6.2/10
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8 user 3 critic

Gambling House (1950)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 27 December 1950 (USA)
Small time racketeer Marc Fury agrees to plead self-defense for a murder committed by gang boss Joe Farrow in exchange for Farrow's I.O.U. for $50,000. He is acquitted but is ordered ... See full summary »

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(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Lynn Warren
...
Joe Farrow
Zachary Charles ...
Willie (as Zachary A. Charles)
Basil Ruysdael ...
Judge Ravinek
Donald Randolph ...
Lloyd Crane
Damian O'Flynn ...
Ralph Douglas
Cleo Moore ...
Sally
...
Della
...
Mrs. Livingston
Gloria Winters ...
B. J. Warren
Don Haggerty ...
Sharky
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Storyline

Small time racketeer Marc Fury agrees to plead self-defense for a murder committed by gang boss Joe Farrow in exchange for Farrow's I.O.U. for $50,000. He is acquitted but is ordered deported by immigration authorities unless he can convince the judge to let him stay. After meeting volunteer worker Lynn Warren his tough guy exterior begins to soften as he follows her through her efforts to settle a family of European refugees. Events lead to a dramatic conclusion as Farrow welches on his deal with him and Fury attends his final deportation hearing. Written by Doug Sederberg <vornoff@sonic.net>

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Here comes Mature ! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

27 December 1950 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Alias Mike Fury  »

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Company Credits

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 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Marc Fury: You know all about me don't you?
Lynn Warren: I majored in psychology as you guessed - abnormal psychology.
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Connections

Referenced in Howard Hughes: His Women and His Movies (2000) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Flawed Crime Drama
19 September 2013 | by (Claremont,USA) – See all my reviews

The movie's a flawed crime drama that suffers from both miscasting and an unconvincing mixed message. Mature's Marc Fury (what a name!) is a racketeer threatened with deportation because he crossed the head racketeer (Bendix), who has connived effectively behind the scenes. In his efforts to avoid being sent back to a war-ravaged Europe, Marc romances a refugee worker Lynn Warren (Moore) who works with persons displaced by the war.

Unfortunately the bubbly Moore is only 21 in a part that calls for a much more mature looking actress, while actor Mature is a relatively advanced 37. As a result, the two don't match up well either physically or age-wise, making their pairing a real stretch for the movie.

But I suspect there's an interesting backstory to this production from RKO. Keep in mind this was about the time womanizer Howard Hughes purchased the studio. Moore, apparently, was one of his many favorites, while she claimed the two had secretly wed in 1950, the same year of this film. So I rather suspect Hughes was trying to boost her career by pairing her with one of Hollywood's biggest hunks, whether their pairing in the movie was credible or not. This is speculation on my part, but remains something to think about when viewing the film.

Now, crime dramas don't have to exclude political themes if those themes are artfully included. The trouble here is that Marc's sudden change of heart is neither persuasively dramatized nor subtly expressed. His final patriotic speech before the judge is more like a sermon than a confession, and shifts the whole weight of the film onto a last minute contrivance. But again, keep in mind, that Hughes was obsessed with the communist threat in 1950, so the artless message could well have originated in the headman's office.

In short, I see the movie's crippling compromises as the result of studio boss Hughes' particular preoccupations. Again, I can't claim anything more than conjecture, but at the same time, the points do have a circumstantial basis.

Where the movie succeeds is in giving the audience an idea of the plight of civilians displaced by the recently concluded war in Europe, and seeking a new life in America. This is now a largely forgotten aspect of the post-war period, but remains a wrenching aspect, movingly portrayed here by the Sobieski family.

All in all, the movie lacks impact as a crime drama and over-does the courtroom preachments. No wonder that whatever the good intentions, Gambling House has joined the ranks of the largely forgotten.


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Another great movie from Howard Hughes and RKO! bobk77
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