The Big Heat

The Big Heat (1953)
In this crime drama, Glenn Ford plays Detective Sergeant Dave Banion, an honest and tough cop in a city run by criminals. At the beginning of the film, a policeman commits suicide and leaves a letter for the district attorney detailing his involvement with high ranking criminals and dishonest public officials. His widow, Bertha Duncan (Jeanette Nolan), finds the letter but instead of turning over to the DA, uses it to blackmail the highest ranking criminals in the city. When Banion investigates the suicide, he notices some inconsistencies in the widow's statements and decides to investigate further.

Eventually the trail leads him to Vince Stone (Lee Marvin) and his girlfriend Debby Marsh (Gloria Grahame). Stone is one of the high ranking criminals, a vicious and sadistic thug who likes to torture women. Debby is in love with him, but hates it when he abuses her and other women. Debby takes an interest in Banion after he roughs up one of Stone's goons after Stone assaults a woman in a bar.

Ford gives his usual top notch performance. Grahame's performance is excellent as is Jeanette Nolan's as the shrewd and malicious Bertha Duncan. Marvin is also very good as the vicious and sadistic Vince Stone.

This is a fast paced movie and for those who like crime dramas, it is one of the best. For more about the film, check out TCM.
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