Wikipedia calls this one film noir. IMDB seems to concur. I'd say it's more Hollywood melodrama. Jack Palance plays a whiny big box office draw with INTEGRITY who wants out of his contract. Ida Lupino plays his straying wife. Shelly Winters plays (surprise!) a lush. Rod Steiger overplays a caricature of an evil studio boss.
The script by Clifford Odets is stilted, overbearing and preachy, about what you would expect from a playwright who went slumming in Hollywood, made a few bucks, then decided to bite the hand that fed. Normally, I'd be the target audience for this sort of thing. Barton Fink covered similar territory later and better. I suspect the Coens screened The Big Knife at some point during their writing, chuckled all the way through, then added wrestlers, heads in boxes and peeling wallpaper.