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Ace in the Hole

Released Jun 29, 1951 1h 52m Drama List
90% Tomatometer 42 Reviews 92% Audience Score 5,000+ Ratings
With flaws that outweigh his talent, reporter Chuck Tatum (Kirk Douglas) has bounced across the country from job to job. Winding up in New Mexico, Tatum gets work from the local newspaper, but finds that there's not much in the way of pressing news. However, when Tatum catches wind of a treasure hunter (Richard Benedict) trapped in a mineshaft, he turns the story into a media sensation. Soon Tatum is using unscrupulous tactics to draw out the situation, an approach that comes back to haunt him. Read More Read Less
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Ace in the Hole

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Critics Consensus

Spearheaded by an excellent Kirk Douglas, Ace in the Hole is an incisive and sardonic satire that, much like its opportunistic hero, never lets moral compunction get in the way of a good story.

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Critics Reviews

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Adam Nayman The Ringer Ace in the Hole is as vicious and irreverent as classic Hollywood ever got, bowing to nobody in its righteous cynicism. Apr 15, 2019 Full Review Roger Ebert RogerEbert.com In a lesser movie, Tatum would share our sympathy for the pathetic man. Here, he's on a parabola in that direction but wants it to intersect with the moment of his own greatest fame. Rated: 4/4 Feb 22, 2019 Full Review Ruthe Stein San Francisco Chronicle Ace in the Hole is a revelation, as timely now as when it was made. Aug 29, 2014 Full Review Vernon Young Arizona Quarterly In Ace in the Hole aesthetics would have been served by intelligence. Jan 22, 2024 Full Review Josh Larsen LarsenOnFilm A fairly clear-cut moral parable... Rated: 3.5/4 Jan 14, 2024 Full Review Keith Garlington Keith & the Movies Wilder and company offer up a biting exploration of unscrupulous predatory journalism and the insensitive lust to get ahead and be on top. Rated: 4.5/5 Aug 19, 2022 Full Review Read all reviews

Audience Reviews

View All (559) audience reviews
Allen R Disturbing look at what humanity will turn to if they get a little attention. Kirk Douglas is fantastic as a reporter doing anything to make it the top even if it means making up the story. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 05/06/24 Full Review Steve D I found it melodramatic and unconvincing, Rated 2 out of 5 stars 04/03/24 Full Review Sean S Billy Wilder, one of America's top five directors teaming up with Kirk Douglas at his peak. A cynical but truthful look at the tabloid news media industry. One of the very few 5/5 films. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 11/16/23 Full Review bao s Kirk as always makes it a movie worth watching. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 07/12/23 Full Review casnien v With flaws that outweigh his talent, reporter Chuck Tatum (Kirk Douglas) has bounced across the country from job to job. Winding up in New Mexico, Tatum gets work from the local newspaper, but finds that there's not much in the way of pressing news. However, when Tatum catches wind of a treasure hunter (Richard Benedict) trapped in a mineshaft, he turns the story into a media sensation There is something so special about Billy Wilder's films, the way that he manages to capture you in the movie from the first second of the movie, is always so special and something I can't get enough of. The screenplay written by Billy Wilder and his team is so great, there is always tension and the characters feel like they are always developing in every scene. Technically the movie looks gorgeous in black and white again, especially with the wide shots of the whole area and sets, because that set was enormous. The shots in the mountain were incredible as well and felt very challenging and psychically to shoot, the way that Billy Wilder shot it. Kirk Douglas was of course the highlight of the movie, with a performance that I will not forget soon. The rest of the cast is great as well, however they definitely don't reach the same heights that Kirk Douglas reaches. The story is gripping from the first moment and ends with an iconic shot and one that will leave you thinking about the whole movie a second time. Ace In the Hole is not my favorite work by Billy Wilder, but certainly one that is worthy in his filmography! Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review Stephen C LOL, the funniest 01 hour: and 52 minutes ever recorded!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Rated 5 out of 5 stars 02/25/23 Full Review Read all reviews
Ace in the Hole

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Cast & Crew

Ace in the Hole

Ace in the Hole: Official Clip - Below-the-Belt Journalism Ace in the Hole: Official Clip - Below-the-Belt Journalism 2:09 Ace in the Hole: Official Clip - We've Got an Ace in the Hole Ace in the Hole: Official Clip - We've Got an Ace in the Hole 1:58 Ace in the Hole: Official Clip - Small Town Blues Ace in the Hole: Official Clip - Small Town Blues 2:13 Ace in the Hole: Official Clip - Rattlesnake Hunt Ace in the Hole: Official Clip - Rattlesnake Hunt 1:50 Ace in the Hole: Official Clip - Finding Leo Ace in the Hole: Official Clip - Finding Leo 2:13 Ace in the Hole: Official Clip - I Know Newspapers Backward, Forward and Sideways Ace in the Hole: Official Clip - I Know Newspapers Backward, Forward and Sideways 2:13 Ace in the Hole: Official Clip - A Big Human Interest Ending Ace in the Hole: Official Clip - A Big Human Interest Ending 2:12 Ace in the Hole: Official Clip - You Like Those Rocks Just as Much as I Do Ace in the Hole: Official Clip - You Like Those Rocks Just as Much as I Do 2:10 View more videos
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Movie Info

Synopsis With flaws that outweigh his talent, reporter Chuck Tatum (Kirk Douglas) has bounced across the country from job to job. Winding up in New Mexico, Tatum gets work from the local newspaper, but finds that there's not much in the way of pressing news. However, when Tatum catches wind of a treasure hunter (Richard Benedict) trapped in a mineshaft, he turns the story into a media sensation. Soon Tatum is using unscrupulous tactics to draw out the situation, an approach that comes back to haunt him.
Director
Billy Wilder
Producer
Billy Wilder
Screenwriter
Walter Newman, Lesser Samuels, Billy Wilder
Distributor
Paramount Pictures
Production Co
Paramount Pictures
Genre
Drama
Original Language
English
Release Date (Theaters)
Jun 29, 1951, Wide
Release Date (Streaming)
Jul 1, 2013
Runtime
1h 52m
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