Ace in the Hole (The Big Carnival)
Ace in the Hole (The Big Carnival) (1951)

Paramount's ace screenwriting team of Billy Wilder, Walter Newman and Lesser Samuels came up with their bitterest, most trenchant screenplay to date with 1951's The Big Carnival--which, perhaps significantly, was one of the… More

Directed By:
Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Genre: Drama, Comedy
Release Date: July 17, 2007
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Critic Score: 89% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Ruthe Stein
San Francisco Chronicle

Ace in the Hole is a revelation, as timely now as when it was made.

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Dave Kehr
Chicago Reader

This 1951 film, about a cynical reporter who seizes on the plight of a man trapped in a mine shaft to promote his career, is cold, lurid, and fascinating, propelled by the same combination of moral outrage and sneaky admiration.

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Rob Gonsalves

"One hell of a whip-smart entertainment, sardonic and sad and always with the wisecracks."

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Nathan Lee
Village Voice

A lurid pulp indictment of exploitation, opportunism, doctored intelligence, torture for profit, insatiable greed, and shady journalism.

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Bosley Crowther
New York Times

Ace in the Hole is badly weakened by a poorly constructed plot, which depends for its strength upon assumptions that are not only naive but absurd.

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Austin Trunick
Under the Radar

Billy Wilder followed up Sunset Boulevard with this biting tale which cast a skeptical eye on the media and feels just as apropos in our age of 24-hour news.

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Time Out

As a diatribe against all that is worst in human nature, it has moments dipped in pure vitriol.

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J. Hoberman
Village Voice

By no means a great -- or even a particularly good -- movie, but its sustained nastiness shows a stunning disregard for box-office niceties.

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Walter Chaw
Film Freak Central

It's the most scabrous, uncompromised work from Billy Wilder, who never made a movie that wasn't kind of an asshole.

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Flixster Audience Score: 93% Flixster User Reviews
Lucas Martins
So powerful it made my eyes shed tears. A sucker punch in the soul, I never saw such incredible drama in sometime.
familiar stranger
I reckon with those who claim this to be one of the great classical movies of all time. It shows how low can certain people stoop just for the sake of fame,… More
Bruce Bruce
A Criterion Collection Film, Spime Number #396. Its one of the best I've seen from the collection.. Kirk Douglas plays a excellent part and though filmed… More
Aj V
This is my favourite Kirk Douglas movie and my favourite Billy Wilder movie. The story is highly dramatic, suspenseful, and exciting. And the ending is so… More
Ken Stachnik
An amazing central performance by Douglas in probably his douche-baggiest role ever. Like most Billy Wilder fair it's totally watchable from beginning to… More
Conner Rainwater
This is a good movie, there's no denying that. However, this has its fair share of flaws. Slow paced stories really don't suit Billy Wilder and this… More

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