Capital Celluloid - Day 156: Tuesday June 7

Ace In The Hole (Wilder, 1951): Hampstead Town Hall 7pm

"I've seen some hard-boiled eggs in my time but you're 20 minutes," someone says to central character Chuck Tatum, played by Kirk Douglas. You'll know you could add another 20 to that once you've seen this jet-black film, even by Billy Wilder standards.

Here is the Chicago Reader review:

'Billy Wilder being bitter, without Billy Wilder being funny. This 1951 film, about a cynical reporter who seizes on the plight of a man trapped in a mine shaft to promote his career, is cold, lurid, and fascinating, propelled by the same combination of moral outrage and sneaky admiration that animates the paperback novels of Jim Thompson and James M. Cain. Kirk Douglas stars, and his psychotic charm is perfect for the part; Jan Sterling is unforgettable as the victim's hard-bitten wife, who's willing to go along with Douglas's scheme.' 111 min. by Dave Kehr

Here is an extract.

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