8.0/10
21,262
148 user 84 critic

The Big Heat (1953)

Not Rated | | Crime, Film-Noir, Thriller | 6 December 1953 (Japan)
Trailer
1:43 | Trailer
Tough cop Dave Bannion takes on a politically powerful crime syndicate.

Director:

Fritz Lang

Writers:

Sydney Boehm (screenplay), William P. McGivern (Saturday Evening Post serial)
Reviews
2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Glenn Ford ... Dave Bannion
Gloria Grahame ... Debby Marsh
Jocelyn Brando ... Katie Bannion
Alexander Scourby ... Mike Lagana
Lee Marvin ... Vince Stone
Jeanette Nolan ... Bertha Duncan
Peter Whitney ... Tierney
Willis Bouchey ... Lt. Ted Wilks
Robert Burton ... Gus Burke
Adam Williams ... Larry Gordon
Howard Wendell Howard Wendell ... Commissioner Higgins
Chris Alcaide ... George Rose
Michael Granger Michael Granger ... Hugo
Dorothy Green ... Lucy Chapman
Carolyn Jones ... Doris
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Storyline

Dave Bannion is an upright cop on the trail of a vicious gang he suspects holds power over the police force. Bannion is tipped off after a colleague's suicide and his fellow officers' suspicious silence lead him to believe that they are on the gangsters' payroll. When a bomb meant for him kills his wife instead, Bannion becomes a furious force of vengeance and justice, aided along the way by the gangster's spurned girlfriend Debby. As Bannion and Debby fall further and further into the Gangland's insidious and brutal trap, they must use any means necessary (including murder) to get to the truth. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

VICE... DICE ...and CORRUPTION! See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 December 1953 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

The Big Heat See more »

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Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$6,324
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Columbia Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film has a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 29 critic reviews. See more »

Goofs

The newspaper article concerning Duncan's suicide states that Duncan kept the issue of his illness from his wife, Bertha. When Dave later questions Bertha, she instead says that she can confirm that her husband was ill, which was the cause of the suicide. See more »

Quotes

Dave Bannion: [to Larry Gordon] I'm through with you, but your friends aren't. I'm going to spread the word that you talked. You're out of business, thief.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Made in U.S.A (1966) See more »

Soundtracks

It's a Blue World
(uncredited)
Written by Chet Forrest and Bob Wright
Heard instrumentally during one of the scenes at The Retreat
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Corruption in higher places
12 January 2006 | by jotix100See all my reviews

Fritz Lang, a man who knew the business like no other, is seen at the top of his craft with this interesting film noir that pays off in unexpected ways. Mr. Lang was a man that believed in total control and who wanted to get the best out of everyone in all his films. "The Big Heat" is one of those rare films in which all the elements come together with surprising results.

Corruption in higher places is the basis of the story. A good police detective who cares enough to keep on probing into the suicide of one of his comrades, is what brings Dave Bannion, not only to the attention of the higher ups in the police department, but to Lagano and the mobsters that work for this evil man. Tragedy finds a way into Dave's home that makes him even more resolved into seeking justice and unmasking the mobsters found along the way that have a grip on the police department.

The casting of "The High Heat" is what makes this film different from the rest of the films of the genre. Glenn Ford made an excellent appearance in the film. He gives one of the best performances of his career. But of course, the film belongs to Gloria Grahame, the bad girl in most of the films of this genre. What a joy it's to watch her! Her Debby Marsh is one of the best roles she portrayed for the movies. Surprisingly, Ms. Grahame and Mr. Ford show a lot of chemistry in their scenes together.

The others in the film do good work under Mr. Lang's direction. A young Lee Marvin is perfectly creepy as Vince Stone, a man who gets what's coming to him at the end in a memorable sequence playing against Ms. Grahame. Jeannette Nolan makes a valuable contribution as the bad widow of the man that commits suicide. Alexander Scourby, as Lagana has some good moments. Joselyn Brando plays Dave's wife. Also, in a small part we see Carolyn Jones.

"The Big Heat" demonstrates why Fritz Lang was one of the best influences in the American cinema.


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