IMDb > 5 Against the House (1955)
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5 Against the House (1955) More at IMDbPro »

5 Against the House -- Trailer for this gambling caper


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Up 9% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Stirling Silliphant (screenplay) &
William Bowers (screenplay) ...
View company contact information for 5 Against the House on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
10 June 1955 (USA) See more »
Four vets attending college on the GI Bill and a cabaret singer try to rob a Rno Casino and pull off the perfect crime. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
New On DVD This Week
 (From The Flickcast. 3 November 2009, 3:35 PM, PST)

User Reviews:
Offbeat heist movie not really Karlson's meat and potatoes See more (20 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Guy Madison ... Al Mercer

Kim Novak ... Kay Greylek

Brian Keith ... Brick
Alvy Moore ... Roy

Kerwin Mathews ... Ronnie

William Conrad ... Eric Berg
Jack Dimond ... Francis Spiegelbauer
Jean Willes ... Virginia
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Adelle August ... Bit (uncredited)
George Brand ... Jack Roper (uncredited)
Thom Carney ... Young Guard (uncredited)
Bill Catching ... Cop (uncredited)
George Cisar ... Casino Guard (uncredited)
Chuck Courtney ... Boy (uncredited)
Frank Gerstle ... Robbery Suspect (uncredited)

Kathryn Grant ... Jean, Young Woman in Nightclub (uncredited)
Tom Greenway ... Police Lt. Anderson (uncredited)
Jo Ann Greer ... Kay Greylek (singing voice) (uncredited)
Geraldine Hall ... Cashier (uncredited)
Mark Hanna ... Brad Lacey (uncredited)
Pete Kellett ... Lift Operator (uncredited)
John Larch ... Police Detective (uncredited)
Jana Mason ... Bit (uncredited)
Carroll McComas ... Mrs. Valent (uncredited)
Don Oreck ... Young Man (uncredited)
Robert Sampson ... Boy (uncredited)
Hugh Sanders ... Pat Winters (uncredited)
Robert F. Simon ... Old Guard (uncredited)
Marjorie Stapp ... Girl (uncredited)
John Zaremba ... Robert Fenton (uncredited)

Directed by
Phil Karlson 
Writing credits
Stirling Silliphant (screenplay) &
William Bowers (screenplay) &
John Barnwell (screenplay)

Jack Finney (magazine story)

Frank Tashlin  uncredited

Produced by
Helen Ainsworth .... associate producer
John Barnwell .... producer
Stirling Silliphant .... producer
Original Music by
George Duning 
Cinematography by
Lester White (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Jerome Thoms 
Art Direction by
Robert Peterson 
Set Decoration by
Frank Tuttle 
Costume Design by
Jean Louis (gowns)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Milton Feldman .... assistant director
Sound Department
John P. Livadary .... recording supervisor (as John Livadary)
Harry Smith .... sound
Bill Catching .... stunts (uncredited)
Music Department
Morris Stoloff .... conductor
Arthur Morton .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
84 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.66 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Did You Know?

First filmed screenplay for writer/screenwriter Stirling Silliphant.See more »
Factual errors: En route to Reno while riding in house trailer, thieves put on gloves and begin wiping down interior so their fingerprints can't be traced, but in following scenes, before they've reached destination, are no longer wearing gloves and are touching everything.See more »
Brick:[to a sexy woman who is gambling] I'm a stranger in town. Can you direct me to your house?See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in The Graduate (1967)See more »
Loyal Sons of LeightonSee more »


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18 out of 27 people found the following review useful.
Offbeat heist movie not really Karlson's meat and potatoes, 19 July 2002
Author: bmacv from Western New York

The boyish refulgence that brought him to movies over a decade earlier long since dimmed, Guy Madison has settled into William Holdenish good looks. Since Hollywood already had a Holden, and since Madison's acting skills were adequate at best, he no longer can hold the screen (this part came to him after a string of roles as Wild Bill Hickock). Luckily, Phil Karlson's 5 Against The House is an ensemble piece – an offbeat heist movie.

Madison and Brian Keith are Korea veterans attending `Midwestern University' on the G.I. Bill; their buddies are wiseacre Alvy Moore and sobersides Kerwin Mathews. Mathews (whose faint accent stays a mystery) yearns to do something extraordinary to make him stand out, and dreams up a hare-brained scheme (no more than a prank, since he plans to give the money back) to rob a casino in Reno, Nevada. They're all in on the plan except Madison, who nonetheless joins them on the road west with his girl Kim Novak, to get married. When Madison tumbles to the set-up, he tries to stop it.

The fly in the ointment, alas, is Keith, who spent time in the psychiatric ward for shell shock. He takes the prank dead seriously and intimidates the others to go along with him. Tricked out in Wild-West outfits and false beards, and wheeling a jerry-rigged money cart with a tape recorder inside, they hit the casino....

Phil Karlson falls short of top form here. The college hijinks are not this director's usual meat and potatoes, so he takes a long time getting any rhythm going. Then the heist itself, and the tensions among the robbers, seem oddly defanged, at least for Karlson; he seems to have fallen into a character study rather than an action movie, and unsure how to play it. Novak croons a couple of songs, and nobody gets killed. That's well and good, but a far cry from 99 River Street, or Kansas City Confidential, or The Phenix City Story, hard-core Karlson all. 5 Against The House remains in a no-man's-land between film noir and the light-hearted caper movies, like Ocean's 11, that would usher in the 1960s.

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