Rakestraw’s review published on Letterboxd:
Oh yeah, Billy Wilder's finally firing on all cylinders now. Gone are the irritating and lazy voice-over narration commenting on the action at hand, replaced with some good ole fashioned narrative storytelling with strong dialogue and characters...fully-realized characters with emotion and motivations.
I get the sense that Wilder's cynicism was ahead of its time, as they say.
This movie is incredible, so incredible that not even Richard Gaines and his infamous (to me anyways) non-existent acting skills could derail it...and trust me he tries, he tries so hard.
It actually features a plethora of fantastically composed shots, where in the past that was the main aspect that was missing in these Wilder classics - creativity in the shot composition. But, here Wilder and cinematographer Charles Lang take full advantage of the mountaintop and cave dwellings. That shot starting with the incoming train, the departing passengers running headlong into the media circus as the camera pans, elevates and stops in awe of the ridiculousness of it all - AMAZING.
While, Kirk Douglas hikes up his pants as high as they can go and carries this damn film squarely on his shoulders. His acting is at LEVEL 11 throughout! Sure, some times it's a bit grating and unnecessary, but when it needs to be at LEVEL 11 he's already there! He's been waiting the whole damn time, fan!
You want subtle nuance?
OK...wait for it...BAM! LEVEL 11! Nuance is bullshit!
*what does fan mean?