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Gambling on the High Seas (1940)

Passed  -  Crime | Drama | Thriller  -  22 June 1940 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 86 users  
Reviews: 5 user

Gambling boss Greg Morella runs a crooked ship-- all the gaming tables on his floating casino are rigged. Because the ship operates outside of the three-mile state limit, the authorities ... See full summary »



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Title: Gambling on the High Seas (1940)

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Director: William C. McGann
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Beverly Roberts, Linda Perry


Complete credited cast:
Greg Morella
U.S. District Attorney
Roger Pryor ...
Max Gates
Robert Strange ...
Larry Brill
John Gallaudet ...
Steve Sterling
Frank Ferguson ...
City District Attorney
Harry Shannon ...
Chief of Police
George Meader ...
Secretary to City Attorney
William Pawley ...
Murray Alper ...


Gambling boss Greg Morella runs a crooked ship-- all the gaming tables on his floating casino are rigged. Because the ship operates outside of the three-mile state limit, the authorities can't get the evidence they need to convict Morella. Roving reporter Jim Carver thinks he can get the goods on the kingpin. He enlists Morella's secretary Laurie to help him secure evidence of the fixed games as well as proof that Morella murdered his partner Max Gates. Written by Daniel Bubbeo <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


See the G-Men stamp out the mobsters of the high seas! See more »


Crime | Drama | Thriller


Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

22 June 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El casino flotante  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Wayne Morris is billed as "Jim Carter," but he is called "Jim Carver" throughout. See more »

Crazy Credits

Wayne Morris's character is called Jim Carver in the film, but Jim Carter in the credits. See more »


Remake of Special Agent (1935) See more »


In a Moment of Weakness
(1939) (uncredited)
Music by Harry Warren
Played as background music
See more »

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User Reviews

Good performances make this one a winner
14 September 2005 | by (california) – See all my reviews

Usually when going over the TV schedule I wouldn't go out of my way to watch this kind of movie but with some time to kill it was viewed.Although the plot was almost as simple as it gets..the law wanting to get evidence on the gangster so to put him in prison this movie was very good.It gets a high score even with the expected 1940's snappy talk and the unlikely semi-friendly relationship between the scoop reporter(Wayne morris)and the head gangster(Gilbert Roland).Most of the movies nice atmosphere takes place on a swanky gambling boat.State of the art,it's equipped with a bar,offices and telephones.Roland is a calm speaking crime boss but knows how to take care of business.He sends his boys out to take care of a squealer,they get this done despite a policeman being on each arm of the target.The shooter is able to do this from a distance because his gun has a special light on it.When the gun is fired there is no escaping for the person caught in the light beam,state of the art again.Greg Morella(Roland)has his act together all the way to city hall. When one of the employees from there shows Morella an important paper he took he gives him $10,000 without batting an eyelash.He then sends some of his efficient men to city hall to ransack the place so as to cover for the missing paper.In the next minute he informs his secretary to make a note of $10,000 spent for publicity.He does this so casually the viewer may not even be aware of his claiming an expense for the $10,000 pay-off.To my recollection this was my first time seeing the actor Roger Pryor, he has the part of Max Gates.For Morella he's a staff member/enforcer and a sharp cookie himself.Pryor's performance may of been the best in the movie.With a smooth voice and sometimes cocky manner it was entertaining to hear him refer to the customers as suckers and fish.He was equally talented to show fear when found in a tight spot,impressive.While watching this movie I found entertainment sources coming at me from different directions.The same Jane Wyman that was a proper lady hosting her own TV show and played innocent Johnny Belinda is a young blonde in this movie.Despite her goody-goody name-Laurie Ogden she plays Morella's secretary.She's not tough acting but does do her share of 1940's snappy talk.That along with the blonde hair is enough to keep the viewers attention, as in.."that's Jane Wyman?"Then there's Frank Ferguson doing a good part as the d.a. Not a houshold name he has many credits,I'll always remember him as the owner of the chamber of horrors in Abbott and Costello meet Frankenstein's.He was very worried how a&c handled the crates that contained Frankenstein's and Dracula.The acting in this movie merits more compliments but I have to stop,entertaining,give it a chance.

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