Written by / 2/15/2023 / No comments / , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

GLENN FORD, LEE MARVIN & GLORIA GRAHAME IN 'THE BIG HEAT'

Title: THE BIG HEAT Shown: Glenn Ford Year: 1953 Rating: *****

On posters for Fritz Lang's classic film noir THE BIG HEAT there's what looks like an impassioned couple raging with sensuality in Glenn Ford and Gloria Grahame, which is misleading since neither care much about each other within the story, and yet, perhaps no other actor and actress have shared so much energy and chemistry on screen... 

She's the girlfriend/moll of chief gangster's thug Lee Marvin, who, before his days of tough anti-heroes, played neurotic, borderline sociopath hoods: and literally sizzles here as the title becomes too real for Graham, getting scalding coffee thrown on her face, punishment for having visited Ford's hidden cove apartment behind his back...

Gloria Grahame in THE BIG HEAT

The fact is she simply liked how he, Ford's vengeful widower cop Dave Bannion, stood up to both Marvin and before that his boss Alexander Scourby, as deadpan lethal as Marvin's unhinged crazy...

And between these two is shifty Adam Williams, technically the worst antagonist of the lot: the "thief" (as Ford calls all the villains) having set up a hit for Ford that happened instead to his wife, played by Jocelyn Brando...

A questioning Glenn Ford from THE BIG HEAT

First-act dinner sequences with her initially happy, workingman-detective husband feel a bit contrived, early-50's dated and sometimes over-written compared to the rest of a naturally progressed "bad cop" thriller...

Where Ford, either questioning widow-with-a-secret Jeanette Nolan, more goons including a slimy bartender and that same joint's b-girl, or the entire police station... paid-off or otherwise... is equally intense, uncompromising and yet completely vulnerable in a tour-de-force performance that's rarely been equaled in the crime (or any) genre.

Glenn Ford in THE BIG HEAT
Alexander Scourby and Glenn Ford in THE BIG HEAT
Alexander Scourby in THE BIG HEAT
Glenn Ford in THE BIG HEAT
Gloria Grahame and Lee Marvin in THE BIG HEAT
Alexander Scourby and Lee Marvin in THE BIG HEAT
John Crawford and Glenn Ford in THE BIG HEAT
Carolyn Jones and Lee Marvin in THE BIG HEAT
Gloria Grahame and Glenn Ford in THE BIG HEAT
Gloria Grahame and Glenn Ford in THE BIG HEAT
Gloria Grahame and Glenn Ford in THE BIG HEAT
Gloria Grahame and Glenn Ford in THE BIG HEAT
Gloria Grahame  in THE BIG HEAT
Gloria Grahame and Glenn Ford in THE BIG HEAT
Gloria Grahame and Glenn Ford in THE BIG HEAT
Jeanette Nolan and Glenn Ford in THE BIG HEAT
Bartender Peter Whitney and Glenn Ford in THE BIG HEAT
Glenn Ford in THE BIG HEAT
Jocelyn Brando in THE BIG HEAT
B-girl Dorothy Green and Glenn Ford in THE BIG HEAT
Glenn Ford in THE BIG HEAT
Gloria Grahame and Lee Marvin in THE BIG HEAT
Gloria Grahame and Lee Marvin in THE BIG HEAT
Lee Marvin in THE BIG HEAT
Andy Williams in THE BIG HEAT
Alexander Scourby and Lee Marvin in THE BIG HEAT with Andy Williams
Lee Marvin in THE BIG HEAT


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