Reporter of Satan

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German title Reporter of Satan
Original title Ace in the hole
Country of production United States
original language English
Publishing year 1951
Age rating FSK 16
Director Billy Wilder
script Walter Newman ,
Lesser Samuels ,
Billy Wilder
production William Schorr ,
Billy Wilder
music Hugo Friedhofer
camera Charles Lang
cut Arthur P. Schmidt

Reporters of Satan (Original title: Ace in the Hole ) is an American feature film from 1951 by Billy Wilder . The story is based on an incident in 1925 when Floyd Collins was trapped in a cave while trying to find a new entrance to Crystal Cave (Sand Cave), Kentucky , and died after weeks of media hype.


Reporter Chuck Tatum is a talented and ambitious reporter whose egocentricity always gets in the way. From New Mexico he worked his way to New York , where he was fired from eleven editorial offices, among other things for insults, drunkenness and adultery. Due to financial hardship, he now has to write for the Albuquerque Sun-Bulletin , a small local newspaper that, under its editor-in-chief Jacob Boot, stands for unspectacular but honest journalism. After a year with the Sun Bulletin , Tatum and the young photographer Herbie Cook were given the task of reporting on a rattlesnake hunt . He happened to hear from Leo Minosa, a resident who was trapped in a cave in search of Indian artifacts . Tatum believes he can write a sensational report that will bring him back to one of the major newspapers.

Tatum hinders the rescue work and at the same time is praised as the heroic rescuer of the trapped. Together with the corrupt Sheriff Kretzer, who wants to increase his popularity through the drama, the reporter puts pressure on the engineers to use a slower rescue method. With this, Tatum wants to be able to sell his report nationwide. The victim's wife, Lorraine, also allies with Tatum. Since she always found life in the country to be boring, she has long wanted to leave her husband and flirts with Tatum, who, however, lets her play the loving, worried wife in public. Lorraine continues her husband's business, which benefits from the onlookers who gradually arrive. Herbie Cook, the newspaper's idealistic photographer so far , imagines his profit if he sells the pictures to a large magazine.

Thousands of people come to the city, the rescue operation takes on proportions similar to a fairground. Tatum quits the Sun Bulletin and signs a contract with a major New York newspaper. But the party atmosphere dissipates when tragedy looms. The victim suffers pneumonia and becomes weaker and weaker. Tatum now tries to push ahead with the rescue work, but in vain: Minosa dies, Tatum is burdened with guilt. While the onlookers quickly leave, Tatum is fired from his New York newspaper for failing to deliver a report. He returns to the Sun Bulletin and offers editor-in-chief Boot with his last words to want to work for him free of charge. Then Tatum collapses dead - a few hours earlier Lorraine had cut him with scissors when he had mistreated her one too many times.


While the script was still being worked on, actor Victor Desny filed a lawsuit against the film. Desny claimed the film was an unauthorized version of Floyd Collins' story. Since Desny owned the rights of the story, he assumed copyright infringement. The dispute was settled out of court.

When the film came out, there were negative reviews and financial losses as a result. The studio then - without Billy Wilder's consent - changed the original title to The Big Carnival to improve the box office. But it didn't work.

The studio built a copy of a Native American pueblo on the cliff near the Trading Post lookout on Route 66, west of Gallup , New Mexico , for $ 30,000 . After the filming was completed, the construction remained and the owner of the Trading Post used it to attract tourists to his business.


The German dubbed version was created in 1951 at Ultra Film Synchron GmbH in Munich. A few missing scenes were dubbed later.

role actor German Dubbing voice
Charles 'Chuck' Tatum Kirk Douglas René Deltgen (new scenes: Matti Klemm )
Lorraine Minosa Jan Sterling Tina Eilers
Herbie Cook Robert Arthur John Pauls-Harding
Leo Minosa Richard Benedict Curt Ackermann
Sheriff Gus Kretzer Ray Teal Wolfgang Eichberger
Al Federber, tourist Frank Cady Wolfgang Buettner
Deputy Gene Evans Wolf Ackva
Dr. Hilton Harry Harvey Walter Holten
Radio reporter Bob Bumpas Arnold Marquis
Mr. Nagel, New York Editor-in-Chief Richard Gaines Wolfgang Preiss
Sam Smollett Frank Jaquet Rudolf Reif
Father Diego Lester Dorr Hans Hinrich


“Gripping, excellently staged and acted drama that - with a certain cynicism - critically exposes the practices of the tabloids and human greed. One of Billy Wilder's bitterest films. "

“Billy Wilder reckons badly with the 'yellow press' and people's greed for sensation. As expected, the press and viewers did not like the mirror. The film is shot and played with virtuosity. "

“A gripping, excellently staged and acted drama that - with a certain cynicism - exposes the practices of the tabloids. A brilliant broadside to the audience's lust for sensation, certainly one of Billy Wilder's bitterest films, but one that flopped commercially. "

“In Reporter des Satan , Billy Wilder describes the human misconduct of a man who walks over corpses for his professional advancement with astute and pointed criticism. But also the sensation-addicted and inhumane attitude of a society that greedily consumes what is presented to it by the media, Wilder attacks most sharply. 'Reporter of Satan' is Billy Wilder's bitterest film of his great career. "


Academy Awards 1952

National Board of Review

  • 1951: NBR Award for Best Actress to Jan Sterling

Venice International Film Festival

  • 1951: International Award for Billy Wilder
  • 1951: Nomination for the Golden Lion

National Film Registry

  • Recording 2017

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Gereon Stein: Film Title Castings Film Cast List Movie Cast Characters - (No longer available online.) Archived from the original on November 5, 2017 ; Retrieved October 25, 2017 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  2. German synchronous index: German synchronous index | Movies | Reporter of Satan. Retrieved October 25, 2017 .
  3. Satan's Reporter. In: Lexicon of International Films . Film service , accessed March 2, 2017 .Template: LdiF / Maintenance / Access used 
  4. See
  5. Satan's Reporter. In: prisma-Verlag , accessed on September 13, 2017 .
  6. See