Gloria Swanson plays Tessie McGuire, a shopgirl who, when her boyfriend breaks their date one evening, goes to a party with a louche crowd of artists and hangers-on. She wows them with some... See full summary »
Danny Haley's bookie operation is shut down, so he and his pals need money; when Danny meets Arthur Winant, a sucker from out of town, he decoys him into a series of poker games where eventually Winant loses $5000 that isn't his...then hangs himself. But it seems Winant had a shadowy, protective elder brother who believes in personal revenge. And each of the card players in turn feels a faceless doom inexorably closing in. Dark streets and sexy torch-singer Fran lend ambience.Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
The original Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas is used in a shot of the exterior of Swede's, when Danny drives off in Soldier's car. The words FLAMINGO on the vertical sign were covered over in a production shot to read CASINO. As Danny pulls out of the parking lot onto what was then Highway 91, he passes another sign that clearly reads Flamingo. The Flamingo's chapel can also be seen. See more »
Although done in medium long shot, it's obvious the man in the car is not Heston, but a stunt double. See more »
... as this film that starts out rather slow becomes a Hitchcock-like game of cat and mouse across the country involving a psychopath bent on vengeance against a group of crooked gamblers that drove his brother to suicide after he lost money that belonged to his company in a card game. The psychopathic brother is hunting the gamblers down one by one and hanging them - which is the way his brother killed himself. Up to the end all you see of this guy is a big beefy hand with a large black ring on one finger. The gamblers that know they're targets don't even know that much about the appearance of the man out to get them. And this is their one hope - to find out what the guy looks like so they can at least have a chance.
At first Charlton Heston may seem out of place here as a gray character at the center of a film noir, but he carries the role admirably. Dean Jagger is the police captain that introduces himself as head of vice but for some reason gets involved in first the suicide of the guy the gamblers took, and then in the murder cases of the gamblers. It's very strange though that he keeps dragging Heston's character downtown just to tell him he's doomed to die at the violent hands of the rampaging murderer - and then seems to do nothing about it other than to taunt him. You'll see several actors playing against their normal type here including Jack Webb as one of the gamblers that is at first a bully full of bravado turned to quivering coward as the killer closes in, and Harry Morgan as an ex-soldier turned simple by something that happened in WWII that is never explained.
Only one thing is a bit annoying in this film - for some reason the makers of this film seem to think Lizabeth Scott's nightclub singing is some kind of treat for the audience. I found it distracting and found myself groaning every time she'd show up for another number.
Another thing that's very interesting - five years after WWII ends much of the problems of the characters is laid at the feet of the destruction and upheaval of that war citing problems that must have been common in American society at that time - hastily made wartime marriages that went lukewarm after the war, men who went soft in the head as a result of being soldiers, men who went hard as a result of being soldiers. If you want to watch a highly effective little thriller I highly recommend this film.
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