Ace in the Hole (1951) – Film-Noir

Starring Kirk Douglas with director Billy Wilder, the film follows a hard-nosed and manipulative reporter who finds himself stuck in New Mexico without any money. He takes a small job and soon happens upon a cave where a man has gotten trapped. Soon he spins it as a great human interest story and people flock from far and wide to witness the event. The buried man’s unhappy wife capitalizes on the foot traffic and the local sheriff tries to get some free publicity for the upcoming election. Meanwhile Tatum tires to draw out the events so he can get a better story and his old job back. All the while the man gets weaker and weaker until he eventually dies. Just like that everything clears out and the big carnival is over. Tatum brought the demise of another man just to get a story and he ultimately fell himself losing the story and the job he had fought so fiercely to acquire. Although not Wilder’s most well-known film, this is certainly a biting critique of journalism and humanity in general.

4/5 Stars

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