7.3/10
3,172
43 user 21 critic

The Gambler (1974)

Axel 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 him. Despite all of this he cannot stop gambling.

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Writer:

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ON DISC
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Morris Carnovsky ...
A.R. Lowenthal
Jacqueline Brookes ...
Naomi Freed
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Carmine
Carmine Caridi ...
...
One
Steven Keats ...
Howie
London Lee ...
Monkey
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Las Vegas Gambler
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Bank Officer
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Spencer
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Bernie
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Cowboy
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Storyline

Axel Freed, a college professor and very successful at his job, is addicted to gambling, who wins big, but loses it all just as fast. He borrowed from his girlfriend, his wealthy mother, and last but not least a loan shark. It just gets worse for him because he can't stop. But when his girlfriend decides to leave him, his mom decides to disown him, and the mob wants to kill him, Axel decides to make a big score to win big and pay off everyone to stay alive and keep his dignity and come out ahead. Written by Wesley Benton

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

For $10,000 they break your arms. For $20,000 they break your legs. Axel Freed owes $44,000.

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

17 February 1975 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

El jugador  »

Filming Locations:

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Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Robert Evans was keen to produce the film as his first credited production at Paramount, but Irwin Winkler, according to writer James Toback, wouldn't bow out despite attempts by the studio to give him other projects. Evans went on to make Chinatown (1974) instead. See more »

Quotes

Hips: [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.
Axel Freed: How's that? What do you mean?
Hips: 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?
Axel Freed: He did it for ME. He won't do it again.
Hips: Ah, quit lying...
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Connections

Referenced in Film '72: Episode #44.2 (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Symphony No. 1 in D
by Gustav Mahler (as Mahler)
Performed by Koninklijk Concertgebouworkest (as The Concertgebouw Orchestra)
Conducted by Bernard Haitink (as Haitink)
Courtesy of Philips Records
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User Reviews

A searing film, stunning, intense, with the best ending in modern film.
17 December 2003 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

This is a film that must be seen to be believed.

Caan is extraordinary; the emotional truth of this film penetrates each line, each scene...The most searing and intense and exact ending in modern film. The straight-forward telling of a professor with a gambling problem does not prepare one for the scale and price of betrayal and redemption of human emtions that are portrayed. A stunning film.


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