The Big Heat


(out of 5)

Superb film noir that shows the genre at its most dangerous.   plays a relentless cop whose investigation of a suspicious suicide committed by a fellow officer takes him down a dark path of corruption. He interviews the dead man’s wife () and hooks up with the trampy girlfriend () of a dirty politician () but despite warnings that he will put his wife () and daughter in danger, Ford is determined to get his man. Fritz Lang gets spitfire performances out of the entire cast and thoroughly indulges himself in all the moody black-and-white shadows that one comes to expect (and adore) from the genre; Ford’s wholesome and compellingly pure home life effectively contrasts the dirty underbelly that the film mostly resides in. One can see how L.A. Confidential could be the offspring of this film.

Columbia Pictures Corporation

USA, 1953

Directed by

Screenplay by , based on a Saturday Evening Post serial article by

Cinematography by

Produced by

Music by

Production Design by

Costume Design by

Film Editing by



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