The Big Clock

Synopsis: When powerful publishing tycoon Earl Janoth commits an act of murder at the height of passion, he cleverly begins to cover his tracks and frame an innocent man whose identity he doesn't know but who just happens to have contact with the murder victim. That man is a close associate on his magazine whom he enlists to trap this "killer" - George Stroud. It's up to George to continue to "help" Janoth, to elude the police and to find proof of his innocence and Janoth's guilt.
Director(s): John Farrow
Production: Paramount Pictures
  2 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
95 min

Whew! That was close.

What happens

if I get inside the clock

and the watchman's there?

Think fast, George.

That's a break.

He's off duty.

More guards. The lobby's

sewed up like a sack,

and they said,

"Shoot to kill."

They meant you, George.


How'd I get

into this rat race, anyway?

I'm no criminal.

What happened?

When did it all start?

Just 36 hours ago

I was down there,

crossing that lobby

on my way to work,

minding my own business,

looking forward to

my first vacation in years.

Thirty-six hours ago

I was a decent, respectable

law-abiding citizen...

with a wife and a kid

and a big job.

Just 36 hours ago

by the big clock.

And it's the most accurate...

and the most unique

privately-owned clock

in the world.

Now, behind this huge

map of the globe...

is a single

master mechanism.

Built at a cost

of $600,000,

it is set so you can

tell the time

anywhere on the Earth:

London, Chicago,

Honolulu and so forth.

It also

synchronizes the clocks

in this building...

with those in the secondary

printing plants...

in Kansas City

and San Francisco...

and in the 43 foreign bureaus

of the Janoth organization.

Hey, mister,

I'd like to ask somethin'.

Yes, sir.

What happens

if the clock stops?

Oh, Mr. Janoth

would never permit that.

Good morning, Betty.

Good morning, Mr. Stroud.

Here it is.

Thank you.

We will now visit

the public exhibits...


the latest developments...

in the various fields

covered by the Janoth


Elevator is going up.

Going up.

This elevator

is going up.

Next car, please.

Hello, Joe.

Hiya, George.

Hello, George.

Hello, Lily.

You're looking mighty

smart this morning.

Well, thank you.

I should ride this

more often.

- Sportways.

- Hold it!

Ten, please.

Hello, Miss Gold.

Oh, hello.

Mister, would you mind?

The elevator doesn't run

unless the door is closed.

I'm sorry. Excuse me.

Do you work this shift

every day?


We might feature

the reliability angle.

You're safer in an airplane

than you are in a bathtub.

Here's a sketch.

We've got nice elevators

in our building too.

Come on over sometime.

I'll give you a free ride.

Artways. Up.


What's the matter?

I got poison ivy?

We are not allowed

to speak to people

in the elevators.

Mr. Janoth

doesn't permit it.

Styleways, please.

Watch your step.


watch yourselves.

Newsways, please.





"Age 63, frequents

Metropolite City Club,

Skyview Luncheon Club.


business for 46 years..."

I'm expecting him any minute.

I'll tell him

the instant he arrives.

Hold it. Mr. Stroud,

Salt Lake's on the line, and

your wife's trying to reach you.

Put Salt Lake on.

All right, fine.

But they're on.

The conference.

It's almost 11:

Plenty of time.

But Mr. Janoth...

Hello. Yeah?

Yes, this is Stroud.

Hello, Max.

How you makin' out?

But, George...

Ya have? Oh, wonderful!

Where was he?

What did I tell ya?

Once a seashell man,

always a seashell man.

They're waiting.

Will he talk?

Well, pretend you're

a fellow collector.

Ask him if he was gonna

spend the dough

on oysters or blondes.

Yeah. You've got an hour

and 53 minutes to get

the story. Attaboy, Max.

We've just located Fleming.

They're waiting for you.


call the composing room.

We're gonna replate.

And get my wife.

George, you're

the only one not there.

Mr. Janoth

will be furious.

Time is money.

Fleming is in Salt Lake.

Milner's gonna

wire us a story.

Here are the proofs

of the story you had set up.

Go on, Roy. Go on. Hello?

Oh, hello, darling.



No bath and no oatmeal?

Let me talk to him.

All right,

but he doesn't

believe he's going.

He thinks it's

just like last trip

and the time before...

and all the other trips

we didn't go on.

I'll let you talk to him.

George, Daddy wants

to talk to you.

Hello, Daddy.

But I don't believe

we're going.

But this is the McCoy,

an expedition. Your mother's

gonna do the cooking.

What? Yeah,

I know it's tough,

but you'll do the hunting.

That's why you should

eat your oatmeal,

build up your strength.

Ya better believe me.

Look under my pillow.

Oh, boy! Look, Mommy!

An atomic disintegrator!

I think you've

sold him, Wonderman.

I'll let you know at lunch.

A little child psychology,


All right, dear,

Bye, darling.

Today's agenda

is solely on the subject

of increasing circulation.

The figures

for the second quarter

have fallen off badly.

From a monthly high

of 33 million in January,

we've had

a six-percent recession,

a loss of almost

In some cases, we are below

the circulation levels we have

guaranteed our advertisers.

Mr. Janoth's very upset.

He's going to want ideas.

Sit down, gentlemen.

Sit down.

I resent this.

I resent this deeply.

There are

in the average man's life,

each tick of the clock

the beat of a heart,

and yet you sit here

uselessly ticking

your lives away...

because certain members

are not on schedule.

Where is George Stroud?

Roy's trying

to find him.

I do not propose

to be held up,

not even by Mr. Stroud.

Have you told the others

what we want?

Ideas to build circulation.

Not just ideas.

Dynamic angles.

We live in a dynamic age

with dynamic competitors...

radio, newspapers, newsreels...

and we must anticipate trends

before they are trends.

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Jonathan Latimer

Jonathan Wyatt Latimer (October 23, 1906 – June 23, 1983) was an American crime writer noted for his novels and screenplays. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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