Tag Archives: Robert Arthur

Billy Wilder – Ace in the Hole (1951)

Review:
All Movie
A movie truly ahead of its time, Ace in the Hole (also known as The Big Carnival) turned out to be too bitter and cynical for moviegoers in 1951. An unrelenting portrait of media sensationalism and the human obsession with tragedy that propels it, the film is based on a true story that also spawned Robert Penn Warren’s novel The Cave. Director, screenwriter, and producer Billy Wilder suffered perhaps the biggest commercial and critical failure of his career with Ace, losing much of his standing at Paramount, even though the movie was released between two of his most enduring and popular triumphs, Sunset Boulevard (1950) and Stalag 17 (1953). Ace was perhaps not up to the standard of those works, but it clearly stands as one of Wilder’s many achievements. It’s hardly surprising that this film failed to find a mainstream audience, despite the added attraction of emerging star Kirk Douglas in the lead. American culture wouldn’t be ready for such a large dose of pessimism until the 1970s; even then, a film such as 1976’s Network, which clearly paralleled the tone of Wilder’s effort, was dismissed by many viewers as too hysterical. – Brendon Hanley Read More »

Louis King – Green Grass of Wyoming (1948)

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In this sequel to MY FRIEND FLICKA and THUNDERHEAD, young Ken McLaughlin buys a trotting horse named Crown Jewel, intending to train and race her. However, Thunderhead, the stallion he released to the wild, returns and steals Jewel to add to his herd. Ken gets Jewel back and also succeeds in bringing Thunderhead home before competing in a trotting race. His chief opponent is Beaver Greenway, a washed-up former champion driver whose granddaughter Ken is in love with. Read More »