Tuesday 10 May 2011

The Big Heat [1953]

Doesn’t matter which way you look at The Big Heat – a frantic tale of obsession, a revenge story, a story of justice and redemption, or a dark chronicle of deceit and human corruption, the movie would emerge as a success – since this incredible noir worked in all these levels. Made nearly a decade after his masterly Scarlet Street, Fritz Lang’s The Big Heat remains a landmark work in this distinctive school of filmmaking. This gripping, hyper-violent (for its time) and nihilistic crime thriller is about a cop trying to get to the bottom of the suicide of another cop, against every kinds of odds possible – not just in the form of gangsters and thugs, but also his own department. However, when the antagonists kill his loving wife and his anger results in his suspension, he takes it upon himself to bring the psychotic mob-boss down – not just for justice, but also for vengeance. And in this hot pursuit he finds an unlikely help in the form of the mobster’s naïve but disgruntled moll. Great photography and crackling, staccato dialogues were just two of the many components of this fast-paced, hardboiled film. Foremost among those components were the excellent performances of Glenn Ford as the hell-bent-on-revenge-and-justice cop, Lee Marvin as the sinister villain, and Gloria Grahame as the woman-scorned.

Director: Fritz Lang
Genre: Crime Thriller/Film Noir/Police Procedural/Gangster Movie
Language: English
Country: US


Alex DeLarge said...

One of the very best Noir Thrillers! I love Lang's direction and cinematography but it's really Glenn Ford's subtle performance that carries the story.

"Glen Ford imbues Bannion with a realistic duality, a conscious struggle between the horrors of work and being a loving husband, and Lang takes us inside his personal life to witness a Homicide Detective at home where he becomes just another citizen."

Shubhajit said...

Yes, certainly. Glenn Ford's performance indeed made the noir all the more riveting. Thanks Alex for stopping by.

Jon said...

Yes this is one of my top 10 film noirs. Love it.

Shubhajit said...

Thanks Johny.