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Ace In the Hole

  NR HD Closed Captioning

Billy Wilder

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Plot Summary

A cave collapse in New Mexico traps a man, and all eyes turn toward the tragedy... including those of Charles "Chuck" Tatum (Kirk Douglas), a washed-up newspaper reporter who sees the incident as a ticket back to his former days at the top of the journalism heap. As the media circus begins to swirl around the trapped man's plight, Tatum takes command of the situation, embellishing the unfolding drama and prolonging the rescue effort … while feeding stories to the nation's reporters clamoring to cover the event. He's become the self-anointed mastermind behind what soon becomes a national media sensation - and he's desperately determined to milk it for all it is work. Celebrated director Billy Wilder (Sunset Boulevard, Stalag 17, The Apartment) mixes gritty cynicism with a superb cast - Douglas, Jan Sterling (The High and the Mighty), Robert Arthur (Just For You), Frank Cady (The Bad Seed) - in this powerful, fascinating study of the dark side of the human soul.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews

TOMATOMETER

89%
  • Reviews Counted: 27
  • Fresh: 24
  • Rotten: 3
  • Average Rating: 8.1/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: A lurid pulp indictment of exploitation, opportunism, doctored intelligence, torture for profit, insatiable greed, and shady journalism. – Nathan Lee, Village Voice, Jan 10, 2007

Fresh: Ace in the Hole is a revelation, as timely now as when it was made. – Ruthe Stein, San Francisco Chronicle, Aug 29, 2014

Fresh: This 1951 film, about a cynical reporter who seizes on the plight of a man trapped in a mine shaft to promote his career, is cold, lurid, and fascinating, propelled by the same combination of moral outrage and sneaky admiration. – Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader, Jun 24, 2010

Fresh: As a diatribe against all that is worst in human nature, it has moments dipped in pure vitriol. – Time Out, Jun 24, 2010

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

Wilder

Simply one of the most underrated of American film noirs. A cynical film about lost post WWII America, the mendacious mass media, and best and the worst of human nature, this was Wilder's brilliant follow-up to Sunset Boulevard. Ace In The Hole was way ahead of its time and only in the last few years has the film been acknowledged as one of Wilder's greatest masterpieces. Douglas is so good, so wily and manipulative, he can steal a scene from himself.

Ace in the Hole

A chilling portrayal of a ruthless self promoter as only Kirk Douglas can achieve. He does an outstanding job bringing to life to a misguided,driven newspaper man. This is an excellent film with a strong supporting cast.