One of the most scathing indictments of American culture ever produced by a Hollywood filmmaker, Billy Wilder’s Ace in the Hole is legendary for both its cutting social critique and its status as a hard-to-find cult classic. Kirk Douglas gives the fiercest performance of his career as Chuck Tatum, an amoral newspaper reporter caught in dead-end Albuquerque who happens upon the story of a lifetime—and will do anything to ensure he gets the scoop. Wilder’s follow-up to Sunset Boulevard is an even darker vision, a no-holds-barred exposé that anticipated the rise of the American media circus. —The Criterion Collection
Originally planning to become a lawyer, Billy Wilder abandoned that career in favor of working as a reporter for a Viennese newspaper, using this experience to move to Berlin, where he worked for the city’s largest tabloid. He broke into films as a screenwriter in 1929, and wrote scripts for many German films until Adolf Hitler came to power in 1933. Wilder immediately realized his Jewish ancestry would cause problems, so he emigrated to Paris, then the US. Although he spoke no English when he arrived in Hollywood, Wilder was a fast learner, and thanks to contacts such as Peter Lorre (with whom he shared an apartment), he was able to break into American films. His partnership with Charles Brackett started in 1938 and the team was responsible for writing some of Hollywood’s classic comedies, including Ninotchka (1939) and Ball of Fire (1941). The partnership expanded into a producer-director one in 1942, with Brackett producing, and the two turned out such classics… read more
How to follow a dark and cynical masterpiece like Sunset Boulevard? Well, if you're Billy Wilder you follow it with an even darker and more cynical piece; a corruscating exposé of rotten journalism with no trace of sentiment. You then hire the ferociously competitive Kirk Douglas for the lead role, light the touchpaper and wait for the explosion.. A quite magnificent film and the ace in Wilder's considerable oeuvre..
Right after Sunset Blvd. comes this cynical film that hasn't aged one bit since our culture has become as media-crazed as depicted here. The dialogue & especially Douglas' performance is spectacular; his charming in the cave & his sinister nerve on the outside. Sterling was the weak spot for me & the film's story is morally wrong but its entirely captivating even as it makes your heart sink.
Wilder tb. era jornalista. A julgar por este filme, não via seu ofício com olhar ingênuo, mas com cinismo. E ao críticar a exploração midiática, é interessante notar que o protagonista podia ser tb. cineasta, político, ou outro que lide com material humano, pois o filme trata dos bastidores da filantropia na relação com os outros e como podemos se apropriar e desfazer de heróis num piscar de olhos | Rodrigo Coelho
The status of Ace in the Hole as Billy Wilder’s follow-up to Sunset Boulevard is evident in the opening shot of Kirk Douglas riding on a car as it is being towed. Here is a man reveling sardonically… read review
and when i though this is just another Billy Wilder film in the same vein with Sunset Boulevard, and said the word ‘Billy Wilder is so fuc***n overrated’ (the first 30 minutes makes me worry,i’m already… read review
All great artists know that it is impossible to understand human nature and experience without looking at the extremes of greatness and vileness. Film noir prefers looking at the vile and Ace in the… read review