7.6/10
6,221
58 user 67 critic

Bigger Than Life (1956)

Not Rated | | Drama | 26 October 1956 (West Germany)
A seriously ill schoolteacher becomes dependent on a "miracle" drug that begins to affect his sanity.

Director:

Nicholas Ray

Writers:

Cyril Hume (story and screenplay), Richard Maibaum (story and screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
2 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Certificate: Passed Crime | Film-Noir | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

An escaped convict, injured during a robbery, falls in love with the woman who nurses him back to health, but their relationship seems doomed from the beginning.

Director: Nicholas Ray
Stars: Cathy O'Donnell, Farley Granger, Howard Da Silva
Johnny Guitar (1954)
Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

After helping a wounded gang member, a strong-willed female saloon owner is wrongly suspected of murder and bank robbery by a lynch mob.

Director: Nicholas Ray
Stars: Joan Crawford, Sterling Hayden, Mercedes McCambridge
Adventure | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

An Eskimo who has had little contact with white men goes to a trading post where he accidentally kills a missionary and finds himself being pursued by the police.

Director: Nicholas Ray
Stars: Anthony Quinn, Yôko Tani, Peter O'Toole
Party Girl (1958)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Lawyer Tommy Farrell is a defender of crooks. Vicki Gaye encourages him to go straight, but mob king Rico Angelo insists otherwise.

Director: Nicholas Ray
Stars: Robert Taylor, Cyd Charisse, Lee J. Cobb
Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Rough city cop Jim Wilson is disciplined by his captain and is sent upstate, to a snowy mountain town, to help the local sheriff solve a murder case.

Directors: Nicholas Ray, Ida Lupino
Stars: Ida Lupino, Robert Ryan, Ward Bond
Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

An ornithologist battles a family of bird poachers in the Florida Everglades.

Directors: Nicholas Ray, Budd Schulberg
Stars: Burl Ives, Christopher Plummer, Chana Eden
Drama | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A potentially violent screenwriter is a murder suspect until his lovely neighbor clears him. But she begins to have doubts.

Director: Nicholas Ray
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Gloria Grahame, Frank Lovejoy
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

An attorney defends a hoodlum of murder, using the oppressiveness of the slums to appeal to the court.

Director: Nicholas Ray
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, John Derek, George Macready
The Lusty Men (1952)
Action | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Retired rodeo champion Jeff McCloud agrees to mentor novice rodeo contestant Wes Merritt against the wishes of Merritt's wife who fears the dangers of this rough sport.

Directors: Nicholas Ray, Robert Parrish
Stars: Susan Hayward, Robert Mitchum, Arthur Kennedy
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A Commander receives a citation for an attack on General Erwin Rommel's headquarters, which is actually undeserved, as the Commander is unfit for his job. On top of that, unbeknownst to him, his wife is having an affair with one of his officers.

Director: Nicholas Ray
Stars: Richard Burton, Curd Jürgens, Ruth Roman
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

The most complete, newly restored version of Nicholas Ray's experimental masterpiece embodies the director's practice of film-making as a "communal way of life." Ray plays himself in the ... See full summary »

Director: Nicholas Ray
Stars: Richard Bock, Tom Farrell, Danny Fisher
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

An upper-class widow falls in love with a much younger, down-to-earth nurseryman, much to the disapproval of her children and criticism of her country club peers.

Director: Douglas Sirk
Stars: Jane Wyman, Rock Hudson, Agnes Moorehead
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
James Mason ... Ed Avery
Barbara Rush ... Lou Avery
Walter Matthau ... Wally Gibbs
Robert F. Simon ... Dr. Norton (as Robert Simon)
Christopher Olsen ... Richie Avery
Roland Winters ... Dr. Ruric
Rusty Lane ... Bob LaPorte
Rachel Stephens Rachel Stephens ... Nurse
Kipp Hamilton ... Pat Wade
Edit

Storyline

Schoolteacher and family man Ed Avery, who's been suffering bouts of severe pain and even blackouts, is hospitalized with what's diagnosed as a rare inflammation of the arteries. Told by doctors that he probably has only months to live, Ed agrees to an experimental treatment: doses of the hormone cortisone. Ed makes a remarkable recovery, and returns home to his wife, Lou, and their son, Richie. He must keep taking cortisone tablets regularly to prevent a recurrence of his illness. But the "miracle" cure turns into its own nightmare as Ed starts to abuse the tablets, causing him to experience increasingly wild mood swings. Written by Eugene Kim <genekim@concentric.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The story of the handful of hope that became a fistful of hell! See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 October 1956 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

One in a Million See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (FMC Library Print)

Sound Mix:

Mono (optical prints) (Westrex Recording System)| 4-Track Stereo (magnetic prints) (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Color by Deluxe)

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Average Shot Length (ASL) = 11 seconds See more »

Goofs

37 minutes into the movie, Ed is at the bathroom sink and has just replaced the pill bottle in the medicine cabinet. As he closes the cabinet door, the director and the camera are reflected in the mirror. See more »

Quotes

Ed Avery: God was wrong!
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Sincere film-making
30 November 2008 | by adrian290357See all my reviews

Back in 1956 this must have been a very daring flick indeed. Of course it has dated and today it packs less of a punch but it still remains a very sincere film anchored by a superb James Mason performance. Walter Matthau is similarly top rate though in a smaller and less flashy role. The direction is absolutely mesmerizing and I only felt slightly uneasy about the psychiatric approach of the day and the flashing red screen reflecting Mason's mental disintegration which was so in fashion in films of the time.

Even so, it was not enough to spoil the pleasure afforded by the many good aspects in this movie that I found quite riveting and intelligent for the most part. The bit where Mason snips the phone cord is as frightening as it is memorable, to me the highpoint of a honest yet never predictable work.


7 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 58 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed