March 06, 2012 ct00000000117201
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Ace in the Hole recently was shown on TCM, which is where I first heard of it. Usually I can sit through an entire movie but remember very little of it, even one that I enjoy. However, Ace in the Hole has not evaporated from my memory. The primary setting is that of an obscure place in 1950\'s New Mexico. A local shopkeeper is trapped in a cave when an opportunistic, washed-up journalist pounces upon his plight as the vehicle for a chance at a Pulitzer Prize. Complicit in milking the trapped man\'s perilous position is the self-promoting local sheriff. The man\'s discontented wife approves of the media event they create, gladly profiting from it herself. The entrance to the grounds of the sacred Indian cave, which started out being free, has an escalating charge for entry posted as the crowds continue to gather. What struck me was that I identified with the husband, back from the war with his new city wife and hoping to be successful in his Indian artifacts desert shop. He maintains an optimistic attitude during the ordeal, seeming to be big-hearted and naive, while even the wife, for whom he is concerned, slakes her thirst for greed as her loving husband languishes. I think it was King Solomon who wrote that ...\"all is vanity...\" with one exception. It appears that the characters in this film didn\'t know what that one thing is.
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