When: Fri., June 22, 7:30 p.m. 2012
Think of it as an encore presentation, even if it is being presented by a different organization. Ace in the Hole, Billy Wilder's acidic 1951 effort, was screened locally this past February as part of the Main Library's "newspaper films" series. Those who missed that showing can now catch the movie at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Charlotte as the opening title in its Fourth Friday Film Series. Remarkably topical, Ace in the Hole stars Kirk Douglas as Charles Tatum, a conniving newspaper reporter who ends up at a small New Mexico rag after getting fired from too many big-city publications. Tatum's hoping for that one story which will take him back to the majors, and he stumbles across it when he learns that a local (Richard Benedict) is trapped in a cave. Starting with this small item, Tatum expertly expands it into a nationwide sensation, a "human interest" piece that eventually draws the attention of other media, a sheriff running for reelection, and American families who travel miles to gawk at the spectacle. Cynical to its core, this powerful film is prescient in the manner in which it mirrors our nation's current fascination with cheap sensationalism and shallow journalistic practices.