"The Big Heat"

THE BIG HEAT, (1953), black and white, 8,010', approximately 89 minutes. Directed by Fritz Lang, photography by Charles Lang, written by Sydney Boehm from the novel by William P. McGivern, with Glenn Ford, Gloria Grahame, Jocelyn Brando, Lee Marvin, Alexander Scourby and Jeanette Nolan.
Sony Pictures Entertainment recently restored THE BIG HEAT and HUMAN DESIRE, the only two films the great director Fritz Lang made for Columbia Pictures several years ago. The problems with the original negative for THE BIG HEAT were much more complicated to fix when compared to the problems with HUMAN DESIRE. With DESIRE, SPE was able to print directly from the original camera negative. There were no replacement sections required because the only physical damage to the negative were several instances of broken perforations and slight edge damage to one of the reels. Thus, HUMAN DESIRE was really more of a preservation project than a restoration.
THE BIG HEAT required more extensive restoration. In addition to the sections of the original negative which exhibited abrasions, chemical stains and imbedded dirt in the emulsion, there were two other areas of main concern: numerous torn frames and long sections of physical decomposition. Extensive hand cleaning helped to remove many of the artifacts. The torn and decomposed sections, however, were replaced using a 35mm Fine Grain Master Positive made in 1956. Because most of the damage and all of the decomposition occurred to the original negative after the fine grain was manufactured, this element provided good results for creating duplicate negative replacements.


Glenn Ford was one of Columbia's biggest stars when he played detective Dave Bannon.