The Big Heat
The Big Heat (1953)

One of the great film noirs, this unrelentingly brutal crime drama centers on a street-toughened detective's quest for vengeance after his wife is accidentally killed by the gangsters who have been assigned to murder him. Working… More

Directed By:
Rated: PG
Running Time:
DVD Release Date: December 18, 2001
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Critic Score: 100% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Variety Staff

Ford's portrayal of the homicide sergeant is honest and packs much wallop. Lang's direction builds taut suspense, throwing unexpected, and believable, thrills at the audience.

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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times

That's the beauty of Lang's moral ambidexterity. He tells the story of a heroic cop, while using it to mask another story, so much darker, beneath.

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Peter Canavese
Groucho Reviews

For those who take their film black...Moral rot gets full play in Lang's 1953 police drama. [Blu-ray]

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Don Druker
Chicago Reader

Brutal, atmospheric, and exciting -- highly recommended.

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Bosley Crowther
New York Times

Mr. Lang can direct a film. He has put his mind to it, in this instance, and he has brought forth a hot one with a sting.

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Sean Axmaker

Fritz Lang, once the master of grand expressionist scenes, directs with a stripped down style and a lean narrative drive...

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Wally Hammond
Time Out

Lang strips down William P McGivern's novel to essentials, giving the story a narrative drive as efficient and powerful as a handgun.

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John Petrakis
Chicago Tribune

In many ways, Fritz Lang's The Big Heat, scripted by former crime reporter Sydney Boehm, laid the groundwork not only for "Dirty Harry," but for the whole sub-genre of 'rogue cop' films that began to surface during the Vietnam era.

Cole Smithey

Everything about "The Big Heat" is "hard boiled."

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More reviews for The Big Heat

Flixster Audience Score: 90% Flixster User Reviews
Bruce Bruce
Film Noir that's for sure, they just don't make them like this anymore. Glenn Ford plays a detective who is working a case where city officials and… More
Jeremy Smith
"We're sisters under the mink."
Aj V
Another good thriller from Fritz Lang, I liked it.
Devon Bott
The Big Heat is right up there with "Touch of Evil" as one of the top noir films of the 1950s. The movie starts with the suicide of police sergeant… More
familiar stranger
Not at all bad if you wanna kill some 90 hot minutes. However, if you 're looking for an unpredictable thriller, this one isn't gonna satisfy you.
Pierluigi Puccini
Glenn Ford plays the only cop with guts in a city filtered by corruption. Concise direction, topnotch acting and a ceaseless, brutal and intense plot make an… More