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Lee H. Katzin
In 1930s New Orleans, the Cincinnati Kid, a young stud poker player who travels from one big game to the next, stopping along the way up with various girls, is pitted against the legendary champion card-sharp Lancey Howard in a high-stakes poker game. Written by
A movie that shows the world of gamblers and card players should be elegant, claustrophobic, decadent, sexy an full of suspense. In 'The Cincinnati Kid' these are mixed in the most delicious way. Set in New Orleans, during the Depression the film tells the story of 'Cincinnati Kid', who wants to be the best card player in the world. He has the opportunity when the best ones get together in New Orleans for a marathon-lenght poker party. It's obvious that the final party would be between The Kid and Lancey Howard (very cool: Edward G. Robinson). It's a fine classic like almost all Steve McQueen-movies. McQueen is the king of cools and the supporting cast is good too. Tuesday Weld is pretty but Ann-Margret is the most seductive chick in town. The cock-fight scene and the final poker party is fantastically photographed and wonderfully edited (by Hal Ashby, who later directed the 'Coming Home'). And the music! Lalo Schifrin is a master and Ray Charles' song is simply fantastic and fits to the set and mood of the movie. The ending is unusual and unpredictable, but in my opinion it's very fair. Norman Jewison must have been liked his actors very much. The only flaw is the women hair-style. But it's an usual thing mostly in the films from the 60s (like 'Doctor Zhivago'). Although it's regarded as a classic, the wide audience don't recognize and respect it - 'You just not ready for me, yet.'
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