The Big Heat (1953)
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A near perfect film noir by Fritz Lang, arguably darker than most. The action is brutal, the acting is excellent. A complete thrill ride, just be carful where you put the coffee when you watch this one.
A classy noir by the almighty Fritz Lang. Gloria Grahame steals the film as a gangster's moll with attitude and heart. Beware of hot coffee!
Fritz Lang's The Big Heat is a brutal noir that ups the stakes considerably when it dares to show us the protagonist's home life in addition to the case he's pursuing. Suddenly, the threats he receives when he gets too close to the solution to the badly explained suicide of a colleague are more visceral and suspenseful. Glenn Ford is great in this, juggling both sides of his copper's life through believable attitudes. Can a police detective keep both his integrity and his family intact when faced with this amount of corruption? And boy, is this ever violent for its time. That's the best part, really. Just how shocking it can be without really showing us anything that might attract the notice of the censors. Though nearer the end of his career than its beginning, Lang creates one of the iconic noirs of American cinema, with memorable characters and incidents, precision storytelling, and some cracking lines as well.
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In 17 official lists
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This movie ranks #8 in IMDb's Film-Noir Top 50
This movie ranks #38 in 101 Gangster Movies You Must See Before You Die
This movie ranks #82 in The New York Times's Book of Movies
This movie ranks #85 in TSPDT's 1,000 Noir Films
This movie ranks #85 in TSPDT's 100 Essential Noir Films
This movie ranks #89 in Time Out's 1000 Films to Change Your Life
This movie ranks #96 in The Guardian's 1000 Films to See Before You Die
This movie ranks #231 in BFI's 360 Classic Feature Films Project
This movie ranks #247 in Roger Ebert's Great Movies
This movie ranks #258 in 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die
This movie ranks #346 in Jonathan Rosenbaum's Essential Cinema
This movie ranks #361 in Emma Beare's 501 Must-See Movies
This movie ranks #457 in David Thomson's Have You Seen?
This movie ranks #510 in Sight & Sound's The Greatest Films of All Time
This movie ranks #563 in TSPDT's 1,000 Greatest Films
This movie ranks #580 in Library of Congress's National Film Registry
This movie ranks #917 in Halliwell's Top 1000: The Ultimate Movie Countdown