The Big Clock (1948) - John Farrow
John Farrow's The Big Clock is a very tight thriller with noir-ish tones. The Big Clock tells the story of the relationship between Earl, a slave driving owner of a national magazine 'Crime Ways' and his star editor, George, who has a knack for breaking big stories. George works very long hour in an attempt to appease his boss but it causes a lot of strife between him and his wife. One night after a hard nights work, where he is once again forced to blow off his wife and son, George goes to the bar to drown his sorrows and ends up going on a drunken bender with Milliard, a woman who ends up to be Earl's mistress. Unbeknownst to George, Milliard is the mistress of Earl, and when she returns home that night she is murdered by the powerful tycoon. The Big Clock is a great mystery thriller that plays out like a great game of cat and mouse, following Earl and George as they each seek out the man responsible for Milliard's death, with our main protagonist George, having no idea that his own boss is the man responsible. Earl is out to frame a man for Milliard's death, setting his sights on his star editor, knowing that they shared the spend some time together at the bar that night. The script is taut and the direction really brings the film to life, embracing the race against time aspect of the film through various shots of clocks. The real star of this film is the great Charles Laughton, surprise! surprise!, who is absolutely fantastic as the diabolical owner, Earl. He is able to add such depth to a character which blandly written, creating a genuinely great antagonist to this Noir-ish story. John Farrow's The Big Clock is an effective thriller that captures the power and corruption so frequently seen among the extremely wealthy tycoons.
Leave a Reply.
Love of all things cinema brought me here.