Home
NEW TODAY
SCRIPT DEADLINES
TODAY'S POLL
WATCH FREE FILMS
MOVIE VIDEOS
ARTIST PROFILES
Movies by Year
Movies by Director
Movies by Actor
Movies by Actress
Movies by Alphabet
MOVIE CHARACTERS
MOVIE FRANCHISES
2012 MOVIES
2012 MOVIE LIST
2011 MOVIES
Book of Possibilities
The Writer's Way
Film making TIPS
Sex Articles
Best of SEXY
KISSING scenes
ROMANTIC scenes
SMOKING scenes
TEEN Movies
ACTION movies
HORROR movies
FAMILY movies
Box Office Results
TOP 100 STAR WARS
STEVEN SPIELBERG
THE AVENGERS
DARK KNIGHT RISES

Subscribe To This Site
XML RSS
Add to Google
Add to My Yahoo!
Add to My MSN
Subscribe with Bloglines
 

THE BIG HEAT, 1953
Movie Reviews!

Search 1,000 of MOVIES
SCREENPLAY CONTESTSUBMIT your SCREENPLAY
Voted #1 screenplay contest in the world!
wildcardWATCH - Best of FILM INDUSTRY VIDEOS!TOP 100TOP 100 LISTS WEBSITE
Best of photos, movies, sex and everything else!
2011 MOVIES2011 MOVIES
See all of 2011 films!
 MOVIES YEAR BY YEAR

See and watch films 1900 to present!
CLICK and WATCH MOVIES ONLINE!
WATCH today's TOP SHORT FILMS
EXPLORE and WATCH the TOP PAGES on THE NET!!
wildcardWATCH the best of WILDCARD PICTURES! wildcardWATCH the best of SHORT FILMS on the NET!

  MOVIE POSTER THE BIG HEAT, 1953
Movie Reviews

Director: Fritz Lang

Cast: Glenn Ford, Gloria Grahame, Lee Marvin, Jocelyn Brando

Review by Kaitlin Moleen

SYNOPSIS:

Dave Bannion is an upright but unscrupulous cop on the trail of a vicious gang he suspects holds power over the police force. Bannion is tipped off after a colleague's suicide and his fellow officers' suspicious silence lead him to believe that they are on the gangsters' payroll. When a bomb meant for him kills his wife instead, Bannion becomes a furious force of vengeance and justice, aided along the way by the gangster's spurned girlfriend Debbie. As Bannion and Debbie fall further and further into the Gangland's insidious and brutal trap, they must use any means necessary (including murder) to get to the truth.

REVIEW:

“I do what I’m told.” So says the cop on detail to Detective Dave Bannion (Glenn Ford). In the world of “The Big Heat,” people follow orders regardless of the consequences. Except Dave Bannion. Having been assigned to the case of cop Tom Duncan, who has been found dead at his desk, Bannion accepts that it must have been a suicide. The cop’s widow , Bertha (Jeanette Nolan), tells him that Tom had been secretly ill and that is the reason he killed himself. However, the audience is privy to information that Bannion does not have. We see Bertha as she calmly calls Mike Lagana, the boss gangster, and informs him of her husband’s demise. Later on, we see her sitting at her vanity like an actress. Bannion knocks at the door and she starts up the waterworks in honor of her “beloved” husband.

Bannion is trusting and has no reason to doubt Bertha’s story. That is, until he receives a phone call from Lucy Chapman, who asks him to meet her at a bar lounge called “The Retreat.” It is important to note that Bannion is in the midst of dinner with his wife when he takes the call from Lucy. He is a family man who values his wife, Katie (Jocelyn Brando) and her role as a homemaker. The cut to “The Retreat” shows a different lifestyle and how different Lucy is compared to Katie. Bannion becomes suspicious now of the suicide ruling and seeks to find the truth about Tom’s death.

Finally, the rising action of the story begins. Bannion is relentless in his pursuit of the truth and refuses to follow orders: the latter is what separates him from the rest of the characters. He gets in hot water with his boss when he refuses to back down and do what he’s told. A gangster named Larry, part of Lagana’s crew, states “I just take orders” when told that he has screwed up. Like the cop I quoted at the beginning of this review, who “does what he’s told,” Larry takes orders and does not have enough virtue to stand up for his own beliefs.

While not everything goes Bannion’s way, he never sacrifices his principles. He is disgusted by the blood money that has allowed Lagana to live a life of luxury and won’t let up on the gangster’s trail. Even when Lagana sends him a message, hoping to scare him off, Bannion does not back down. Usually this type of stubbornness in a character might seem unrealistic. We might expect Bannion to “give in” and escape from Lagana’s crew while he is (mostly) unscathed. However, Glenn Ford brings a naturalness to his character so that every move he makes is believable. And despite his quest for revenge against Lagana and his crew, Bannion retains a sensitive side (seen in his relationship with Debby Marsh (Gloria Grahame).

There are a few moments in the film that would normally be deemed melodramatic; however, I found these moments to be rightfully shocking. Since the plot is very straightforward and contains no narrative twists, the dramatic moments feel truly visceral (one moment in particular seems like an homage to “The Public Enemy” with more serious repercussions). In fact, we respond emotionally because we know more than the characters. Dramatic irony goes a long way in supplying the right amount of tension.

TOP 100 SEXTOP 100 SEX SCENES of all-time
WATCH the revised 2011 list!
 TOP 100 NAKED MOVIE SCENES
WATCH the all! Best in cinema history!
TOP 100 TV SEX SCENESTOP 100 TV SEX SCENES
WATCH the best in television history!
wildcardWATCH - Best of ET Radio PODCASTS!
CLICK and WATCH MOVIES ONLINE!
CLICK HERE read more life lessons COLUMNS!

MOVIES YEAR BY YEAR
CLICK the LINKS and EXPLORE
2005200620072008200920102011
19971998199920002001200220032004
19891990199119921993199419951996
19811982198319841985198619871988
19731974197519761977197819791980
19651966196719681969197019711972
19571958195919601961196219631964
19491950195119521953195419551956
19411942194319441945194619471948
19341935193619371938193819391940
19261927192819291930193119321933
1918191919201921 1922192319241925
19101911191219131914191519161917


THE BIG HEAT, 1953