Bigger Than Life (1956)
Bigger Than Life (1956) (1956)

A seriously ill schoolteacher becomes dependent on a "miracle" drug that begins to affect his sanity.

Directed By:
Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Genre: Drama
Release Date: March 23, 2010
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Rotten Tomatoes™
Critic Score
93%
Flixster
User Score
85%


Critic Score: 93% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
David Fear
Time Out New York

The suits wanted a torn-from-the-headlines melodrama; what they got was the director at his expressionistic best, subverting the suburban fantasy and leaving nothing but tattered gray flannel and scorched earth in his wake.

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Bosley Crowther
New York Times

Those who remember the creeping terror and eeriness of Mr. Roueché's real-life yarn will be sorry to learn that there is little terror or eeriness in the film.

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Nick Schager
Lessons of Darkness

A masterful melodrama whose aesthetic beauty works in service of a stinging social critique.

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Variety Staff
Variety

James Mason has picked a powerful subject for his first 20th-Fox production and delivers it with quite a bit of dramatic distinction in carrying out the supervisory duties and as the male lead.

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Time Out

This is Rebel Without a Cause for the grown-up world.

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Philip Martin
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

...is a dark cautionary tale about suburban ennui that feels like an unacknowledged antecedent to the AMC TV series Breaking Bad.

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Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader

It's hard to think of another Hollywood picture with more to say about the sheer awfulness of 'normal' American family life during the 50s.

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Sarah Boslaugh
Playback:stl

...an amazing critique of conventional 1950s morality...

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Kelly Vance
East Bay Express

The epitome of a social problem film, in which the "crisis of conformism" bursts open in every single tension-producing frame.

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More reviews for Bigger Than Life (1956)

Flixster Audience Score: 85% Flixster User Reviews
Bob Stinson
I liked it. Actually, I really, really liked it. Give me more. Damn it, I need MORE!
Michael Gildea
Bigger Than Life is a movie I've looked forward to for a few years since seeing Martin Scorsese's Journey Through American Movies. Seeing James Mason… More
Stella Dallas
wow. james mason is seriously frightening as he slowly loses his grip on reality due to prescription drug addiction. a great look under the idyllic facade of… More
Walter M.
[font=Century Gothic]In "Bigger than Life," there are two things that Ed Avery(James Mason), a schoolteacher, is hiding from his wife Lou(Barbara… More
erika bruhns
this film made me get n the edge of my seat.
John Ballantine
One of the earliest and powerful discussions on mental illness and how it impacts the typical 50s suburban family. James Mason is wonderful under Nicholas… More