The Big Heat

The Big Heat

Fritz Lang (1953)

15 Certificate


Our Score
Glenn Ford crusades against Mob-led civic corruption and hunts for vengeance in this classic film noir from director Fritz Lang. Its most famous scene, when moll Gloria Grahame is scalded by hot coffee hurled by crook Lee Marvin, was trimmed by the censors before the movie could be released in Britain with an X certificate. Now fully restored, it's tame by today's standards, but still packs a punch. Ford is excellent as the cop with a mission - his character was based on the investigators who uncovered the bile in US cities during the televised 1950s Estes Kefauver Senate inquiry - and Lang gives the vicious exposé a sleek and glossy surface.


A scrupulously honest detective investigates after a cop leaves a suicide note detailing corruption in the force and gangland connections, but gets taken off the case when his own wife is killed by the Mob. However, convinced the officers in charge are covering their tracks, he decides to go it alone. Fritz Lang's noir crime drama, with Glenn Ford, Gloria Grahame, Lee Marvin and Alexander Scourby.

Cast & Crew

Det Sgt Dave Bannion Glenn Ford
Debby Marsh Gloria Grahame
Vince Stone Lee Marvin
Katie Bannion Jocelyn Brando
Mike Lagana Alexander Scourby
Bertha Duncan Jeanette Nolan
Tierney Peter Whitney
Lt Ted Wilks Willis Bouchey
Director Fritz Lang
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Other Information

Language: EnglishBlack and whiteTheatrical distributor: Columbia Picture Corp. LtdGuidance: Contains violence.Available on: video, DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 24 Nov 2017