Sunday, 26 April 2015

The Big Knife (1955)

A big-time movie star refuses to sign a binding contract with a Louis B. Mayer-like mogul, but is blackmailed to do so.

Sharp and acrid satire on Hollywood, but also stagebound and talkative; and despite Jack Palance giving all his effort, it's awkward to see him as an oversensitive and tormented artist.

Halliwell*: "Overheated argument between Art and Mammon, with rather disagreeable people shouting at each other, for too long a time. Limited interest is provided by the acring."

Maltin***: "...involving (albeit overheated) drama...Fine performances almost overcome stereotypes; Steiger chews the scenery as a despotic studio head."

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