Movies From the Hat VI #21 – Chris’ Pick – The Big Clock (1948)

This is my 3458th Review

Thanks to Chris of Blog of the Darned for this recommendation.

“Sure. He doesn’t want to let his left hand know whose pocket the right one is picking. ” – George

Number of Times Seen – 1 (19 Oct 2017)

Brief Synopsis – A innocent crime magazine editor is tasked with trying to discover the identity of the murderer of a wealthy tycoon’s mistress.

My Take on it – I only realized towards the end of this film that it was the basis for the main elements of No Way Out (1987) which added in elements of the Cold War to a simple tale of murder.

This is a great idea for a thriller because it gives us much more information than the characters know which helps raise the stakes of it all.

The idea of having a character trapped in such a situation works really well because we are aware that he is waging two simultaneous investigations without anyone around him being any wiser.

This helps keep the audience on their toes most of the time.

Ray Millard and Charles Laughton are both great here and keep us interested the whole time.

Bottom Line – Great idea that works well because we know more than the characters do. The idea of a man trapped in such a dilemma as the main character in this story is thrilling and keeps the audience on its toes the whole time.  Liked this just as much as the modern remake No Way Out (1987) that added in elements of the Cold War instead of just keeping things simple as a murder. Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – When producer Richard Maibaum first came on the set, director John Farrow who liked to intimidate people who worked with him, kept him at a distance by using a walking stick. Maibaum turned around, went to the props department and returned with a baseball bat. As if a spell were broken, the situation immediately improved and Maibaum and Farrow would go on to have an excellent working relationship. (From IMDB)

Rating – Globe Worthy


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5 thoughts on “Movies From the Hat VI #21 – Chris’ Pick – The Big Clock (1948)

  1. Awesome, I’m glad you liked it. Me, I like it way better than, No Way Out. The twist ending on No Way Out rubbed me the wrong way for a lot of years. It’s only been the last ten years or so that I’ve been able to watch and enjoy, No Way Out. That and there’s more humor in The Big Clock, especially with the Elsa Lanchester character. Every time she is onscreen is pure gold.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Agree with Chris. The ending on No Way Out rubbed me the wrong way as well. Even though up until that – I thought it was a helluva thriller. And I had seen The Big Clock a few times. I was working in Hollywood when No Way Out came out – and kept asking people who might know – if the ending was in the original screenplay – or tacked on at some point – and no one seemed to know for sure. I’ve always had my doubts that it was part of the deal – and not some idea that someone came up with at the 11th hour.


  2. Hey Rob – surprised at you. As an addendum to your Richard Maibaum trivia at the end of your review – you might have added that he went on to write the very first James Bond movie – “DR. NO” – and a dozen others – all the way through From Russia With Love, Goldfinger, Octopussy etc.


  3. Pingback: Movies Reviewed Index A-Z |

  4. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1948 | MovieRob

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