The Big Heat
Fritz Lang’s stark thriller about a cop fighting city-wide corruption stars Glenn Ford and Gloria Grahame.
Dir Fritz Lang
With Glenn Ford, Gloria Grahame, Jocelyn Brando, Lee Marvin
A Park Circus release
Fritz Lang’s stark thriller about a cop fighting city-wide corruption is also a classic tale of revenge and redemption. After a senior policeman kills himself, detective Dave Bannion (Ford) begins to suspect a cover-up between his superiors, local politicians and a seemingly inviolate crimelord. Persisting with his investigations, he comes under attack, at which point his mission turns personal rather than professional. Famous for its (off-screen) violence – notably a scene involving Gloria Grahame, Lee Marvin and boiling coffee – Lang’s film is pacy, unsentimental and to the point in exploring the thin line between the law and rough justice. The robust direction, terse script and unfussy performances ensure the movie feels strangely modern.
Geoff Andrew, Programmer-at-large
See our Gloria Grahame season.