6.9/10
567
16 user 5 critic

Any Number Can Play (1949)

Approved | | Drama , War | 15 July 1949 (USA)
Gambling-house owner finds himself estranged from his wife and son.

Director:

Mervyn LeRoy

Writers:

Richard Brooks (screenplay), Edward Harris Heth (based on novel by)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Clark Gable ... Charley Enley Kyng
Alexis Smith ... Lon Kyng
Wendell Corey ... Robbin Elcott
Audrey Totter ... Alice Elcott
Frank Morgan ... Jim Kurstyn
Mary Astor ... Ada
Lewis Stone ... Ben Gavery Snelerr
Barry Sullivan ... Tycoon
Marjorie Rambeau ... Sarah Calbern
Edgar Buchanan ... Ed
Leon Ames ... Dr. Palmer
Mickey Knox ... Pete Senta
Richard Rober ... Lew 'Angie' Debretti
William Conrad ... Frank Sistina
Darryl Hickman ... Paul Enley Kyng
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Storyline

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 duke1029@aol.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Red-Head Trouble! Blonde Trouble! Brunette Trouble! -but GABLE is ABLE! See more »

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 July 1949 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Faites vos jeux See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,363,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

There were two different (usually uncredited) character actors named William O'Brien - William H. O'Brien and William J. O'Brien - and they both appear in this film (uncredited) as gamblers. See more »

Quotes

Tycoon: [about Charley] He's a nut when it comes to dignity
See more »

Connections

Featured in Private Screenings: Child Stars (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

It Looks Like Rain in Cherry Blossom Lane
(uncredited)
Music by Joseph A. Burke (as Joe Burke)
Lyrics by Edgar Leslie (1937)
Instrumetal played on phoograph
See more »

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User Reviews

 
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15 August 2001 | by telegonusSee all my reviews

A much underrated film from the late forties, it features a middle-aged Clark Gable as the owner of a gambling house, where he plays host to a variety of colorful characters. The plot is fairly foolish but at least two of the actors, Barry Sullivan and Wendell Corey, are quite good, and cast somewhat against type.

Mervyn LeRoy directed, and either he or the studio bosses decided that the characters would scarcely venture out of doors for the entire run of the picture. As a result we get to explore the casino, Gable's office and home, a restaurant, a hallway, and a few other places, most of them nicely paneled and well appointed, with no sense of urgency regarding action, as we know that the next scene will also be indoors, perhaps upstairs this time, where we will have an opportunity to observe a lamp or a fine mahogany desk. LeRoy moves his people around nicely, and wisely emphasizes the film's geographical limitations (agoraphobic? agoraphilic more likely)--one might even say he revels in them.

There's no sense of reality to the story, which is never the least bit convincing. Yet it has a kind of authority, due largely to the admirable professionalism of the people responsible for giving the film its look. One never mistakes such Hollywood stalwarts as Frank Morgan, Marjorie Reambeau or Lewis Stone for real people. William Conrad, in a small role as a hold-up man, does not seem the least bit menacing. I found myself smiling when he turned up. Good old Cannon.

Yet for all its faults the movie has going for it something that many a larger budgeted and more realistic film doesn't have: it is watchable. One likes the people in it. There's a confidence in the way it's done; and a fine sheen to the finished product. While it fails at drama and psychology, it succeeds in being an extremely well-crafted piece of work.


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