The Big Combo

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Terrific gangster movie, although - despite the syndicate shenanigans promised by the title - it's more of a film noir focusing on the private, obsessional duel between Wilde's cop and Conte's gangster, each variously haunted by a woman and virtually becoming the other's alter ego during the course of their deadly vendetta. A film structured by viciousness and pain (amplified by two peculiarly hideous torture scenes involving a hearing aid), it's a dark night of several souls perfectly visualised in John Alton's extraordinary camerawork. Even better than Lewis' earlier - and remarkable - Gun Crazy.

Release details

Duration: 89 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Joseph H Lewis
Screenwriter: Philip Yordan
Cast: Cornel Wilde
Richard Conte
Jean Wallace
Brian Donlevy
Lee Van Cleef
Earl Holliman
Robert Middleton
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