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The Big Knife
In the golden age of Hollywood cinema, actors may have all the glory, but studio execs have all the power. The Hoff-Federated studio has had its most successful star, Charlie Castle (Bobby Cannavale), over a barrel ever since it helped cover up a mistake that could have ended his career. Set in a glossy world of rumor mills and rocky friendships, Clifford Odets’ play spotlights how challenging it can be to stay true to yourself—when everyone expects you to play a part.

Theatre: American Airlines Theatre
Opening Night: April 16 2013

Producers: Roundabout Theatre Company, Todd Haimes, Harold Wolpert, Julia C. Levy

The Big Knife

1 Nomination

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play

Related Photos


The Big Knife premiered on Broadway in 1949 with John Garfield playing Charlie Castle. Jack Palance took on the role in a 1955 film noir.


  • This is the first-ever Broadway revival of Odets’s play.
  • Bobby Cannavale was also featured this season in the Broadway revival of David Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross.
  • Playwright Odets knew well the Hollywood world he depicted in this play. Among his notable screenplays were None but the Lonely Heart, Humoresque, and Sweet Smell of Success.

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