There is a simple, yet powerful quote that hangs in the office of Albuquerque Sun-Bulletin where Kirk Douglas’ character Chuck Tatum works. It says’ Tell The Truth’. From its humble beginnings in Strasbourg to the industry churning billions per year it is now, the fourth estate has changed for worse. A Good Samaritan initiative which stood for truth above everything else now has deteriorated into a ruckus of so-called ‘journalists’ all waiting eagerly for tragedies to lap up like street dogs who wait for the biscuits the good old man throws their way during his evening walk.
Chuck Tatum is that growler who eats up all the biscuits without giving the hungry ones behind him even the pleasure of a single crumb. While on his way to cover a story about a rattlesnake hunt, Tatum chances upon a human interest story – in other words, the whole biscuit factory. And he sure as hell doesn’t want anyone else to have shot at it except him. And what unfolds for the rest of this movie’s run time is a repugnant pother which has aged liked wine.
If there was ever a spiritual prequel to Sidney Lumet’s Network, it would be Wilder’s Ace In The Hole. It is a vigorously cogent work which has, rather unfortunately, stood the test of time. When it released back in 1951, it was received with lukewarm reviews and poor box-office returns. No wonder, for it was unlike all the movies Hollywood was churning out then. All like puppies wanted to be petted by everyone. Ace In The Hole takes a stand, abides by it and spurts out the truth in a right-in-your-face manner.
It shouts ‘We ourselves are the perpetrators of the crimes we accuse the media of. Where would be the demand if there was no one to sell to ?’ Maybe the world would be a hell of a better place if we took just a minute and really thought about that.
(When the movie released, the studios started charging the people to visit the sets. This movie is worth watching just to laugh at the irony of this fact)
RATING :- 9.4 / 10
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