Big Heat The (1953)

Big Heat The (1953)

Directed by Fritz Lang with a screenplay by Sidney Boehm (The Atomic City (1952)) this above average crime thriller stars Glenn Ford as a straight-laced cop in a corrupt city he believes is run by a fastidious gangster named Mike Laguna (Alexander Scourby). Almost immediately Detective Sergeant Dave Bannion (Ford) has a personal reason to bring down Laguna and his right hand thug Vince Stone (Lee Marvin) – they were responsible for killing his wife Katie (Jocelyn Brando); she got blown up in Bannion’s car instead of him. Bannion’s superiors are no help they’ve removed him from the police corruption case he was investigating in part because he was harassing Laguna. Sexy Gloria Grahame plays Stone’s ex-mistress whose face was disfigured when the thug threw scalding hot coffee in her face. She becomes Bannion’s unlikely ally as he tries to succeed against all odds.

Added to the National Film Registry in 2011.

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