Sunday, October 13, 2013
The still hot "The Big Heat"
From Blouin Artinfo
Thanks to Terry Butler for the link
Fissionable material: Gloria Grahame and Glenn Ford in "The Big Heat"
by Graham Fuller
Published: October 11, 2013
Sixty years ago next Monday, Columbia released “The Big Heat.” Although the Los Angeles County Museum of Art screened Fritz Lang’s film noir as a matinee on Tuesday, its anniversary appears not to have excited the nation’s repertory programmers as a whole. Turner Classic Movies isn’t showing it. Film Forum in New York is instead celebrating 60 years of Yasujiro Ozu’s “Tokyo Story.”
“The Big Heat” got short shrift back in 1953, too, especially in comparison with Columbia’s “From Here to Eternity,” which dominated the Oscars with its eight wins (including Best Picture). Lang’s film won a single Edgar Award.
“The reviews were fair, the box-office average,”Patrick McGilligan wrote in his Lang biography. Its $1.25 million rental earnings were, in fact, paltry compared with “The Robe”’s $17.5 million and “From Here to Eternity”’s $12.5 million.It would be folly now, however, to suggest that “From Here to Eternity,” for all that it sets up the attack on Pearl Harbor, is the more resonant of the two pictures. As does Raoul Walsh’s James Cagney vehicle “White Heat” (1949), “The Big Heat” subtextually addresses post-Hiroshima and Nagasaki “nuclear trauma,” in the phrase of film scholar Walter Metz, and anticipates the Cold War paranoia of Robert Aldrich’s “Kiss Me Deadly” (1955).