Criterion Critics

Ace in the Hole (1951)

Episode #9

Ace in the Hole (1951)Paramount Pictures released Ace in the Hole to theaters on July 4, 1951. Billy Wilder directed the film starring Kirk Douglas, Jan Sterling, and Robert Arthur.

‘Ace in the Hole’ Criterion Summary

Billy Wilder’s Ace in the Hole is one of the most scathing indictments of American culture ever produced by a Hollywood filmmaker. Kirk Douglas gives the fiercest performance of his career as Chuck Tatum, an amoral newspaper reporter who washes up in dead-end Albuquerque, happens upon the scoop of a lifetime, and will do anything to keep getting the lurid headlines. Wilder’s follow-up to Sunset Boulevard is an even darker vision, a no-holds-barred exposé of the American media’s appetite for sensation that has gotten only more relevant with time.



Special Features

  • New 2K digital restoration, 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
  • Audio excerpts from an interview with Wilder’s coscreenwriter Walter Newman
  • Video afterword by filmmaker Spike Lee
  • Stills gallery
  • Trailer
  • PLUS: Essays by critic Molly Haskell and filmmaker Guy Maddin

New cover by F. Ron Miller

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Paramount Pictures released Ace in the Hole to theaters on July 4, 1951. Billy Wilder directed the film starring Kirk Douglas, Jan Sterling, and Robert Arthur.

User Rating: 4.55 ( 2 votes)
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