The Big Heat (1953) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Big Heat1953

The Big Heat (1953)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

The Big Heat Photos

Movie Info

Police Sergeant Bannion is investigating the apparent suicide of a corrupt cop, then is suddenly ordered to stop the investigation. 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 a powerful underworld organisation led by Mike Lagana and his cold-blooded henchman, Vince Stone.

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Glenn Ford
as Det. Sgt. Dave Bannion
Gloria Grahame
as Debby Marsh
Jocelyn Brando
as Katie Bannion
Alexander Scourby
as Mike Lagana
Lee Marvin
as Vince Stone
Jeanette Nolan
as Bertha Duncan
Willis Bouchey
as Lt. Wilkes
Robert Burton
as Gus Burke
Adam Williams
as Larry Gordon
Howard Wendell
as Commissioner Higgins
Chris Alcaide
as George Rose
Dorothy Green
as Lucy Chapman
Ric Roman
as Baldy
Edith Evanson
as Selma Parker
Joseph Mell
as Dr. Kane
Sidney Clute
as Bartender
Ezelle Poule
as Mrs. Tucker
Byron Kane
as Dr. Jones
Lyle Latell
as Moving Man
Paul Maxey
as Fuller
Charles Cane
as Hopkins
Al Eben
as Harry Shoenstein
Harry Lauter
as Hank O'Connell
Phil Chambers
as Hettrick
Robert Forrest
as Bill Rutherford
John Doucette
as Mark Reiner
John Close
as Policeman
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News & Interviews for The Big Heat

Critic Reviews for The Big Heat

All Critics (29) | Top Critics (7)

The film is drum-tight, directed with muscular clarity and force.

November 24, 2017 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

Ford's portrayal of the homicide sergeant is honest and packs much wallop. Lang's direction builds taut suspense, throwing unexpected, and believable, thrills at the audience.

April 9, 2008 | Full Review…

Brutal, atmospheric, and exciting -- highly recommended.

April 9, 2008 | Full Review…

Lang strips down William P McGivern's novel to essentials, giving the story a narrative drive as efficient and powerful as a handgun.

June 24, 2006 | Full Review…

That's the beauty of Lang's moral ambidexterity. He tells the story of a heroic cop, while using it to mask another story, so much darker, beneath.

January 20, 2006 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

Mr. Lang can direct a film. He has put his mind to it, in this instance, and he has brought forth a hot one with a sting.

May 20, 2003 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Big Heat


Film Noir that's for sure, they just don't make them like this anymore. Glenn Ford plays a detective who is working a case where city officials and the mob are involved, He's putting the heat on the mob trying to solve the apparent suicide of another police officer, and the mob is putting the heat on his family. Enjoyable scene's at home wife cooking dinner having a few cocktails. Beer at a bar cost 35 cents, a real phone booth that cost a dime had a door on the booth so no one could hear your conversation unlike today with cell phones. Overall an outstanding Black and White Film, Marlen Brando's sister played in this movie and she was pretty hot back in the day Jocelyn Brando. And Gloria Grahame played a gangsters girl and she was also hot, don't see women like this on the big screen today. No Class no Talent welcome to 2011. The movie is 4 1/2 stars all the way.

Bruce Bruce
Bruce Bruce

Super Reviewer

Another good thriller from Fritz Lang, I liked it.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer


Not at all bad if you wanna kill some 90 hot minutes. However, if you 're looking for an unpredictable thriller, this one isn't gonna satisfy you.

familiar stranger
familiar stranger

Super Reviewer

The Big Heat Quotes

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