Robert Aldrich | 107 mins | TV | 4:3 | USA / English | PG
Jack Palance is an actor wanting out of his studio contract in this stagey film noir.
The entire film takes place in his house, with a parade of supporting characters coming and going to variously persuade him to stay, persuade him to quit, or persuade him to do other things (saucy!) It’s not just the limited location that makes it feel stagey, though, but also the style of dialogue and the performances. I’m never quite able to put my finger on it, but there’s a certain way playwrights seem to pen dialogue that just feels like it’s from theatre, and The Big Knife (which is adapted from a stage play) has it.
Palance is very good, playing against expectations as an actor who sold out his artistry and is now struggling to be brave enough…
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