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Big Heat (1953)

Director: Fritz Lang     Starring: Glenn Ford
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Learn more about Big Heat:

Format: DVD
Sku: 40161736
UPC: 043396065321
UPC 14: 00043396065321
Rating: NR
See more in Action/Adventure
"Somebody's going to pay...because he forgot to kill me."
Ruthless criminals, a dedicated honest cop, sultry women and a gripping plot--all the elements of a classic police-action drama are here in full force. Police Sergeant Bannion (Glenn Ford) is investigating the apparent suicide of a corrupt cop, then is suddenly ordered to stop--and the big heat is on. Driven to unravel the mystery, Bannion continues probing until an explosion meant for him kills his wife. He resigns from the force and soon learns that behind it all is the powerful underworld led by Mike Lagana (Alexander Scourby) and his cold-blooded henchman, Vince Stone (Lee Marvin). When Stone's girl Debby (Gloria Grahame), makes a play for Bannion, Stone disfigures her face. In revenge, she tells all she knows. Ultimately, Bannion and Stone square off in a life and death confrontation.

"...definitive film noir.  VideoHound's Golden Movie Retriever
"...Grahame is excellent...  Leonard Maltin's Movie & Video Guide
"...potent performances...  Find-A-Video

Editor's Note
THE BIG HEAT, Fritz Lang's most celebrated American film, is a chilling and violent tale of corruption, vengeance, and loss. Dave Bannion, played by distinguished Film Noir actor Glenn Ford, 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 (Gloria Grahame). 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. The violence comes suddenly and unrelentingly, as Lang explodes the stripped down story with economic yet forceful cinematography and editing, and gritty yet emotionally gripping performances from Ford and Grahame.


Video Features DVD, Pan and Scan (TV Format), Aspect Ratio 1.33:1, Mono Audio, English, Spanish, Subtitled, French, Dubbed & Subtitled

Technical Info

Release Information
Video Mfg Name Studio: Sony
Video Release Date Release Date: 8/2/2011
Video Play Time Running Time: 89 minutes
Video Release Year Original Release Date: 1953
Video CategoryId Catalog ID: 06532
Video UPC UPC: 00043396065321
Video Number of Discs Number of Discs: 1

Audio & Video
Video Original Language Original Language: English
Video Audio Spec Available Audio Tracks: English, French Dubbed
Video Subtitle Available Subtitles: English, French, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish, Thai, Chinese
Video Color Spec Video: B&W

Aspect Ratio
Video Aspect Ratio 4:3

Cast & Crew

Video Cast Info Glenn Ford
Video Cast Info Gloria Grahame
Video Cast Info Jeanette Nolan
Video Cast Info Jocelyn Brando
Video Cast Info Lee Marvin
Video Cast Info Alexander Scourby
Video Cast Info William P. McGivern - Based On Novel By
Video Cast Info Fritz Lang - Director
Video Cast Info Charles Lang - Director of Photography
Video Cast Info Robert Arthur - Producer
Video Cast Info Sydney Boehm - Screenplay
Plot Summary
One of the most classic of the film noir genre and one of the darkest and most violent, as well. A bomb goes off and although it was meant to kill a detective, someone else dies in his place. Now he's determined to catch whoever is responsible; unfortunately, the more he searches and the more he learns, the more it seems like the culprits might be the police themselves.

Memorable Quotes

"Early nothing." ----Debbie to Bannion in regards to his hotel room

"We're sisters under the mink." ----Debbie to Bertha

Professional Reviews

USA Today
"...Among the best movies Fritz Lang made in America after fleeing the Nazis. It's certainly the toughest..." 12/28/2001 p.15D

Total Film
"Fritz Lang's thriller stunned America upon release, but even today the coffee-in-phizzog scene still shocks....Brutal." 04/01/2004 p.136

5 stars out of 5 -- "THE BIG HEAT has aged best, achieving an emotional force rare in the crime genre, and almost unparalleled in Lang's own oeuvre." 03/01/2006 p.130-131

The Motion Picture Guide 8 of 10
A tough and uncompromising crime drama, starkly photographed...hard-hitting dialog... Rich characterizations, a taut, telling script...and sharp lensing...contribute to this film noir standout.

Product Attributes

Product attributeActor:   Ford,Glenn
Product attributeLabel:   Columbia/tri-Star
Product attributeMusic Format:   DVD
Product attributeVideo Format:   DVD
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