I think we have a mixed review about this movie. I liked it more than your average movie. Cindy’s comment when the final credits started to roll was, “That was stupid.” Then she went on to say that she had forgotten how sad some of the movies in the 50’s could be. Film noir can be sad, certainly a downer.
My biggest reaction was about how well/often Kirk Douglas played anger. More, it was often mean anger. Lots of anger at the beginning of the film, then it tapered off, and it came back at the end. As I think back, Douglas did anger in a lot of his films. Can you be typecast for anger. He did a lot of meanness in his films also, but anger is what I remember of his acting chops. Or maybe he wasn’t acting.
Billy Wilder wrote, directed and produced this movie. For some reason I always think of comedy when Wilder’s name comes up, but he also did a lot of serious film making. This is a serious movie, with a message that is as true today as it was in 1951. It says something when you realize that the movie was originally released with the title The Big Carnival, and was changed back Ace In The Hole when Turner Broadcasting started showing it. I’m pretty sure that I originally saw the movie on TV as The Big Carnival.
I would recommend this movie to any adult, especially if you like to see anger.