Bigger Than Life (1956)
"(...) In its final scenes, Bigger Than Life’s ultimate reinstatement of the family – a move typical of the family melodrama (though equally ironically rendered in a film like There’s Always Tomorrow) – is undermined by the precariousness of Ed’s recovery and our memory (though probably his wife and son’s too) of his past actions. Upon waking from the nightmare of his drug-addled state, Ed replaces his paranoid visions of and identification with the “new” – but very Old Testament – Abraham (who would now kill his own son) with the emancipative visions of another Abraham: “I walked with Lincoln… Abraham… Abraham”, Ed intones. Thus, Ed tries to contain his previous psychotic, murderous and highly egotistical state within the metaphorical frame of the “Father” of the new America. His walk with Abraham is clouded by delusions of grandeur, tolerance and reunification, and the spectre of emancipation and education.
Ed Avery becomes a man for his times, deluded into believing in an illusion of freedom, idealism and emancipation weaved into the fabric of modern consumerist America. But he also remembers, if only vaguely, the very real threat he posed to his family. In the end, as he beckons to his wife and son to come “closer, closer”, one must ask just who Ed is: everyman; Christ; Abraham; the great emancipator; a rebel without a cause; society itself; an empty vessel; or just a closet despot carried away by his own petty expressions of power?"
Adrian Danks in Senses of Cinema