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Ace in the Hole (The Criterion Collection)


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Product Details

  • Actors: Kirk Douglas, Jan Sterling, Robert Arthur, Porter Hall, Frank Cady
  • Directors: Annie Tresgot, Billy Wilder, Michel Ciment
  • Writers: Billy Wilder, Lesser Samuels, Victor Desny, Walter Newman
  • Producers: Billy Wilder
  • Format: Black & White, DVD-Video, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English, Latin
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: Criterion
  • Release Date: July 17 2007
  • Run Time: 111 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000PKG6OE
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #36,524 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)

Product Description

Special Features

Restored 4K digital transfer, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray.Audio commentary by film scholar Neil Sinyard. Portrait of a “60% Perfect Man”: Billy Wilder, a 1980 documentary featuring interviews with Wilder by film critic Michel Ciment. Interview with actor Kirk Douglas from 1984. Excerpts from a 1986 appearance by Wilder at the American Film Institute. Excerpts from an audio interview with Wilder’s co-screenwriter Walter Newman, Video afterword by filmmaker Spike Lee, Stills gallery, Trailer, PLUS: Essays by critic Molly Haskell and filmmaker Guy Maddin

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Most helpful customer reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J. Lovins TOP 50 REVIEWER on Dec 22 2010
Format: DVD
The Criterion Collection presents "ACE IN THE HOLE" (1951) (111 min/B&W) (Fully Restored/Dolby Digitally Remastered) -- Also released as "The Big Carnival", this disturbing noir tells of a frustrated former big-city journalist who is now stuck working for a small Albuquerque newspaper --- He sees his chance of returning to the big time when he exploits a story about a man trapped in a cave, but the situation quickly escalates into an out-of-control circus.

Oscar nominated for Best Screenplay --- Powerful portrayal by Kirk Douglas joining "Detective Story" of the same year as two of the very best from Kirk.

Under the production staff of:
Billy Wilder [Director/Screenplay/Producer]
Lesser Samuels [Screenwriter]
Walter Newman [Screenwriter]
Victor Desny [Story]
William Schorr [Associate Producer]
Hugo Friedhofer [Original Film Score]
Charles Lang [Cinematographer]
Arthur P. Schmidt [Film Editor]

BIOS:
1. Billy Wilder [Director]
Date of Birth: 22 June 1906 - Sucha, Galicia, Austria-Hungary [now Sucha Beskidzka, Malopolskie, Poland]
Date of Death: 27 March 2002 - West Los Angeles, California

2. Kirk Douglas [aka: Issur Danielovitch Demsky]
Date of Birth: 9 December 1916 - Amsterdam, New York
Date of Death: Still Living

3. Jan Sterling [aka: Jane Sterling Adriance]
Date of Birth: 3 April 1921 - New York City, New York
Date of Death: 26 March 2004, Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California

the cast includes:
Kirk Douglas - Chuck Tatum
Jan Sterling - Lorraine Minosa
Robert Arthur - Herbie Cook (as Bob Arthur)
Porter Hall - Jacob Q. Boot
Frank Cady - Mr.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Kai Wang on Sept. 29 2014
Format: DVD
A great visionary film with only one small but significant flaw:
By 1950, penicillin was widely used to combat infections such as pneumonia (long before drug resistance microbes became a major concern). So if they could send oxygen, food and coffee to the poor trapped man in the mine, they could surely have given him antibiotic to fight his pneumonia to buy time for the rescue effort ?????

Everything else was done wonderfully, the performances mesmerizing and truly memorable....
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Nick Zegarac on May 16 2014
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Ace in the Hole is a scathing indictment of the media's ability to transform one man's tragedy into a national three ring circus media event. Alas, its prophetic statement - deemed ridiculous in 1951 - has since come to pass. We're through the looking glass on this one, people. Kirk Douglas gives us a scathing central performance so contemptibly corrupt and morally bankrupt, he chills to the bone.

Criterion's new restoration looks solid for the most part. But the credits continue to be marred by excessive dirt and scratches while the rest of the feature is plagued by marginal, though reoccurring, edge enhancement. Otherwise, this one's up to Criterion's usual high standards and packed with some 'must have' extras, including an hour long interview with Wilder and snippets of interviews from other collaborators. Enjoy.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By R. Sohi on May 3 2007
Format: DVD
This 1951 film seems as relevant today as it ever did. Kirk Douglas is perfectly cast as an unethical newspaper reporter who, through his influence over the town's sheriff, keeps a dying man trapped in a mine for several days longer than necessary in order to milk the story for all it's worth - a strategy he hopes will help him claw his way back to the top of the journalistic world. Billy Wilder's incredibly vitriolic film tells many truths about how reality is manipulated by the media to serve personal and political ends without regard to the suffering caused by this agenda. His film spares nobody in its critique: those who perpetuate the lies, those who directly benefit from them, even those who uncritically consume the stories are all complicit in the wrongdoing. Wilder made many great films, most of which are far better known than this one, but "Ace in the Hole" is up there with the best of them.

Criterion's upcoming release of this great film is definitely cause for celebration.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Walter Kovacs on Aug. 13 2008
Format: DVD
I like to think of "Ace in the Hole" as a spiritual predecessor to one of my favourite films, "Network". Both films hammered the media for its sensationalism, callousness, and bottom line. Whereas "Network" took aim at television, "Ace in the Hole" ripped apart the newspaper.

Kirk Douglas stars as as the opportunistic Chuck Tatum. Smeared by his offensive behaviour at the big city dailies, he begs for a job at a low circulation paper so he can find a captivating story and climb back to the top. What he does would be considered despicable back in the 1950's. Don't be fooled by the film's release date or setting. It has both a definite satiric and noirish bent.

The Criterion 2-disc set is worth the money for the film alone but the extras should be of interest to Wilder fans.
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