Clifford Odets made his name as a playwright for New York's Group Theatre before venturing out to Hollywood as a screenwriter, and The Big Knife takes aim at the darker side of the movie industry. John Garfield, who previously starred in Odets' Golden Boy, played movie star Charlie Castle.
In his New York Times review, Brooks Atkinson offered a mixed assesment of Odets' latest work: "Although his blast at Hollywood misses the target by a considerable margin," he wrote, "it is not the broadside of a hack."
The play has not appeared on Broadway since its premiere 64 years ago. Bobby Cannavale leads the revival in the role originated by John Garfield. Marin Ireland, Richard Kind, Chip Zien and Reg Rogers comprise the supporting cast.