6.7/10
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4 user 1 critic

Gambling Hell (1942)

Macao, l'enfer du jeu (original title)
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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Ying Tchaï
...
Mireille
...
Almaido
...
Werner von Krall (as Eric von Stroheim)
Louise Carletti ...
Jasmine
Jim Gérald ...
Un matelot
Marie Lorain ...
Mademoiselle Marguenon
Alexandre Mihalesco ...
Yassouda (as Mihalesco)
Etienne Decroux ...
Un autre matelot (as Decroux)
Tsugundo Maki ...
Le secrétaire de Ying Tchaï (as Maki)
...
Le capitaine
Roland Toutain ...
Pierre Milley
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Pierre Renoir ...
Werner von Krall (1942 version only)
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Storyline

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Genres:

Adventure | Drama

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Release Date:

30 August 1950 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Gambling Hell  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Trivia

Filmed in 1939 as "Macao, l'enfer du jeu" with Erich von Stroheim but released in 1942 as "L'enfer du jeu" WITHOUT von Stroheim. His films were banned in all German-occupied countries, so Delannoy, the director, could not release the film. Instead of shelving it, all scenes with von Stroheim were reshot with Pierre Renoir. The von Stroheim version was rereleased in 1945. See more »

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Featured in Voyage à travers le cinéma français (2016) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Splendid example of the 'thirties exotic melodrama.
13 January 2002 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

When "Macao" was made, the movies where discovering Asia, and China in particular, as a source of preposterous, richly decorated melodrama - "The Blue Express" from Russia, "The Bitter Tea of General Yen, The Shanghai Express" and "The General Died at Dawn" from the U.S. and Items like "Drame de Shanghai" and "La Bataille" from France. This is one of the most stylish and enjoyable and, if they could have come up with a more satisfying finish, it would have been in there with the best. An English dubbed version re-cutting it so that all ends happily didn't help.

Von Stroheim's cropped headed, white uniformed, officer type is the hero for once, battling Hayakawa's sinister oriental casino magnate. The opening where the Von rescues itinerant entertainer Balin from a Chinese firing squad and finds a her glamorous evening dress, that's just her size, in his yacht's sail locker is to be treasured.

Director Delannoy went on to do the Michele Morgan "Pastoral Symphony" and was one of the pillars of French film for decades and that haunting score is by Auric who did the films of Jean Cocteau. These are heavy weights, who aren't normally associated with stories about European adventuresses offering their beautiful white bodies to lecherous Asians to save their gun runner lovers - nothing P.C. here. The colorful support and jokey gambling hell detail, along with some marvelous images (the body floating among the bank notes.) combine to shows that they could make escapist hooey with the best.

The film craft is beyond reproach.


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