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The Big Heat (Bilingual)

Glenn Ford , Gloria Grahame , Fritz Lang    DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 25.61 & FREE Shipping. Details
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The Big Heat (Bilingual) + The Lady from Shanghai [Import anglais]
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Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "I could go through life sideways." May 25 2004
The Big Heat is similar to some of Fritz Lang's German films, like M and the Doctor Mabuse series. It links crime and politics (or, more accurately, criminals and a politicians), and shows the future as concentration camp, where even those who imagine themselves on the outside of the barbed wire are trapped inside.
But is Lang retelling the story of what happened in Germany, or is he warning his adopted country what could happen if people didn't challenge authority (here the police department, including the commissioner) that had been corrupted by a criminal leader? Maybe both.
The Big Heat is violent even compared to today's films and more believable than most. However one thing that jars today is the effeminacy of the crime boss, Mike Lagana, used as shorthand to show his corruption.
We first see Lagana in bed in silk pajamas with his bodyguard (in his robe) standing over Lagana, handing him the phone, lighting his cigarette. When Dave Bannion (Glenn Ford), the homicide detective who won't follow orders and leave Lagana alone, barges into Lagana's mansion to confront him about a cop's suicide, Lagana is under a huge portrait of his dead mother ("We lived together in this house"). Even from beyond the grave you can feel the mother's unhealthy influence on her son. Lagana mentions his daughter but never his wife.
For the most part you can tell the criminals from the decent people because the criminals dress better. Gloria Grahame's Debby Marsh, girlfriend of the vicious killer Vince Stone (Lee Marvin), tells the blackmailing wife of a policeman who was on the take, "We're sisters under the mink."
Debby and the cop's wife are just one pair of doubles in the movie. There's also Debby and Katie, Dave Bannion's wife.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By forrie
Columbia Pictures under the Direction of Fritz Lang produced a great Good Cop with a Hero Image Against the Rotten Corrupt World of a 1953 City. Thats Hollywood stile film making.
Glenn Ford portrays the only honest hardnose City Police Detective who sacrifices everything to maintain his morale integrity.
He investigates what seems to be a routine policemans suicide but uncovers a complex corruption ring which includes, gangsters, politicians and his own police precinct. Quickly finds himself on the outside with everyone trying to squash his investigation, life threatened he begins to battle the odds alone.
This 1953 Black & White Standard Format (Full Screen) is beautifully digitally transferred. The picture & sound quality is awesome. A great story, an outstanding cast with Glenn Ford as the hero Detective, Lee Marvin as a Gangster Stooge and a delightful Gloria Grahame as his girlfriend.
This is a must see movie for Sam Spade & Phillip Marlowe admirers.
Special features include only an original theatrical trailer.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars CLASSIC 50's NOIR..... Oct. 16 2002
Awesome 50's detective film noir with Glenn Ford out to bust up a gang that's getting away with murder. He starts snooping around and finds a cover up bigger than he expected. When his wife gets blown up in their car by a bomb meant for him, he's told to take a "leave". So he sets out on his own to get the guys responsible. He hangs out at a club known to be frequented by the thugs and witnesses a party girl (Carolyn Jones) being victimized by hissably slimy Lee Marvin--- who's a key member of the gang. He intervenes and meets another party girl Debby (50's noir babe Gloria Grahame)who tells him to back off for his own good. Ford continues to snoop around and discovers things are even more involved than he thought. Debby proves to be helpful (she likes him) but Marvin scalds her face with boiling coffee when he finds out---a shocking highlight of the film. She goes to Ford, tells all and then takes matters into her own hands. She will be avenged. Tense, exciting story and top notch acting make this a bona-fide classic of the genre and not to be missed. They don't get much better than this. Ford is excellent and Grahame gives the kind of performance that defines a career. She's unforgettable as Debby. A must for DVD collectors who like their film noir pitch black and brutal.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hotter than a pot of coffee... Nov. 20 2003
The Big Heat is an excellent film-noir directed by Fritz Lang with a very fitting title. Lee Marvin steals the show as Vince Stone. He is the scum of the earth in this film, and he does it so well. He's the bad guy you love to hate. Glenn Ford is also very good as detective Dave Bannion. Lang tells a great story of corruption, greed, and violence. You will be on the edge of your seat. Beautifully shot noir. ****1/2 (of *****), too bad Amazon doesn't use half-star intervals, huh?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars good strong stuff Dec 3 2002
By A Customer
a real bruiser of a movie. excellent 1950s cops movie with plenty of good performances; especially by Gloria Graham as the doomed Debbie and Lee Marvin as the sadist. pacing of this movie is incredible. good just barely overcomes evil in this movie. highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful film noir Jan. 5 2002
A great Fritz Lang movie exploring the depths of big time corruption. Glenn Ford does a wonderful job, depicting a police officer who will stop at nothing to bring down mob boss Lagana and his henchmen. The scene when Gloria Grahame is burned by coffee thrown at her face is an all-time great. Glenn Ford should have been nominated for an Oscar, and I will go as far as saying he should have won one as well.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Film Noir
I had never seen this film before, but I enjoy old film noir and had read good things about this film. It turned out out to be a great film, up there with the best. Read more
Published on Oct. 6 2012 by From the Musician's Pen
4.0 out of 5 stars "The Big Heat (1953) ... Ford/Grahame/Marvin/Jones/Scourby ... Fritz...
Columbia Pictures presents "THE BIG HEAT" (1953) - (90 min/B&W) -- Starring: Glenn Ford, Gloria Grahame, Lee Marvin, Carolyn Jones & Alexander Scourby

Directed by Fritz... Read more
Published on Oct. 28 2011 by J. Lovins
5.0 out of 5 stars "The city's being strangled by a gang of thieves"
"The big heat" (1953) is a classic film noir in black and white, directed by Fritz Lang. This movie is characterized by an intriguing plot, fast pace, and good acting, something... Read more
Published on Oct. 28 2007 by M. B. Alcat
5.0 out of 5 stars Gratuitous Violence - it all started with one!,
Moll Debby, Gloria Grahame's character, is hideously scarred by a pot of boiling coffee thrown by her mobster boyfriend (Lee Marvin. Read more
Published on Aug. 17 2007 by Nolene-Patricia Dougan
1.0 out of 5 stars Over-rated. Over-the-top. Cliched.
I can't believe anyone would rate this movie highly. The plot is predictable from the start. The writing is cliched to the max. Read more
Published on April 18 2004 by Charles Bargerstock
Glenn Ford is a family guy/good guy/honest cop until somebody blows up his wife - oh well, into everyone's life a little rain must fall. This reads more like a hurricane. Read more
Published on May 24 2003 by Nix Pix
2.0 out of 5 stars Fair.
I don't know what all the fuss is about this one. Something about this is just not convincing. Glenn Ford is, frankly, not a stellar actor--and some of the other players,... Read more
Published on Aug. 11 2002
4.0 out of 5 stars a bit dissapointing DVD
I was looking forward that THE BIG HEAT will be on DVD. It's one of the best film from Fritz Lang, which almost automatically translates as one of the greatest achievement in the... Read more
Published on Jan. 26 2002 by Toshifumi Fujiwara
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