Our local friend Joseph Zimmermann is back with another entry in his “Movies You Might Have Missed” series – this time profiling the 1951 Kirk Douglas vehicle Ace In The Hole. Directed by the incomparable Billy Wilder, Ace In The Hole is concerned with a big city news writer who has knocked down to a small paper in New Mexico. There, he callously sensationalizes a dire event for his personal gain. Shot as a typically-grim film noir, Wilder’s film was noticeably cynical about the business of news – an unpopular opinion to have at time when newspapers were generally the gateway to filmgoers.
Upon it’s release the picture was not a success. The gloomy portrayal of the cynical manipulation of events for private gain, indeed with a man’s life at stake, was too dark a commentary on the shabby business of corrupt enterprise under capitalism. It’s message resonates just as strongly today however, for as long as the spirit of private profit and competition motivate man rather than mutual cooperation then we will continue to witness sad commentaries such as these, not only in the movies, but in our society.
Read Zimmermann’s entire article over at People’s World.