Ace in the Hole (1951)

1951 | USA | Billy Wilder | ★★★★★

Austrian-born Billy Wilder's scathingly brilliant Ace in the Hole is a bleak and cynical portrait of the dark heart of the media, featuring some outstanding writing, memorable visuals, and a great central performance from Kirk Douglas.


"In one of the most powerhouse performances in American screen-acting, the great Kirk Douglas stars as Chuck Tatum, a newspaper reporter who stumbles upon a potentially career-making story in Albuquerque, New Mexico (nearly sixty years later, the setting for Vince Gilligan's Breaking Bad). When Tatum begins to influence the story's outcome, a descent beings that finds more than one man caught between a rock and a hard place. An electric narrative that stands as one of Wilder's tautest and most (melo)dramatic plots (penned with Lesser Samuels and Walter Newman), Ace in the Hole plays today as a prescient examination of the modern media landscape, and the public appetite for the disastrous news-story that leads to toxic wish-fulfilment." Eureka

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