Billy Wilder had a lot to say about how media circuses can be built (or really, manufactured) in one of my favorite films (certainly the best thing Billy Wilder ever did)...
It'll be out in July from the good people at The Criterion Collection. Here's what they have to say...
One of the most scathing indictments of American culture ever produced by a Hollywood filmmaker, Academy Award–winner Billy Wilder’s Ace in the Hole is legendary for both its cutting social critique and its status as a hard-to-find cult classic. Kirk Douglas gives the fiercest performance of his career as Chuck Tatum, an amoral newspaper reporter caught in dead-end Albuquerque who happens upon the story of a lifetime—and will do anything to ensure he gets the scoop. Wilder’s follow-up to Sunset Boulevard is an even darker vision, a no-holds-barred exposé that anticipated the rise of the American media circus.
-New, restored high-definition digital transfer
-Audio commentary by film scholar Neil Sinyard
-Portrait of a "60% Perfect Man": Billy Wilder, a 1980 documentary featuring in-depth interviews with Wilder by film critic Michel Ciment
-Excerpts from a 1986 appearance by Wilder at the American Film Institute
-Excerpts from an audio interview with co-screenwriter Walter Newman
-PLUS: A booklet featuring new essays by film critic Molly Haskell and filmmaker Guy Maddin
Chuck Tatum- Kirk Douglas
Lorraine Minosa- Jan Sterling
Herbie Cook- Bob Arthur
Jacob Q. Boot- Porter Hall
Mr. Federber- Frank Cady
Leo Minosa- Richard Benedict
Sheriff Kretzer- Ray Teal
Smollett- Frank Jaquet
Produced and directed by
Billy Wilder, Lesser Samuels, Walter Newman
Director of photography
Charles B. Lang, Jr., ASC
Music score by
Hal Pereira and Earl Hedrick
About the Transfer
Ace in the Hole is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.33:1. On widescreen televisions, black bars will appear on the left and right of the image to maintain the proper screen format. The picture has been slightly window-boxed to ensure that the maximum image is visible on all monitors. This new high-definition digital transfer was created on a Spirit Datacine from a 35mm fine-grain master positive and a 35mm duplicate negative. Thousands of instances of dirt, debris, and scratches were removed using the MTI Digital Restoration System. To maintain optimal image quality through the compression process, the picture on this dual-layer DVD-9 was encoded at the highest-possible bit rate for the quantity of material included. The soundtrack was mastered at 24-bit from the optical soundtrack, and audio restoration tools were used to reduce clicks, pops, hiss, and crackle. The Dolby Digital 1.0 signal will be directed to the center channel on surround sound systems, but some viewers may prefer to switch to two-channel playback for a wider dispersal of the mono sound.
Again my prayers go out to the friends and families of this terrible thing.