Ace in the Hole

Ace in the Hole

Billy Wilder (1951)

A Certificate


Our Score
"I've met some hard-boiled eggs in my time," says Jan Sterling to Kirk Douglas. "But you - you're 20 minutes!" Sterling's husband is a fat, slobbery sap who gets trapped in a cave; Douglas is the on-the-skids journalist who prolongs the man's agony while turning the accident into a major human interest story. Sterling co-operates with the scheme, making dough from the crowds who show up to watch the rescue operation. Few movies are as tough as this one, which is probably why it flopped at the box office - audiences don't like having their noses rubbed in their own dirt. However, it's one of Hollywood's great masterpieces, filled with Wilder's caustic wit and Douglas's trademark intensity.


An abrasive, hard-drinking reporter is reduced to working for a small-town newspaper, where he discovers a man trapped in a mine shaft. He sees a chance to revive his career, and manipulates the rescue operation to drag things out as long as possible, creating a media circus but putting the man's life in jeopardy. Billy Wilder's drama, starring Kirk Douglas and Jan Sterling.

Cast & Crew

Chuck Tatum Kirk Douglas
Lorraine Jan Sterling
Herbie Cook Bob Arthur
Jacob Q Boot Porter Hall
Mr Federber Frank Cady
Leo Minosa Richard Benedict
Sheriff Ray Teal
McCardle Lewis Martin
Papa Minosa John Berkes
Mama Minosa Frances Dominguez
Smollett Frank Jaquet
Dr Hilton Harry Harvey
Radio announcer Bob Bumpas
Mrs Federber Geraldine Hall
Deputy sheriff Gene Evans
Director Billy Wilder
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Other Information

Language: EnglishBlack and whiteTheatrical distributor: Paramount Film Service LtdAvailable on: Blu-ray