7.3/10
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42 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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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. See more awards »
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Cast

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

Axel Freed, a College Professor and very successful at his job, is a gambling junkie who wins big but loses it all at the same time. He borrowed from his girlfriend, his wealthy mother, and last but not least a Loan Shark from the Mob. It just gets worse for him because he loses all his cash each time and acts like it doesn't matter. 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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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A loose adaptation of Fyodor Doestoevsky's classic novella, The Gambler. 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 Dinner for Five: Episode #2.10 (2003) 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

 
excellent character study, caan can act
25 June 2002 | by (west coast of AZ) – See all my reviews

a shocker in the 70s james toback's take on Dostoevskyan's fate, caan actually seems to act instead of react and gives a far more compelling performance than say, Thief 7 yrs. later. The Gambler is James toback's career making debut and has some of the most intense scenes toback would ever film despite numerous strong films later on. the ending is monumental. watch it build and be amazed. 9 of 10.


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