Seven Days in Noirvember #1: The Big Heat

(This seven-part series focusing on film noir during what’s known as “Noirvember” will consist of 100-word pieces intended to be as punchy as any good noir screenplay.)

The Big Heat (1953) – Directed by Fritz Lang

Cop Glenn Ford is forced to play dirty when another detective’s suicide shows connections to sordid crimes happening further up the police chain. Lee Marvin portrays a nasty heavy, though Gloria Grahame as his moll gets vicious too; this couple sure knows their way around a scalding pot of coffee, the preferred weapon of choice in two scenes. Fritz Lang specialized in film noir during his Hollywood career and especially here, working with cinematographer Charles Lang and crackerjack dialogue from Sydney Boehm (Grahame to Ford about his apartment’s décor: “Hey, I like this – early nothing”), old Fritz hits a homer.

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