Four Star Playhouse: Season 4, Episode 37

The Stacked Deck (28 Jun. 1956)

TV Episode  -   -  Comedy | Drama
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Fresh out of prison, blackmailer Gus Anderson intends to use Willie's casino to launder his victims' money. To insure his cooperation, Gus' thugs are holding one of Willie's waiters hostage... See full summary »



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Title: The Stacked Deck (28 Jun 1956)

The Stacked Deck (28 Jun 1956) on IMDb 6.4/10

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Episode cast overview:
Shirley Patterson ...
Betty Maxwell (as Shawn Smith)
Police Lt. Manny Waldo
Herb Vigran ...
Joe Downing ...
Gus Anderson
Harry Landers ...
Jeanne Ferguson ...
Hatcheck Girl
Harry Lauter ...
John Cliff ...


Fresh out of prison, blackmailer Gus Anderson intends to use Willie's casino to launder his victims' money. To insure his cooperation, Gus' thugs are holding one of Willie's waiters hostage. Glamorous singer Betty Maxwell shows up at Dante's, as scheduled, to lose at blackjack and avoid having a risqué photo of her mailed to the tabloids. Knowing that Lt. Waldo will but his casino yet again, Willie invites to cop over to watch Gus violate his parole. Written by Jay Phelps <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama




Release Date:

28 June 1956 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

Another enjoyable Willie Dante tale
26 September 2014 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

Dick Powell stars in yet another Willie Dante episode of "Four Star Playhouse". In at least two other earlier shows, Powell played this same character--a guy who owns an illegal gambling room in his restaurant--yet he has a very high moral code (apart from the whole gambling thing). The restaurant is appropriately called 'Dante's Inferno'!

In this installment, Willie is having trouble with one of his employees (Alan Mowbry). The guy is a habitual gambler and Willie keeps throwing him out of his casino. Ultimately, the gambler's love of gambling gets him in trouble, as he soon gets involved with a rigged poker game. You see, the point of the game is to keep the guy there--and he doesn't realize that he's a hostage. In the meantime, a hood just out of prison approaches Willie to tell him that he MUST help with his money laundering scheme...or the gambling addict employee will die! Additionally, Dante learns that the money he's to launder is actually coming from a famous singing star who is being blackmailed. It's a bit complicated, I know, but enjoyable as, once again, Dante must extricate himself from the problem by the end of the show.

While I liked the plot (which was probably inspired by Marilyn Monroe's nude photo shoot in the late 1940s), the part I liked best was when Powell recommended that a guy go see the new June Allyson picture--as Allyson was Powell's real life wife. All in all, it's more of what I liked in the previous shows and it's a shame they didn't make an actual series--it would have been fun.

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