Alex Freed is a literature professor. He has the gambling vice. When he has lost all his money, he borrows from his girlfriend, then his mother and finally some bad guys that chase his. Despite of all this he cannot stop gambling.
For $10,000 they break your arms. For $20,000 they break your legs. Axel Freed owes $44,000.
Did You Know?
According to James Toback
, before the screenplay was accepted at Paramount and was making the rounds with actors, Peter Boyle
was first interested in playing the lead. Robert De Niro
lobbied hard for the role, to the point where De Niro started to dress like the writer. Toback pressured the director to meet with De Niro. After meeting him, Reisz said that he would not and could not consider De Niro for the role, and if Toback kept insisting he would not be allowed to collaborate on the film further. See more
[following the big college basketball game, in which Spencer Lewis has shaved points for the Mafia to pay off Axel's gambling debt
... Okay, we're in the clear. In fact, you might just have a couple of favors coming your way.
How's that? What do you mean?
What are you, naive? This Lewis kid's got maybe a year or two left before he makes the NBA. You think my friends are gonna let him just slip through their fingers, after a night like this?
He did it for ME. He won't do it again.
Ah, quit lying...
Remade as The Gambler
Una furtiva lagrima
Sung by Enrico Caruso
Courtesy RCA Records See more