The Big Heat is a 1953 film noir directed by Fritz Lang, starring Glenn Ford, Gloria Grahame, and Lee Marvin. It is about a cop who takes on the crime syndicate that controls his city after the murder of his wife. The film was written by former crime reporter Sydney Boehm based on a serial by William P. McGivern which appeared in the Saturday Evening Post, and was published as a novel in 1953. The film was selected for inclusion in the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress in 2011. Homicide detective Sergeant Dave Bannion (Glenn Ford) is an honest cop who investigates the death of fellow officer Tom Duncan. It would seem to be an open-and-shut case, suicide brought on by ill health. Bannion, however, is contacted by the late cop's mistress, Lucy Chapman (Dorothy Green), who claims it could not have been suicide. From her, Bannion learns that the Duncans had a second home which would not have been possible on his salary. Bannion visits Mrs. Duncan (Jeanette Nolan). He asks for particulars on the second home and she resents the implication. The next day Bannion gets a dressing-down by Lieutenant Ted Wilks (Willis Bouchey), who is under pressure from "upstairs" to close the case.