Mark Fallon, with partner Kansas John Polly, tries to introduce honest gambling on the riverboats. His first success makes enemies of the crooked gamblers and of fair Angelique Dureau, whose necklace he won. Later in New Orleans, Mark befriends Angelique's father, but she still affects to despise him as his gambling career brings him wealth. Duelling, tragedy, and romantic complications follow. Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
"The Mississippi Gambler" is largely responsible for the downfall of Tyrone Power's marriage to Linda Christian. The film was originally developed as a vehicle for the two of them, but Universal Pictures prevailed and Piper Laurie was cast. As Laurie herself put it, "When I did the test, my competition was Mrs. Power!" Christian never forgave her husband. Add to that his affair with Anita Ekberg (who is uncredited in this movie), and you've got a recipe for divorce.
Needless to say, the role was tailor-made for Power - that of a handsome, honorable, gentleman-gambler who's in love with one woman, Angelique (Laurie) and has the love of another, Ann (Julia Adams). Power is magnificently handsome, if maybe a little too old for this part. He is meticulously dressed and has the opportunity to show off his sword play. It's an excellent role for him, and one he does beautifully.
The production values are sumptuous, including the sets, costumes, and a marvelous supporting cast which includes John McIntyre, Ron Randell, and John Baer, and the wonderful Paul Cavanagh, who plays Angelique's father. Laurie, once the President of her local Tyrone Power Fan Club, is exquisite in the ingénue role. The beautiful Julia Adams (who looks eerily like Connie Selleca in this film) does a great job of suffering from unrequited love.
Nearly twenty years of working at Twentieth Century Fox had taught Power a lot. This film was a huge hit and, with a percentage of the gross, made a ton of money for him. He needed it for the divorce settlement.
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