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The Big Heat

A welcome rerelease of Fritz Lang's celebrated 1953 noir thriller, which coincides with the opening of romantic drama Film Stars Don't Die In Liverpool, which is based on the true story of the unlikely romance of Hollywood siren Gloria Grahame and a jobbing actor from the north of England. Grahame takes a starring role in The Big Heat as the girlfriend of a vicious gangster, who pays a terrible price for betraying her man. Homicide detective Dave Bannion (Glenn Ford) investigates the supposed suicide of a fellow officer, Tom Duncan. By speaking to the dead man's widow Bertha (Jeanette Nolan) and his mistress Lucy (Dorothy Green), Bannion begins to piece together the truth about Duncan's death. The trail of evidence leads to ruthless mob boss Mike Lagana (Alexander Scourby) and his second-in-command Vince Stone (Lee Marvin), who will do anything to protect their criminal empire. They attempt to warn off Bannion, to no avail, then Stone's strong-willed girlfriend Debby (Grahame) is seen talking to Bannion. She is punished for fraternising with the enemy and Lagana decides to forcibly dissuade the homicide detective by targeting his young daughter, Joyce (Linda Bennett).