Although Charley Kying has owned a casino for fifteen years, on one rainy night events and people seem to converge and threaten his family home and second home, his gambling house. After a doctor secretly diagnoses him with a severe heart condition and recommends that if he continues to subject himself to the daily stress of a professional gambler, he hasn't long to live. Later that day he's made to realize that he's been neglecting his faithful wife for years and abdicated his duties as father to his son, who resents his father's unsavory reputation and rebuffs his interest in attending that night's prom. Charley's weakling brother-in-law, who sponges off him by freeloading at home and cheating him out of petty cash as croupier, agrees to conspire with rival gamblers to cheat Charley out of thousands. Among the others who add stress to what would seem to be Charley's last night in the casino are a rich former girlfriend who proposes they renew their relationship, an old nemesis who's... Written by
I like that Clark Gable plays the logical extension of the characters he so often played in the 1930s and 40s. So often he played the likable rogue who made his living just skirting the border between good and evil--playing gamblers, mercenaries or con-men. However, in each film you almost never see what this same character would have been like had the film followed him into mid-life. Well, ANY NUMBER CAN PLAY is such a film. Gable plays an older rogue who owns a gambling house but also has a wife and older son. And, instead of being firmly in control of his life, you can see it slowly crumbling--at least around the edges. This role took some guts to play as he was more vulnerable and Gable COULD have just continued playing "fluff roles". Give it a try and see an adult drama.
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