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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
In some cuts, the film ends with a freeze-frame on Steve McQueen's face following his penny-pitching loss. Turner Classic Movies and the DVD feature the ending with Christian. Norman Jewison wanted to end the film with the freeze-frame but was overruled by the producer. See more »
In the opening segment where Stoner is been chased through the railroad yard. The two diesel-electric locomotives shown are from the late 1950s and contemporary with the shooting date of the movie c.1964. Dieselization of the US railroad system did not start until 1949. See more »
[to Cincinnati Kid]
You're good, kid, but as long as I'm around, you're only second best.
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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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