Although Charley Kying has owned a casino for fifteen years, on one rainy night events and people seem to converge and threaten his family home and second home, his gambling house. After a doctor secretly diagnoses him with a severe heart condition and recommends that if he continues to subject himself to the daily stress of a professional gambler, he hasn't long to live. Later that day he's made to realize that he's been neglecting his faithful wife for years and abdicated his duties as father to his son, who resents his father's unsavory reputation and rebuffs his interest in attending that night's prom. Charley's weakling brother-in-law, who sponges off him by freeloading at home and cheating him out of petty cash as croupier, agrees to conspire with rival gamblers to cheat Charley out of thousands. Among the others who add stress to what would seem to be Charley's last night in the casino are a rich former girlfriend who proposes they renew their relationship, an old nemesis who's...Written by
One of the great opening scenes of any Hollywood movie projects a kind of cinematic/theatrical authority in a league with O'Neill or Odets, first we see the black man, filled with jolly self denial, buffing the crap tables, his tragedy is implicit from the first moment, believing in his heart that he is on a social par with the other white employees... and with quick, methodical grace the other supporting characters are sharply introduced - they're waiting for lefty, or godot,or the Iceman, or their savior,who happens to be Gable in one of his greatest roles...this is the refined essence of that great personality on screen...the man could simply manufacture chemistry not only with his leading ladies but with other men as well...too bad the crisp, exciting climax at the crap table does not quite live up to this glorious existential opening but it's still an eminently enjoyable Hollywood wrap up..one of the most underrated MGM movies.
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