Ace in the Hole

Watch Ace in the Hole

"Rough, tough Chuck Tatum, who battered his way to the top... trampling everything in his path - men, women and morals !"
  • Approved
  • 1951
  • 1 hr 51 min
  • 8.1  (38,842)
  • 72

Ace in the Hole is a hard-hitting drama from 1951 that stars Kirk Douglas in one of his most memorable roles. Directed by legendary filmmaker Billy Wilder, the movie tells the story of a down-on-his-luck journalist who stumbles upon a news story that he knows will make him famous, and who is willing to do anything to keep the story going.

The movie follows Chuck Tatum (Kirk Douglas), a once-successful journalist who has hit rock bottom. After being fired from multiple newspapers and struggling to make ends meet, he finds himself in Albuquerque, New Mexico, working for a small-town paper. One day, he stumbles upon a story about a man who has been trapped in a cave in the nearby hills for over a week.

Tatum sees this story as his chance to get back on the front pages of newspapers across the country. He immediately jumps on the story, and with the help of the local sheriff, he orchestrates a media circus around the rescue effort. He manipulates the victim's wife, Lorraine (Jan Sterling), into giving him exclusive access to her husband, and begins crafting a narrative that will keep readers hooked.

As the days go on, Tatum becomes more and more desperate to keep the story going. He delays the rescue effort, putting the victim's life in danger, in order to build suspense and keep the public's attention. He also starts manipulating Lorraine's emotions for his own gain, convincing her that he's the only one who can save her husband, and using her to get access to the cave.

As Tatum's ego gets bigger and bigger, he becomes more ruthless in his pursuit of glory. He starts causing chaos around the town, turning the rescue effort into a carnival sideshow. He also begins to reveal his true colors, using anyone he can to get ahead, including his protégé, Herbie (Robert Arthur), who becomes increasingly disillusioned with Tatum's methods.

Throughout the movie, we see the effects of Tatum's actions on the people around him. Lorraine, who starts out as a sympathetic character, descends into a pit of despair as Tatum uses her emotions for his own benefit. The victim, Leo (Richard Benedict), becomes a helpless pawn in Tatum's game, as he realizes that the media attention he's receiving is both his only hope for survival and also the cause of his demise. And Herbie, who idolizes Tatum at first, slowly comes to understand the true nature of his mentor and the damage he's causing.

As the movie reaches its climax, Tatum's hubris finally catches up with him. He becomes increasingly desperate to keep the story alive, even as the victim's condition deteriorates. His lies and manipulations are exposed to the public, and he is left alone to face the consequences of his actions.

Ace in the Hole is a powerhouse of a movie, one that is both thrilling and thought-provoking. It's a scathing critique of the media industry, and of the lengths that people will go to in order to get ahead. It's also a character study of a man who is willing to sacrifice everything for his own ego, and the people who are caught in his wake.

Kirk Douglas gives a tour-de-force performance as Chuck Tatum, perfectly embodying the character's charisma and ruthlessness. Jan Sterling is also excellent as Lorraine, conveying both vulnerability and inner strength. And Robert Arthur brings a sense of pathos to Herbie, as he struggles to reconcile his idolization of Tatum with the truth of his actions.

Overall, Ace in the Hole is a classic movie that still packs a punch today. With its themes of ambition, greed, and media manipulation, it's a film that is all too relevant in today's world, and one that will stay with you long after the credits roll.

Ace in the Hole is a 1951 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 51 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 8.1 and a MetaScore of 72.

Ace in the Hole
Where to Watch Ace in the Hole
Ace in the Hole is available to watch free on Pluto TV and Kanopy. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at FlixFling, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Ace in the Hole for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 51 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    8.1  (38,842)
  • Metascore