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The Big Gamble (1931)

Passed  -  Crime | Drama | Romance  -  4 September 1931 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 59 users  
Reviews: 5 user | 2 critic

Unable to repay a substantial gambling debt to mob boss North, Alan Beckwith concocts a last-ditch scheme. Allowing North to take out a $100,000 insurance policy on his life, Alan agrees to... See full summary »



(story), (screen play), 1 more credit »
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Title: The Big Gamble (1931)

The Big Gamble (1931) on IMDb 6.2/10

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Complete credited cast:
Alan Beckwith (as Bill Boyd)
William Collier Jr. ...
Ralph Ince ...
Geneva Mitchell ...


Unable to repay a substantial gambling debt to mob boss North, Alan Beckwith concocts a last-ditch scheme. Allowing North to take out a $100,000 insurance policy on his life, Alan agrees to commit suicide after the mandantory one-year moratorium has elapsed. To make things legal, North forces Alan to marry Beverly (Whose brother is also indebted to North) as the beneficiary-of-record. He also assigns "hitman wannabe" Squint to both keep an eye on Alan and "do the deed" when the time comes. But as the year progresses, Alan falls in love with Beverly, befriends Squint and decides he doesn't want to die. But how can he convince North to allow a 100 grand to slip through his fingers? Written by Chris Stone <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Romance


Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

4 September 1931 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Big Gamble  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Photophone System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Nora Dugan: I didn't mean to be protruding, but we've got to go.
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Remake of Red Dice (1926) See more »

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User Reviews

First-rate cast needed a little more script

Someone wrote here "could have been better." There probably has never been a movie of which that couldn't have been said. Nevertheless, it is true here: The story needed to be fleshed out, with more details of how the good guys almost got out of their mess.

The cast names bespeak a quality production; the director was a good one; the editor, Joseph Kane, did a great job with what he had, and, as an aside, it's interesting that he, as so many other editors, later became a crackerjack director himself.

Bill Boyd was a great favorite with audiences, especially in his "Hopalong Cassidy" days, and with, especially, Cecil B. DeMille. He was a good actor, but was even more a strong personality.

Dorothy Sebastian was a beautiful woman and, especially in this movie, a good, intense actress. She died awfully young, and in her last roles didn't even get screen credit. That seems a shame.

Prolific James Gleason got second billing, even over the female love interest, and made his usual hit. He was around a long time, but we could use a character actor like him today.

Other cast members deserve praise too, as does the stunt work. All in all, this is a good movie, perfect for a relaxing watch.

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