is one of the most famous noir films of all time
and it has remained as a genuine classic in the genre. Directed by
the gritty and dark journey taken contains shocks, and icy coldness.
performances from a cast including Glenn Ford, Gloria Grahame, and Lee
will continue to be impressed by the decidedly dark film about the evil
can permeate the world of good and that can even corrupt those who want
fight for what's right.
Bannion (Glenn Ford) is a policeman thrown into
difficult circumstances when he is trying to finish and close a case
an apparent suicide by a fellow police officer. Upon meeting with the
deceased officer's wife he learns of ill health and decides the case is
In short time things change. A mistress appears to tell him of her
with the officer, and about how his health wasn't poor at all.
Bannion writes off their encounter as
being the indication of anything other than the deceased man's affair,
following day he learns that things might be more complicated than he
previously thought. The mistress was found dead a mere few hours past
time and not in a way that would indicate
anything besides murder. It isn't long before these matters become
complicated and especially for Bannion. The safety of a loving wife,
Brando) and their adoring daughter are called into question.
begin to unravel quickly. Bannion uncovers the
work of a syndicate boss crime leader with connections everywhere.
tragedy closely tied to Bannion, he becomes truly outraged with a
to stop the crime boss permanently at any cost to himself. The road
paved with blood and terrible events. One moment after another... things
spiraling out of control for everyone.
this fast-paced journey of determination,
Bannion meets a gangster lover. Her name is Debby Marsh (performed with
amazing flair by Gloria Grahame) and we recognize as an audience that
she has a
sweet heart despite being involved in a wicked person's world. In an
disturbing and sadistic moment her gangster boyfriend Vince Stone (Lee
is revealed as an animalistic monster. Things spiral out of control for
before long she's seeking revenge alongside Bannion. The pair works as
necessary until the darker, bitter, and disturbing end arrives without
of solitude before the grim conclusion.
Lang is a great filmmaker. It might seem redundant
to reiterate that, at least to some,
but that's the case with his style. He knew how to tell a story with
he is still regarded highly because his films were also groundbreaking
works. Metropolis is arguably still the most famous
and talked about production crafted by the auteur Lang, but with his
styling things became particularly interesting when he directed The Big Heat, from a script by Sydney
Boehm. Based upon a serialized story, The
Big Heat signaled in a new wave of noir filmmaking that was extra
with surplus helpings of darkness that permeated the genre even beyond
founding of it as a genre.
of stylistically creative filmmaking will
certainly be amazed by the way Fritz Lang directs. The Big Heat is
kind of film that could have wound up being disastrous. Certainly,
so complicated in the story that a less talented director might have
rather solid and complex script by Boehm into a parody of itself or as
something akin to a standard over-the-top attempt at a standard
Saturday-matinee throwaway film. Instead, The
Big Heat helped define the genre beyond an already established
by being something that handled the material in such a serious light.
represents a major accomplishment in motion-picture history and remains
for serious film buffs. You may want for the lights to stay on though.
With The Big Heat... there is darkness
full frame presentation preserves the original theatrical aspect ratio.
good news, right? It gets even better than that. In fact... it gets far better. This is a nearly pristine
transfer of the film. There are a few moments where some specks of dirt
seen, but it barely occurs and almost isn't even noticeable. Most
be distracted at all. This transfer managed to be amazingly close to
perfection. The black levels are strong and with accuracy and a layer
film grain closes out the solid presentation as one of the finest
a black and white film noir. It's hard to imagine anyone
one word? Stunning.
DTS-HD Master Audio presentation doesn't have an ounce of
disappointment in it.
The audio is so clean, sharp, and satisfying as a mono presentation
that I was
left feeling amazed by the output here. It not only preserves the
in which the film sounded in theaters, it might even be better. This
contains an amazing lossless mono mix.
are pretty slim but not without some merit. The disc includes a 2.0
Master Audio track containing the isolated film score. This is an
inclusion for film music fans. There is
also a well-written essay included in an enclosed booklet. The essay
written by critic Julie Kirgo and it elaborates on a number of issues
to understanding The Big Heat. The
theatrical trailer for The Big Heat is also included in High
sadly is a bit of a joke because of how inaccurately it attempts to
film as a rather preposterous and poorly made B movie instead of as the
film it actually is.
Big Heat is
one of the best noir films around and one of the several
masterworks by director Fritz Lang. It's a great movie and one that
everywhere would likely enjoy. For any viewers who have seen the film
worth noting that this Blu-ray is incredible and does offer a
upgrade value with the amazing picture quality. Newcomers won't likely
either and are encouraged to seek out the film and specifically this
a solid purchase and
if you want to order it do so soon. Only
3,000 copies were produced and I would expect there to far less
that now. Keep that in mind when deciding when to pick up a copy from Twilight Time.
Neil Lumbard is a lifelong fan of cinema, and a student who aspires to make movies. He loves writing, and currently does in Texas.