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Barrio jazz gang - chok-a-blok avenue


Directed and co-written by Billy Wilder with the same acid misanthropy that he brought to such classics as "Sunset Boulevard" and "Double Indemnity," "Ace in the Hole" (1951) is a riveting story of a down-on-his-heels reporter (Kirk Douglas) who thinks he's hit on the story that will revive his lagging career: a man is trapped in a cave, with only a short time available to free him. The sensational life-and-death predicament (which Douglas manipulates to prolong the man's jeopardy) only fuels the cynicism and greed of all concerned. A bitter film? You bet. Audiences couldn't take it, leading the studio to re-release it with a happier title: "The Big Carnival," for the carnival-like atmosphere that surrounds the cave. (Which actually makes it an even more cynical title.)


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