The Big Heat

The Big HeatReleased on this day in 1953: THE BIG HEAT, starring Glenn Ford, Gloria Grahame, Jocelyn Brando (Marlon’s sister), and a young Lee Marvin. Directed by film noir master, Fritz Lang (The Woman in the Window, Ministry of Fear, Scarlet Street). The plot is not particularly original – lone cop single-handedly fighting to expose a powerful infrastructure of corruption – but Lang’s direction along with impassioned performances by Ford and Grahame keep the viewer engaged. Lang knows how to pace a film, punctuating stretches of relative calm with intense moments of brutal violence and turmoil. Gloria Grahame, one of the queens of film noir, gives a standout performance, bringing energy and vitality to the screen, contrasting perfectly with Ford’s clenched rage simmering just beneath the surface. The Grahame-Ford-Lang combination would come together again the following year in another noir classic, Human Desire. We give The Big Heat 4 out of 5 fedoras.

4 Fedoras

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