Ace in the Hole (1951 film)

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Ace in the Hole is a 1951 film about when a man is trapped alive in a mine collapse, a self-interested reporter and the townspeople cynically create what we now call a "media circus".

Directed by Billy Wilder and written by Walter Newman, Lesser Samuels, and Billy Wilder.

Charles Tatum[edit]

  • Bad news sells best. 'Cause good news is no news.
  • How'd you like to make a thousand dollars a day, Mr. Boot? I'm a thousand-dollar-a-day newspaperman. You can have me for nothing.
  • I've done a lot of lying in my time. I've lied to men who wear belts. I've lied to men who wear suspenders. But I'd never be so stupid as to lie to a man who wears both belt and suspenders.
  • It's a good story today. Tomorrow, it'll be yesterday's news and they'll wrap a fish in it.
  • I can handle big news and little news. And if there's no news, I'll go out and bite a dog.

Lorraine Minosa[edit]

  • I've met a lot of hard-boiled eggs in my time, but you--you're twenty minutes.
  • I don't pray. Kneeling bags my nylons.


Reporter: We're all in the same boat here.
Charles Tatum: I'm in the boat. You're in the water. Now let's see how you can swim.

Charles Tatum: When the history of this sunbaked Siberia is written, these shameful words will live in infamy: 'No chopped chicken liver.' No garlic pickles. No Lindy's. No Madison Square Garden. No Yogi Berra. What do you know about Yogi Berra, Miss Deverich?
Miss Deverich: Yogi? Why, it's a sort of religion, isn't it?
Charles Tatum: You bet it is - a belief in the New York Yankees. You know what's wrong with New Mexico, Mr. Wendell? Too much outdoors. Give me those eight spindly trees in front of Rockefeller Center any day. That's enough outdoors for me. No subways smelling sweet-sour. What do you use for noise around here? No beautiful roar from eight million ants - fighting, cursing, loving. No shows. No South Pacific. No chic little dames across a crowded bar. And worst of all, Herbie. No 80th floor to jump from when you feel like it....When I came here, I thought this was gonna be a 30-day stretch, maybe 60. Now it's a year. It looks like a life sentence. Where is it? Where's the loaf of bread with a file in it? Where's that big story to get me outta here? One year, and what's our hot news? A soapbox derby. A tornado - that double-crossed us and went to Texas. An old goof who said he was the real Jesse James - until they found out he was a chicken thief from Gallup by the name of, uh, Schimmelmacher. I'm stuck here, fans. Stuck for good. Unless of course, you Miss Deverich, instead of writing household hints about how to remove chili stains from blue jeans, get yourself involved in a trunk murder. How about it, Miss Deverich? I could do wonders with your dismembered body.
Miss Deverich: Oh, Mr. Tatum. Really.
Charles Tatum: Or you, Mr. Wendell. If you'd only toss that cigar out of the window - real far, all the way to Los Alamos - And boom!! [He chuckles] Now there would be a story.


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