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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
This fine film chronicles a tense, dramatic marathon game of poker between a rising young star and a cagey old pro. Steve McQueen is the cool, detached hot shot and Edward G. Robinson displays nerves of steel, razor sharp instincts and a veteran's poise as the two players probe each other, searching for openings and seeking any advantage, however subtle. Both men are excellent and have good support from a solid cast of veteran actors. Ann-Margret is nice as a siren who just can't sit still when she and the Cincinnati Kid are in the same room. She slinks her way through her interpretation as the sluttish wife of a compromised card dealer who figures prominently in the grand game. The romantic angle between the Cincinnati Kid and his girlfriend doesn't ring true, although Tuesday Weld is pleasing as a vulnerable, love-struck girl. The cinematography shows a grim, gray, seedy side of New Orleans that brings realism to the story. The music has a jazzy score and nice vocals by Ray Charles.
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