Bigger Than Life

78
  • NR
  • Genre(s): Drama
  • Release year: 1956
  • Running time: 95 min
Though ignored at the time of its release, Nicholas Ray’s Bigger Than Life is now recognized as one of the great American films of the 1950s. When a friendly, successful suburban teacher and father (James Mason, in one of his most indelible roles) is... read more

Though ignored at the time of its release, Nicholas Ray’s Bigger Than Life is now recognized as one of the great American films of the 1950s. When a friendly, successful suburban teacher and father (James Mason, in one of his most indelible roles) is prescribed cortisone for a painful, possibly fatal affliction, he grows dangerously addicted to the experimental drug, resulting in his transformation into a psychotic and ultimately violent household despot. This Eisenhower-era throat-grabber, shot in expressive CinemaScope, is an excoriating take on the nuclear family. That it came in the day of Father Knows Best makes it all the more shocking—and wildly entertaining.

Original Release

08/02/1956

Links

Cast

James Mason Ed Avery
Barbara Rush Lou Avery
Walter Matthau Wally Gibbs
Robert F. Simon Dr. Norton (as Robert Simon)
Christopher Olsen Richie Avery
Roland Winters Dr. Ruric
Rusty Lane Bob LaPorte
Rachel Stephens Nurse
Kipp Hamilton Pat Wade
Mary Carver Saleslady
(see additional cast & crew)

Directors

Nicholas Ray

Writers

Cyril Hume, Richard Maibaum, Burton Roueche, James Mason, Gavin Lambert, Clifford Odets, Nicholas Ray

Cast

James Mason Ed Avery
Barbara Rush Lou Avery
Walter Matthau Wally Gibbs
Robert F. Simon Dr. Norton (as Robert Simon)
Christopher Olsen Richie Avery
Roland Winters Dr. Ruric
Rusty Lane Bob LaPorte
Rachel Stephens Nurse
Kipp Hamilton Pat Wade
Mary Carver Saleslady
Eugenia Paul Saleslady

Producers

James Mason Producer

Editors

Louis R. Loeffler

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