Movie You Should See #1: Ace in the Hole directed by Billy Wilder
I was first introduced to this film by one of my favorite professors - the same man that introduced me to Billy Wilder (and I cannot thank him enough for that).
Wilder made some pretty controversial films in his day, but this was one of the biggest. It was released at two separate times, under two different titles. The original title was this one - Ace in the Hole - the studio changed it to The Big Carnival right before its release without consulting Wilder and later changed it back.
This film did not sit well with audiences when it first came out, and may not sit will with some people now. You see the subject matter of this film isn’t just relavent to 1951 - it’s relavent to now. The main character Chuck Tatum, played by Kirk Douglas, is a reporter who cares more about his headline than anything else. So when a man gets trapped in a mine in a small town, Tatum does what anyone can trust him to do - make it a headline. The problem is that he does so at the expense of the trapped miner and his wife.
This film is populated with characters that are hard to like, but so realistic that they’re absolutely believable. This film has the Wilder touch. It was made over 60 years ago, but it’s just as relavent to the media today as when it was first made.