21 user 6 critic

Any Number Can Play (1949)

Approved | | Drama, War | 15 July 1949 (USA)
2:41 | Trailer
Gambling-house owner finds himself estranged from his wife and son.


Mervyn LeRoy


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





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


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


M-G-M gives you Gable and that gorgeous redhead...in the exciting drama of a gambler and his girl...and the intrigue and the romance that go with the game! (original poster) See more »


Drama | War


Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Scotty Beckett was signed to play Paul and his photo can be seen on Clark Gable's desk but he was replaced by Darryl Hickman. See more »


Tycoon: Bought a hundred tickets to the policeman's ball at ten bucks a throw. Say, do those guys really dance?
Charley Enley Kyng: How do I know? in all the years I buy tickets I never yet saw a ticket.
See more »


Featured in Clark Gable: Tall, Dark and Handsome (1996) See more »


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

User Reviews

Good acting, but not very compelling
13 October 2006 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

Clark Gable's immediate post-war films were the weakest of any of the returning stars. For one thing, his wife had died; for another, unlike many of the other actors, he was in his forties. "Any Number Can Play" is a good example of the kind of movie he made. In it, he plays the owner of a gambling house who has developed angina pectoris and is advised to give it all up for a more peaceful life. His son hates him, one of his employees is stealing from him, and a gambler gets on a roll that threatens to bankrupt the house.

The stars - Gable, Alexis Smith, Audrey Totter, Darryl Hickman, Marjorie Rambeau, Wendell Corey, Frank Morgan, William Conrad et al. are not at fault, but the script of "Any Number Can Play" is. It's difficult to pin down what the film is actually about - one waits for a definitive clue either in the gambling house or at home. Is it about a dysfunctional family, a sick man, or the activities of a gambling establishment? Hard to tell, as the director, Mervyn LeRoy, seems to focus the film in all three directions.

Nevertheless, there are some exciting scenes, particularly Frank Morgan's gambling run. The acting is uniformly excellent, although Audrey Totter is wasted - she plays Alexis Smith's sister - and Mary Astor has what amounts to a cameo. Marjorie Rambeau stands out as a dowager who gambles at the club. Gable, however, is not just the nominal star but the true one. Ruggedly handsome with that beautiful smile, he is wonderful as the world-weary but compassionate Charley. He had such a great presence and charm - fortunately, the quality of his post-war films was to improve.

Dull patches but probably worth seeing for the acting.

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Release Date:

15 July 1949 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Any Number Can Play See more »


Box Office


$1,363,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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