The Big Knife

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Released 1955

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Movie Summary

Director:
Robert Aldrich
Released:
1955
Rating:

The Big Knife is a dramatic film about a big time movie star that refuses to sign a long term studio contract. Actor Charles Castle (Jack Palance) is a star in the purest sense of the word. Starting on the stage and moving up to become a major name on the silver screen, Castle's is an authentic Hollywood success story. But such success comes at a price, especially to those around him, and his wife Marion (Ida Lupino) has grown tired of the affairs, the boozing, and especially his tendency to sign on to hack films with no integrity. She has separated from the movie star and threatens to leave, so Castle refuses, at her behest, to sign a contract that would tie him up for the next 14 years. But the sinister and very persistent studio head Stanley Hoff (Rod Steiger) will not give up that easy, so when Castle will not agree to sign via traditional methods, Hoff pulls out all the stops, digging up dirt from the past in a treacherous blackmail scheme that threatens to compromise everyone. Robert Aldrich directs this poignant film, based on the screenplay by Clifford Odets, that takes a stab at the questionable ways in which the old Hollywood studios were once run.

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    Categories

    Drama, Suspense

    Themes

    Showbiz, Film Noir, Classics, 50s