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I am slowly catching up with Billy Wilder’s filmography, I think I was inspired by Filmspotting.net’s Wilder marathon, and really… why did I never see all these great movies before? How could I spend my life assuming that Kirk Douglas is a legendary actor when I have never seen the films that created this reputation? Here, he plays a reporter who had to get the hell out of Dodge (New York, that is) and finds cover in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He stays put, is bored out of his mind, and waits for the chance for a scoop. When a mine caves in, trapping a worker, he gets his chance. He is ruthless, charming, sexy, violent, cunning …  he is everything that’s needed for a man of such vanity and ambition. He plays his colleagues, his women, and innocent bystanders alike. When he reaches a point of realizing the vastness of the consequences his actions have, it is too late to turn back. He learns that everything comes at a price, the higher the stakes, the higher the price.

As with the other Billy Wilder movies I have seen recently (Double Indemnity, Sunset Boulevard), there is not much in terms of outdatedness to be found. These films hold up, because they are intelligently written, cleverly structured and greatly acted. I look forward to the rest of my catching up…

http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/1107426-ace_in_the_hole/

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