IMDb > The Lady Gambles (1949)

The Lady Gambles (1949) More at IMDbPro »


Overview

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Director:
Writers:
Roy Huggins (screenplay)
Halsted Welles (adaptation)
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Lady Gambles on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
18 July 1949 (UK) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
A desperate husband tries to find help for his wife suffering from addictive gambling. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
NewsDesk:
Tony Curtis: a true Hollywood star
 (From The Guardian - Film News. 1 October 2010, 5:24 AM, PDT)

User Reviews:
"Kiss 'em for Me Baby" See more (8 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Barbara Stanwyck ... Joan Boothe

Robert Preston ... David Boothe
Stephen McNally ... Horace Corrigan
Edith Barrett ... Ruth Phillips

John Hoyt ... Dr. Rojac
Elliott Sullivan ... Barky
John Harmon ... Frenchy
Philip Van Zandt ... Chuck (as Phil Van Zandt)

Leif Erickson ... Tony
Curt Conway ... Bank Clerk
Houseley Stevenson ... Pawnbroker

Don Beddoe ... Mr. Dennis Sutherland
Nana Bryant ... Mrs. Dennis Sutherland

Tony Curtis ... Bellboy (as Anthony Curtis)
Peter Leeds ... Jack Harrison - Hotel Clerk
Frank Moran ... Murphy
Esther Howard ... Gross Lady
John Indrisano ... Bert
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Leo Anthony ... Dealer (uncredited)
Polly Bailey ... Woman at Slot Machine (uncredited)
William Bailey ... Croupier (uncredited)
Al Bayne ... Dice Shooter (uncredited)
Willie Bloom ... Doorman (uncredited)
Peter Brocco ... Horse Player (uncredited)
Ralph Brooks ... Casino Patron (uncredited)
George M. Carleton ... MacIlwaine, Poker Player (uncredited)
Douglas Carter ... Clerk (uncredited)
Bill Cartledge ... Johnny - Jockey (uncredited)
Jack Chefe ... Casino Patron (uncredited)
James Conaty ... Nightclub Patron (uncredited)
Heinie Conklin ... Joe - Gambler (uncredited)
Kenneth Cutler ... Clerk (uncredited)
Watson Downs ... Lovett (uncredited)
Elmer Doyea ... Faro Dealer (uncredited)
Jimmie Dundee ... Dice Player (uncredited)
Adolph Faylauer ... Horse Player (uncredited)
Eddie Fetherston ... Horse Player (uncredited)
Joe Gilbert ... Stickman (uncredited)
Harold Goodwin ... Westerner (uncredited)
Jack Gordon ... Dealer (uncredited)
Beatrice Gray ... Nurse (uncredited)
Robert Haines ... Nightclub Waiter (uncredited)
Sherry Hall ... Horse Player (uncredited)
Sam Harris ... Gambling Casino Patron (uncredited)
William Hudson ... Horse Player (uncredited)
Donald Kerr ... Roulette Croupier (uncredited)
Donna La Barr ... B Girl (uncredited)
Mike Lally ... Stickman (uncredited)
Perc Launders ... Roulette Croupier (uncredited)
Eddie Le Baron ... Mexican Stickman (uncredited)
Rex Lease ... Guide (uncredited)
Carl M. Leviness ... Horse Player (uncredited)
Parke MacGregor ... Cigar Clerk (uncredited)
Wilbur Mack ... Horse Player (uncredited)
Thomas Martin ... Nightclub Waiter (uncredited)
Harry Mayo ... Dealer (uncredited)
Francis McDonald ... Horse Trainer (uncredited)
Frank McFarland ... Dinsmore (uncredited)
Eda Reiss Merin ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Harold Miller ... Casino Patron (uncredited)
Howard M. Mitchell ... Horse Player (uncredited)
Ralph Montgomery ... Pete, Bartender (uncredited)
Forbes Murray ... Nightclub Patron (uncredited)
William J. O'Brien ... Betting Man at Racetrack (uncredited)

Jerry Paris ... Horse Player (uncredited)
Manuel París ... Mexican Croupier (uncredited)
Jack Perrin ... Gambler (uncredited)
Al Rhein ... Stickman (uncredited)
Cosmo Sardo ... Man on Dance Floor (uncredited)
Jeffrey Sayre ... Stickman (uncredited)
Charles Sherlock ... Dealer (uncredited)
George Spaulding ... Dr. McCann (uncredited)
Jack Stoney ... Dice Player (uncredited)
Charles Sullivan ... Dice Player (uncredited)
Jim Toney ... Horse Player (uncredited)
Billy Wayne ... Stickman (uncredited)
Eric Wilton ... Hotel Guest (uncredited)

Directed by
Michael Gordon 
 
Writing credits
Roy Huggins (screenplay)

Halsted Welles (adaptation)

Lewis Meltzer (story) &
Oscar Saul (story)

Produced by
Michael Kraike .... producer (as Michel Kraike)
 
Original Music by
Frank Skinner 
 
Cinematography by
Russell Metty 
 
Film Editing by
Milton Carruth 
 
Art Direction by
Alexander Golitzen 
 
Set Decoration by
Russell A. Gausman 
Ruby R. Levitt 
 
Costume Design by
Orry-Kelly (gowns) (as Orry Kelly)
 
