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Ace in the Hole


Ace in the Hole
(1951, Billy Wilder)

Ace in the Hole stars Kirk Douglas as a journalist who capitalizes on the unfortunate state of a man trapped in a mineshaft. This film's message about corruption in journalism might have been one of the strongest morals I have seen in any film. If this movie came out today, I think it's message would be just as strong if not stronger. The word I would use to really describe this film would be gripping. Twenty minutes into this film and I couldn't turn it off. The characters were all fantastic, and Kirk Douglas gives possibly the best performance of his entire career. Jan Sterling is also fantastic as the wife of the man trapped in the cave. Her character was unlikable in every single way, and she was fantastic at playing one of the most despicable characters ever put to film.

Another thing I loved about this film was the pacing. Everything was set up in such a way that my heart was pounding during the incredible climax. Even during a simple conversation between two characters I was on the edge of my seat. My biggest and only complaint about the movie was the ending. I thought that it was far too anticlimactic and unrealistic. Something I thought was great about this film was that even though the main character was an absolute scumbag, I still liked him, and at some points, ever rooted for him.

Everything in this movie was just so well done. I haven't seen too many Billy Wilder films, but I want to go on a marathon after watching this. The only other Kirk Douglas film I have seen is Paths of Glory, but after this performance, he might be one of my favorite actors.

This film was fantastic, and it was only held back by a disappointing ending. Everything leading up to that point however was absolutely incredible, and I would recommend this film to pretty much everyone.