An ordinary guy named Leo (Richard Benedict) gets trapped in a cave-in, and is found by Chuck Tatum (Kirk Douglas), a big-city reporter exiled to Albuquerque. Leo might be quickly dug out, but Chuck, believing that extended publicity will get him back to the top and out of New Mexico, manages to delay the rescue effort for nearly a week. By that time the disaster site has become a resort destination, a Lourdes for voyeurs. Ace in the Hole (a great title) casts blame not just on Chuck but on the whole journalistic process: on those who gather and manipulate the news, those who publish it, and those who read all about it. The moral is as apt today in the 24/7 news biz, where the appetite for sensational stories rarely stops short of prurience.