Ace in the Hole (The Big Carnival)
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Ace in the Hole
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… More
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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 86%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"A lurid pulp indictment of exploitation, opportunism, doctored intelligence, torture for profit, insatiable greed, and shady journalism."
‑ Nathan Lee, Village Voice
"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."
‑ Bosley Crowther, New York Times
"Billy Wilder's take on human selfishness and callousness makes for one of the most angry and cynical films ever made."
‑ Mark R. Leeper, rec.arts.movies.reviews
"Wilder's cynical film of fame-seeking journalists, corrupt politicians, media circus, and the masses' appetite for live tragedy (a man trapped in a cave)was ahead of its times."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"Cynical classic looks better (and truer) every year."
‑ Carol Cling, Las Vegas Review-Journal
"As a diatribe against all that is worst in human nature, it has moments dipped in pure vitriol."
‑ , Time Out New York
"By no means a great -- or even a particularly good -- movie, but its sustained nastiness shows a stunning disregard for box-office niceties."
‑ J. Hoberman, Village Voice
"Quite possibly the most Billy Wilder-ey of all Wilder's films."
‑ Tim Brayton, Antagony & Ecstasy
"As dark and cynical as Wilder gets, Ace also features one of Douglas' very best performance. Nobody is sympathetic and nobody is likeable. That's why it's so great."
‑ Dan Fienberg, Zap2it.com
"Thoroughly cynical film noir."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"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."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
"A prophetic scald"
‑ Fernando F. Croce, CinePassion
"Not only did Wilder pillory the media in Ace in the Hole, he made monkeys out of everyone. Look at you, he said, you eat this drivel with both hands."
‑ Christopher Null, Filmcritic.com
"Douglas delivers desperation and a cynical rejection of humanity that is repulsive as it is mesmerizing."
‑ Cole Smithey, ColeSmithey.com
"Douglas is wonderfully slimy as a scheming reporter in one of Wilder's most accomplished films."
‑ Dan Lybarger, Nitrate Online
More reviews for Ace in the Hole on Rotten Tomatoes

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