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Gambling with Souls (1936)

Unrated | | Crime, Drama | September 1936 (USA)
Young girls are cheated in rigged gambling games and then forced into prostitution to pay off their debts.



(original story)

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Complete credited cast:
Martha Chapin ...
Mrs. Mae Miller
'Lucky' Wilder
'Million Dollar' Taylor
Gay Sheridan ...
Molly Murdock
Edward Keane ...
District Attorney (as Ed. Keane)
Dr. John Miller
Drunk Man in Bar
Florence Dudley ...
Eddie Laughton ...


Mae Miller wants the finer things in life, luxuries that she feels her husband, a doctor, cannot provide for her. She begins to gamble in order to ring in spending money for herself, but winds up deep in debt. To pay her dues, she is reduced to the shame of selling herself. Written by Kieran Kenney

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Showing with unusual drama the hidden sidelights of the great city! See more »


Crime | Drama


Unrated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

September 1936 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Vice Racket  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


The dive restaurant where Carolyn goes slumming is the same one that appears in the opening scenes of Marihuana (1936). The house that Mae and her husband share also appears in Slaves in Bondage (1937) and the vanity set in Mae's bedroom also shows up in Reefer Madness (1936), where it's also owned by a character named Mae. See more »


During the police raid at the beginning of the film, a fat man hides under the bed, and is brought out by a cop. During this entire scene, the shadow of the microphone is plainly visible on the left wall of the set. See more »


Attorney: There's nothing I can do.
Dr. Miller: [holding his wife's hands in his] Yes, there is! You can give me back my wife!
Attorney: I'm sorry, but that has to be decided by a judge and a jury.
See more »


Featured in That's Sexploitation! (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

Dark morality story
20 August 2015 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

GAMBLING WITH SOULS is one of many "morality" shockers that were made in the 1930s. Ostensibly these were films designed to educate the viewing public about the dangers of drugs, vice, and sex, but in reality they were lurid little potboilers whose posters screamed sensationalism.

GAMBLING WITH SOULS is the first of these I've watched (it won't be the last) and it's a surprisingly well-made little film for the most part. Clearly this was done on a low budget, but the production values are fairly strong; there are lots of scenes set in bustling casinos and with lots of extras in the background. The narrative is well-constructed, with a mystery court-case bookending the tale told in flashback; it concerns a young woman, addicted to gambling, who is forced into prostitution in order to pay off her debts.

The cast is undistinguished but the material still holds a certain significance to this day - it's amazing how non-dated this feels, especially in comparison to the creaky likes of Lugosi's Dracula made the same decade - and it's fast-paced enough to retain the attention span of even the modern viewer.

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