Bigger Than Life

  • 1956
  • 1 HR 35 MIN
  • NR
  • Drama

James Mason gives a shattering performance in Nicholas Ray's BIGGER THAN LIFE, an extraordinarily rich study of mid-1950s malaise, hidden under the guise of being a medical case history of a man who undergoes a radical personality transformation after taking the experimental "wonder drug" cortisone. Ed Avery (James Mason) is a teacher who, after suffering...read more

Where to Watch

Available to Stream

  • Watch on

Bigger Than Life - Official Trailer

Though ignored at the time of its release, Nicholas Ray’s Bigger Than Life is now recognized as one of the great American films of the 1950s. When a friendly, successful suburban teacher and father (James Mason, in one of his most indelible roles) is prescribed cortisone for a painful, possibly fatal affliction, he grows dangerously addicted to the experimental drug, resulting in his transformation into a psychotic and ultimately violent household despot. This Eisenhower-era throat-grabber, shot in expressive CinemaScope, is an excoriating take on the nuclear family that it came in the day of Father Knows Best makes it all the more shocking—and wildly entertaining.

More Clips

Coming Soon

Because it's never too early to plan Thursday night... two months from now.

Cast & Details See all »

  • Rating: NR
  • Review: James Mason gives a shattering performance in Nicholas Ray's BIGGER THAN LIFE, an extraordinarily rich study of mid-1950s malaise, hidden under the guise of being a medical case history of a man who undergoes a radical personality transformation after taki… (more)

Show More »