hogan Television Announcer
Bert Stevens Reporter
Iron Eyes Cody Indian Copy Boy
Jack Roberts Newspaperman
Harry Harvey Dr. Hilton

Technical Credits
Billy Wilder Director,Producer,Screenwriter
Sam Comer Set Decoration/Design
Ray Evans Songwriter
Hugo W. Friedhofer Score Composer
Gene Garvin Sound/Sound Designer
Doane Harrison Editor
Edith Head Costumes/Costume Designer
Earl Hedrick Art Director
Charles B. Lang Cinematographer
Harold Lewis Sound/Sound Designer
Jay Livingston Songwriter
Ray Moyer Set Decoration/Design
Walter Newman Screenwriter
Hal Pereira Art Director
Lesser Samuels Screenwriter
Arthur P. Schmidt Editor
Wally Westmore Makeup

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