Makeup Department
Joan St. Oegger .... hair stylist
Bud Westmore .... makeup artist
Lillian Burkhart .... hair stylist (uncredited)
Robert Ewing .... makeup artist (uncredited)
 
Production Management
Lew Leary .... production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Frank Shaw .... assistant director
 
Sound Department
Leslie I. Carey .... sound
Corson Jowett .... sound
 
Special Effects by
David S. Horsley .... special effects
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Philip H. Lathrop .... camera operator (uncredited)
Max Nippell .... gaffer (uncredited)
Dean Paup .... grip (uncredited)
William Cooper Smith .... camera operator (uncredited)
Richard Walling .... still photographer (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Joan Joseff .... costume jeweller (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Dorothy Hughes .... script supervisor
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
99 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Recording)
Certification:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Hours before Howard Unruh went on a shooting rampage that eventually killed 13 people, he told police interrogators he planned his crime while watching the double feature "The Lady Gambles/"I Cheated the Law" three times in a Philadelphia theater. He claimed Barbara Stanwyck's character reminded him of one of his intended victims. The horrendous crime took place in Camden, N.J. 6 September 1949.See more »
Goofs:
Crew or equipment visible: Reflected in the bus window that Joan is on.See more »
Quotes:
David Boothe:Have you ever been in Las Vegas?
Dr. Rojac:Where?
David Boothe:Right in the middle of the Nevada desert you bump into a cockeyed oasis. It's a wide-open, 24-hour-a- day carnival that lives off three things - quick marriages, quick divorces, quick money, won and lost. $3 billion changed hands across the gambling table in Nevada last year, 3 billion. Those are the state's official figures and why not? Everybody likes to gamble. It's fun for most people, but for some people, it's a trap. It grabs down deep and won't let go.
See more »

FAQ

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6 out of 9 people found the following review useful.
"Kiss 'em for Me Baby", 14 August 2007
Author: HarlowMGM from United States

Barbara Stanwyck is surely one of the greatest actresses ever in motion pictures but THE LADY GAMBLES is one of her lesser works despite a sincere, empathic performance by the star. This movie seems to want to be the gambling version of THE LOST WEEKEND but it's more like the lost 100 minutes , the time the viewer wastes watching this picture. Even the charismatic Stanwyck can't prevent this heavy-handed drama from being a chore to watch.

Stanwyck stars as the wife of newspaper journalist Robert Preston. They are in Las Vegas while he covers a story. Stanwyck decides to try to do an article herself on the gambling scene but her somewhat indiscreet camera work catches the eye of casino manager Stephen McNally who decides to let her play with valueless chips so she can be at the tables for her research. Trouble is Stanwyck finds she likes the tables a little too much and when McNally decides to put a plug in the playing for nothing, she dives into Preston's expense account and loses it all in a night. McNally, clearly attracted to Stanwyck from first sight, gives her $50 to play with out of pity after she has even hawked her expensive Swiss camera and being the good player she is Stanwyck actually wins her money back. But the lure of the tables is too strong and she keeps going back. And back. And losing. Ultimately destroying her marriage, she eventually joins forces with McNally in some of his questionably legal activities and later hits earthier lows in pursuit of lady luck where one seedy guy after another tells her to "kiss 'em for me baby" as she rolls the dice.

The movie is told in flashback as Stanwyck is hospitalized having been beat up by gamblers when she is caught dealing in a back alley crap game with loaded dice. Estranged husband Preston rushes to her side and tells the doctor the whole sad story.

The usually dependable Preston is one of the weakest links in the film; his character is alternately a milquetoast and a control freak but is at all times presented as Stanwyck's prince charming. Preston's performance is no help either, his rather theatrical delivery seems inappropriate for this attempt at "slice of life" drama; worse, in an amazingly unwise decision he speaks to the doctor in anguished troubled tones and then his narration over the past scenes is spoken with enthusiasm and dramatic flair! Stephen McNally fares much better as the intimidating Vegas big shot, his scenes with Stanwyck have considerable bite and are the film's highlight.

The worst thing about the film is the jaw-dropping pop psychology that attempts to explain away Stanwyck's gambling. It's because of her possessive older sister Edith Barrett!!! With her mother dying during childbirth, Stanwyck was "raised" by older (eight years, although Barrett was actually just six months older than Stanwyck) sister who has never let Barbara forget the sacrifices in her personal life she has made for her. Hero Preston seems frankly as controlling but since he is her husband, presumably that's OK with the screenwriters. The sister-is-the-root theory is interesting considering (A) Preston is hostile to the sister and her relationship with Barbara long before the gambling starts, (B) the gambling doesn't even start until Stanwyck is clearly into her thirties and (C) the sister is no where around to cause anxiety when most of the gambling binges occur!! But then what can you expect of reason from a film where a doctor attempts reverse psychology, encouraging a patient on a building ledge to jump!!

Barbara Stanwyck is always worth watching, her progression from dabbler to desperate is quite credible but even her solid work here can't save a movie that plays like a 1940's version of a 1970's half-baked "social issue" TV movie. Two stars going in opposite directions are also in the cast: newcomer Tony Curtis has an early bit part as a bellhop and 30's leading man Leif Erickson can be seen in a small role as one of McNally's questionable cohorts. Is this picture worth checking out? Well, it's your gamble.

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