The Big Combo
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Police Lt. Leonard Diamond (Cornel Wilde) is criticized by his superior Capt. Peterson (Robert Middleton) for his obsessive but fruitless investigation of organized crime boss Mr. Brown (Richard Conte). Peterson calls it a waste of the taxpayers' money motivated by Diamond's love for Brown's girlfriend Susan Lowell (Jean Wallace). Watched at all times by henchmen Mingo (Earl Holliman) and Fante (Lee Van Cleef), and masochistically drawn to Brown, Susan is unable to walk away from him. She overdoses on pills in a suicide attempt and, in her delirium, utters the name… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 92%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"It is done with grim melodramatics that are hard-hitting despite a rambling, not-too-credible plot, and is cut out to order for the meller fan who likes his action rough and raw."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"Terrific gangster movie."
‑ Tom Milne, Time Out
"A fatalistic symphony of light and shade."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"Strong noir with sadistic flashes"
‑ Daniel Eagan, Film Journal International
"Where the usual noir takes place in a nightmare world, this one seems to inhabit a dream: there's no longer fear in the images, but rather a distanced, idealized beauty."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
"Noir wasn't new in 1955, but The Big Combo still found plenty of life within its limits."
‑ Keith Phipps, The Dissolve
"Brilliant mix of genuine mystery, film noir, and creative visuals."
‑ Michael E. Grost, Classic Film and Television
"Conte is convincing as the maniacal hood, while Wilde is a good counter-balance to Conte."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"A sputtering, misguided antique."
‑ Howard Thompson, New York Times
"A pond of shifting alliances and kinks"
‑ Fernando F. Croce, CinePassion
"Shadows and lies are the stars of The Big Combo, a spellbinding black-and-white chiaroscuro with the segmented texture of a spider's web."
‑ Ed Gonzalez, Slant Magazine
More reviews for The Big Combo on Rotten Tomatoes