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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
Clark Gable stars as owner of a legal, small-town gambling house but his heart condition is about to make him quit. It's then he realizes that he's alienated his wife (Alexis Smith), who has retreated to a "memory room," and his son (Darryl Hickman) who is ashamed of how he has become rich.
He's also got a sneaky brother-in-law (Wendell Corey) who is married to his wife's sister (Audrey Totter). But he also has loyal employees (Barry Sullivan, Edgar Buchanan, Caleb Peterson), and some women who are quite fond of him (Mary Astor, Marjorie Rambeau).
Stealing the film are two longtime MGM players. Franks Morgan plays the gambler who may break the bank, and Lewis Stone plays the has-been who's about to play his last hand. Each is excellent.
Others include his doctor (Leon Ames), a couple of thugs (William Conrad, Richard Rober), and dejected woman gambler (Dorothy Comingore), and Art Baker as the nightclub owner.
Scotty Beckett was originally signed to play the son and his picture is on Gable's desk, but he was replaced by Hickman.
Frank Morgan and Lewis Stone turn in terrific performances, and this ranks as one of Clark Gable's best post-war performances.
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