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The Big Clock (1948)

aka The Big Clock

"The strangest and most savage manhunt in history!"

Directed By: 
Details: 95 mins · English


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Small George Stroud
Small Earl Janoth
Small Georgette Stroud
Small Steve Hagen
Small Pauline York
Small Louise Patterson
No_movie_poster Don Klausmeyer
No_movie_poster Ray Cordette
Small Bill Womack
Small Nat Sperling
No_movie_poster Lily Gold
Small Edwin Orlin
Small Colonel Jefferson Randolph aka McKinley
No_movie_poster Burt
Small Second Secretary


No_movie_poster John Farrow Director
No_movie_poster Kenneth Fearing Novel
No_movie_poster Jonathan Latimer Screenplay
No_movie_poster John Farrow Production
No_movie_poster Richard Maibaum Production
No_movie_poster Kenneth Fearing Story Contributor


"The strangest and most savage manhunt in history!"


The story is told in flashback. When it begins, George Stroud (Ray Milland), editor-in-chief of Crimeways magazine, is shown hiding from building security behind the "big clock" ? the largest and most sophisticated one ever built, which dominates the lobby of the giant publishing company where he works, Janoth Publications in New York City.

Stroud is eager to spend more time with his wife (Maureen O'Sullivan) and plans a long-postponed vacation from his job. He sticks to those plans despite being fired for it by his tyrannical publishing boss, Earl Janoth (Charles Laughton). Instead of meeting his wife at the train station as planned, however, Stroud finds himself preoccupied with the attention being shown him by Janoth's glamorous mistress, Pauline York (Rita Johnson), who proposes a blackmail plan against Janoth. When Stroud misses their scheduled train, his wife angrily leaves without him, so he begins drinking and spends the evening out on the town with York.

Later that night, Janoth spots a man leaving York's apartment, but does not get a clear enough look at him to see that it is Stroud. Although Stroud's evening with York had ended platonically, Janoth assumes otherwise, leading to a quarrel which ends when he murders her. Janoth determines to locate the man he had seen leaving the apartment and then frame that man for the crime. Ironically, Janoth re-hires Stroud to lead the effort to find the man.

Stroud then must balance the tasks of outwardly appearing to diligently lead Janoth's investigation and, at the same time, trying to prevent that investigation from uncovering the fact that it is he who is the very target of it. Meanwhile, he must also secretly carry out his own investigation to gather the evidence necessary to prove who the real murderer is.

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