Tuesday, March 26, 2013

312. Bigger Than Life

Bigger Than Life
Directed by Nicholas Ray

This is one of the movies that starts normally and gets out of control very quickly.  First we have a normal schoolteacher who has to get a second job as a cab driver too make extra cash.  Suddenly, we have a man that is addicted to drugs who wants to kill his wife and mother, The Shining style.

Yet another film that takes a crack at suburban life.  I am not complaining, but we have had quite a bout of these movies lately; I guess the idea of suburbia has lost its charm.

Let's start with my complaints.  First of all, I am used to tacked on endings because of the production code.  Still, this film really needed a different ending.  I will not go on further because of my spoiler policy.

As for the rest of the movie, James Mason is a great actor and the middle part (the ending was stupid) was genuinely exciting.  The film also has a great line: God was wrong.

RATING: ***--

Interesting Facts:

Marilyn Monroe had a brief cameo but it was ultimately cut from the movie.


  1. I think actually that the ending leaves open the possibility of a relapse. Like in Lost Weekend we are not entirely convinced that he is well yet. Chilling.

  2. Agreed about the ending, but how else do you end it? He kills his wife and/or son and the credits roll as we hear police sirens approaching in the distance? He gets psychiatrically committed and his wife has to sell the TV to make ends meet? If this film were a song it would probably fade out, but movies can't do that, unfortunately.

    James Mason is always very good, isn't he?