Sergeant Dave Bannion (Glenn Ford, Cowboy) is an truthful cop investigating the death of a fellow police officer, Tom Duncan. What at very first seems like a clear cut case of suicide quickly turns into one thing a lot more sinister as Bannion is given conflicting stories from Duncan’s chilly wife (Jeanette Nolan, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance) and Duncan’s possible mistress (Dorothy Green, It Occurred At The Planet Fair). When the mistress is found bound, tortured, and killed on the side of the road, Bannion realizes that there’s much more to this case than meets the eye. His investigations will take him into the heart of the city’s underworld, which includes a fateful run-in with the nearby crime boss, Mike Lagana (Alexander Scourby, The Devil at four O’clock), and Lagana’s sadistic second-in-command, Vince Stone (Lee Marvin, The Delta Force).
Although director Fritz Lang will go down in cinema history as the director of two of the most influential films of the 1920s (Metropolis) and 1930s (M), Lang also toiled in a lot of other genres which includes war films (Cloak and Dagger), psychological thrillers (Secret Beyond the Door), westerns (Rancho Notorious), and—most impressively—film noir. Lang’s filmography is littered with gems like The Residence by the River and The Woman by the Window. The director’s largest achievement could be the 1953 Glenn Ford automobile The Big Heat. The film was a hit with audiences, became a essential darling over the years, and was sooner or later included in the prestigious National Film Registry at the Library of Congress.
Admittedly, I am not a very large connoisseur of film noir. In truth, I’d venture to guess it really is the cinematic genre I know the least about it is not that I never enjoy it, I just haven’t had the possibility to see a lot of noir films. From what I’ve read The Huge Heat was 1 of the most critical in the genre, a defining instance of film noir at its finest. I can see why critics really feel this way—The Huge Heat is brisk, classic entertainment that does not get bogged down by slow spots or unnecessary exposition. This is, quite simply, a wonderful film with a wonderful cast that never ever overstays its welcome.
Glenn Ford was a rock of cinema, an actor that in no way seemed to reach the heights of Paul Newman or Marlon Brando, but who usually came by way of with a solid functionality no matter what film he was starring in. Ford’s Detective Bannion is not flashy or showy—this is a character who stoically goes by means of the motions of finding out the truth, even when the truth hits so close to property that it almost destroys his entire planet. Ford injects Bannion with a sense of proper and incorrect in a planet that doesn’t seem to follow his exact same rules. It really is a tricky overall performance since Ford keeps Bannion’s feelings so close to his vest the only time we see a crack in that armor is when Bannion is at residence with his wife and kid.
1 of the causes The Large Heat functions so wonderfully is due to a swath of supporting actors who bring menace and mystery to their roles. Very best among them in Lee Marvin as the film’s heavy Vince Stone, a towering and menacing figure whose cruelty appears to know no bounds in one of the film’s most infamous scenes Marvin’s Stone throws a pot of scalding hot coffee into his girlfriend’s face, permanently scarring her. Though the violence is shown off-screen, it really is nonetheless a harrowing cinematic moment and gives the character the proper quantity of viciousness to make him a person the audience loves to hate. Gloria Grahame as Vince’s desirable but abrasive girlfriend and Alexander Scourby as the head crime boss also give the film a varied cast of challenging talking dames and soulless villains.
Twists and turns come rapidly in The Large Heat, with a strong screenplay by former crime reporter Sydney Boehm, based on a serial by William P. McGivern (which initially appeared in the Saturday Evening Post). The highest praise I can give a film like The Massive Heat is that I didn’t know how it was going to finish when a single of the principal characters gets hot coffee thrown on her face, you know the filmmakers are not playing by the normal rules. This makes The Massive Heat is an simple recommendation.
The Large Heat (Blu-ray) Encore Edition is presented in 1.33:1 widescreen in 1080p high definition. This Twilight Time release (an encore release, as The Big Heat was released on Blu-ray in 2012) functions a crisp, strong black and white transfer. There’s a fine grain structure to the image that provides the film a warm, â€˜filmic’ really feel. The image is clear of any significant defects or imperfections general this is a fantastic hunting image of a classic film. The soundtrack is presented in DTS-HD Master Audio 1. Mono in English. This is an superb reproduction of the original mono soundtrack recording. Though the track is entirely front heavy, it provides listeners a rich, pleasing single speaker encounter. Also integrated on this disc are English subtitles.
Further features consist of an isolated score track, a commentary track by film historians Julie Kirgo, Nick Redman, and Lem Dobbs, two featurettes (“Martin Scorsese on The Massive Heat” and “Michael Mann on The Massive Heat”), and an original theatrical trailer for The Massive Heat.
The Huge Heat stands as a landmark film noir and 1 of the finest examples of the genre. From Glenn Ford’s pitch perfect hero to the Fritz Lang’s directorial prowess, it looms big and deserves its rightful location in the Library of Congress. Twilight Time’s double dip will make fans who missed this title the first time about pleased, even though the supplements aren’t as plentiful as a single might hope. With only a restricted quantity of copies obtainable, I’d advise acquiring your as soon as possible prior to they’re all gone!