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The Big Knife Details


Robert Aldrich's screen adaptation of Clifford Odets' stage play reflects the quandary of the writer's later career; the golden boy of the Group Theater in the '30s, when his plays were the toast of Broadway, his talent seemed to wither after a number of years in the screenwriting trenches, and a revulsion for what he saw as hackwork combined with his capitulation to HUAC to blight his final decade. Jack Palance stars as Charlie Castle, a major film star who has refused to sign a long-term contract for big money with a studio run by the tyrannical Stanley Hoff (Rod Steiger). This has led to the return of his wife, Marion (Ida Lupino), who had left him due to his womanizing and a willingness to kowtow to Hoff in doing bad movies only for the money. After his agent, Nat Danziger (Everett Sloane), tries unsuccessfully to get him to reconsider, Hoff himself badgers Charlie, insisting on the absolute necessity of his signing. When the star continues to resist, Hoff threatens to blackmail him with an ugly incident from his past. ~ Michael Costello, Rovi


Awarded by
Venice International Film Festival Robert Aldrich Silver Lion 1955 Winner


Jack Palance
as Charlie Castle
Ida Lupino
as Marion Castle
Wendell Corey
as Smiley Coy
Rod Steiger
as Stanley Hoff
Shelley Winters
as Dixie Evans
Jean Hagen
as Connie Bliss
Ilka Chase
as Patty Benedict
Everett Sloane
as Nat Danziger
Wesley Addy
as Hank Teagle
Paul Langton
as Buddy Bliss
Bill Walker
as Russell
Michael Winkelman
as Billy Castel
Strother Martin
as Stillman
Michael Fox
as Announcer
Ralph Volkie
as Referee
Mel Welles
as Bearded Man
Richard Boone
as Narrator
Robert Emhardt
Mel Welles
as Bearded Man
Ralph Volkie
as Referee
Richard Boone
as Narrator


Robert Aldrich
Robert Aldrich
Clifford Odets
Play Author
James Poe
Ernest Laszlo
Frank De Vol
Composer (Music Score)
Michael Luciano
William Glasgow
Art Director