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5 Against the House (1955)

5.9
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 682 users  
Reviews: 20 user | 17 critic

Four vets attending college on the GI Bill and a cabaret singer try to rob a Rno Casino and pull off the perfect crime.

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(screenplay), (screenplay), 3 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Al Mercer
...
Kay Greylek
...
Brick
Alvy Moore ...
Roy
...
Ronnie
...
Eric Berg
Jack Dimond ...
Francis Spiegelbauer
Jean Willes ...
Virginia
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Storyline

Four college buddies enjoy a night at a Reno casino and overhear a cop saying that robbing the casino "cannot be done." That gets the brainiest rich kid among them thinking up a plan for the perfect robbery. He convinces the others to join in when they hear that it will only be a college hoax, his plan being to let the police know where the money is afterwards. The thing is, one of his friends has a head injury from the war, and has no intention of returning a dime. Written by Rone Barton Lokarr <sandbox2@ix.netcom.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Details

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Release Date:

10 June 1955 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Five Against the House  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Fillm debut of Kerwin Mathews. See more »

Goofs

At one point Ronnie talks about how the archaeologist Schliemann "dug up the ruins of Troy in Greece." Troy was in Asia Minor, in modern Turkey, not in Greece. See more »

Quotes

Brick: [to a sexy woman who is gambling] I'm a stranger in town. Can you direct me to your house?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Graduate (1967) See more »

Soundtracks

I Went Out of My Way
(uncredited)
Written by Helen Bliss
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User Reviews

 
He has a system you know !
19 May 2009 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Four college buddies are out in a Reno casino when they mistakenly almost get arrested for a failed robbery. Upon proving their innocence, they hear a cop saying that robbing this particular casino is nigh on impossible. This gets young Ronnie thinking that it actually can be done, and sure enough he comes up with a fool proof plan that should be played out as a joke robbery. But after letting his pals in on the plan, one of them, Brick, an ex army loose cannon, wants to do it for real.

There are many good things about this Phil Karlson directed picture, things that made me particularly glad I paid no attention to its meagre rating on the IMDb and watched it with no expectation. The cast is very strong, Guy Madison, Brian Keith, Alvy Moore, a young pre swash buckling Kerwin Mathews and a sultry and gorgeous Kim Novak in only her second credited role. Location work at Lake Tahoe is easy on the eye and the story from John Barnwell {adapting from Jack Finney's novel} is a good one, with a kicker of an idea in how to rob a casino.

I think that newcomers to the film should prepare for a more offbeat picture than what the plot synopsis hints at. It's certainly got its tense moments, courtesy in the main from Keith's borderline psycho Brick, but it's practically a talky picture with flecks of humour right up to the finale, where it all comes together without histrionics or fanfare. Phil Karlson, with the awesome Scandal Sheet on his CV, appeared on the face of it to be a good choice to direct, but although he has done crime/adventure/romance films very well before, blending those genres into one film was asking a bit too much. It's not bad directing, it's just an odd fusion that never really comes off, and it possibly stops the film from breaking out to a bigger, more, appreciative audience. Karlson remains, tho, a director well worth reappraisals because he has some excellent credits on his CV that are well worth checking out.

Still, it's an oddity of sorts, and tagging it as a Noir picture is a bit of a stretch, but this is one that's definitely recommended for its pluses that do indeed far outweigh its minuses. 7/10


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