5 user 6 critic

Inside Straight (1951)

Approved | | Drama, Romance, Western | 2 March 1951 (USA)
Rip MacCool has learned early in life that "money talks" (and other stuff walks), as does the audience via flashbacks, and when he arrives in San Francisco, he has no qualms about being ... See full summary »



(story and screenplay)


Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Certificate: Passed Drama | Film-Noir | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Down-on-his-luck ex-sportswriter Eddie Willis is hired by shady fight promoter Nick Benko to promote his latest find, an unknown but easily exploitable phenom from Argentina.

Director: Mark Robson
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Rod Steiger, Jan Sterling
The Best Man (1964)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

The two front runners for their party's presidential nomination, one principled and the other ruthless, vie for the former President's endorsement.

Director: Franklin J. Schaffner
Stars: Henry Fonda, Cliff Robertson, Edie Adams
The Outriders (1950)
Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

In 1865, three escaped Confederate POWs join the Quantrill raiders who are planning to rob a Union gold shipment concealed in a civilian wagon train.

Director: Roy Rowland
Stars: Joel McCrea, Arlene Dahl, Barry Sullivan
Zero Hour! (1957)
Drama | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

In 1950s Canada, during a commercial flight, the pilots and some passengers suffer food poisoning, thus forcing an ex-WW2 fighter pilot to try to land the airliner in heavy fog.

Director: Hall Bartlett
Stars: Dana Andrews, Linda Darnell, Sterling Hayden
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

In 1940s Mississippi, two teenage boys and an elderly woman combine forces to prevent a miscarriage of justice and clear a black man of a murder charge.

Director: Clarence Brown
Stars: David Brian, Claude Jarman Jr., Juano Hernandez
Adventure | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.5/10 X  

In 1659, jeweler Gabriel Tavernier miscuts a diamond meant to surmount the coronation crown of Louis XIV. He's thrown into prison and his son, Jean, is sent to India, along with the Baron ... See full summary »

Director: John Brahm
Stars: Fernando Lamas, Arlene Dahl, Gilbert Roland
Adventure | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Set during British India 1857, Captain Clayboune (Rock Hudson) is faced with restoring his reputation after being harshly disciplined for disobeying orders.

Director: Laslo Benedek
Stars: Rock Hudson, Arlene Dahl, Ursula Thiess
Woman's World (1954)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

An executive plans to fill a high-ranking position by interviewing the candidates' wives.

Director: Jean Negulesco
Stars: Van Heflin, Lauren Bacall, Cornel Wilde
Sealed Cargo (1951)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

In 1943, an American fishing boat has a fateful encounter with a seriously damaged Danish schooner off of Canada's Atlantic coast.

Director: Alfred L. Werker
Stars: Dana Andrews, Carla Balenda, Claude Rains
Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A clumsy, full-of-himself chorus boy gets a chance at Broadway stardom when he's a stand in for a leading actor threatened by an infamous killer.

Director: Claude Binyon
Stars: Bob Hope, Tony Martin, Arlene Dahl
Sierra (1950)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Hiding in the mountains from the law, father and son break wild horses until a lost female lawyer joins them to help clear their name, but some would rather see them dead.

Director: Alfred E. Green
Stars: Wanda Hendrix, Audie Murphy, Burl Ives
Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

When a small town begins losing its citizenry in a series of grisly murders, out-of-town police inspector Jean Lavardin (Jean Poiret) is sent to investigate. Could the killers be a bullied ... See full summary »

Director: Claude Chabrol
Stars: Jean Poiret, Stéphane Audran, Michel Bouquet


Cast overview:
... Rip MacCool
... Lily Douvane
... Johnny Sanderson
... Ada Stritch
... Zoe Carnot
... Rip MacCool (age 16)
... Shocker / Schockovitz Ninkovitch (as Lon Chaney)
... Cafe Singer
... Flutey Johnson
... Alexander Tomson
... Miss Meadson
... Carlson
Jerry Hartleben ... John Albert MacCool, Age 3
Dale Hartleben ... John Albert MacCool, Age 8
Lou Nova ... Connegan


Rip MacCool has learned early in life that "money talks" (and other stuff walks), as does the audience via flashbacks, and when he arrives in San Francisco, he has no qualms about being ruthless in business, and his first fast-deal bilks Ada Stritch out of her hotel. A combination of shrewd deals and playing the stock market builds him a financial empire. He marries Lily Douvane, who presents him with a child, but Lily has some ambitions of her own and leaves him, taking a sizable chuck of his money on the way out. He soon marries Zoe Carnot, his son's nurse, loses and wins a fortune again, but sinks into gloom when Zoe dies giving childbirth. He keeps piling up the money and he soon as most of it in San Francisco, and there is about to be a run on the bank, operated by Ada Stritch (from way back there), and the city and its citizens face ruin. Rip puts up his fortune against the bank and a hand of cards dictates winner-takes-all. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance | Western


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

2 March 1951 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hårda bud  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show more on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Featured in The Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Story (1951) See more »


What Can a Poor Maiden Do
by Charles Edward Horn
Adapted by Earl K. Brent
Sung by Arlene Dahl
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A Little Closer Look at a Near-Sleeper
3 February 2017 | by See all my reviews

Excellent character study, well written and acted. Movie opens with Ada trying to save her savings bank by winning a hand of five-card straight from ruthless wheeler-dealer McCool. If he wins, she loses the bank and depositors lose their money; if she wins, she gets enough from him to save the bank. It's the 19th century before depositor protection from the FDIC. Meanwhile, she has two kings, while McCool has possible straight depending on his hole card. So what's his hole card. Should she bet her bank and its depositors' savings that he doesn't have the inside straight. Bystanders advise her to consider her opponent's character before making a decision. At that point the film turns to a series of flashbacks, each revealing a side to the money-mad McCool's relations with others. But we won't find out the hole card til the end. In a sense, the man's moral core is reflected in the outcome of a poker hand.

I detail this opening because it sets up the movie's remainder in compelling fashion. As the flashbacks show, McCool appears driven by only one thing- money. However, a softer side emerges in his relationship with his two buddies (Johnny and Shocker) and his second wife Zoe. So perhaps his inner life is not as cut-and-dried as his many big money operations make it seem. Thus, a greater moral ambiguity emerges as the flashbacks progress, each peeling back a layer in McCool's troubled life. Credit under-rated screenwriter Guy Trosper for both the incisive screenplay and the story concept. A gander at his credits over the years demonstrates an outstanding talent.

Actor Brian is excellent as the central character, especially convincing as a ruthless operator. Surprisingly, McCambridge gets a bit of romance and exhibits flashes of sympathy as the put-upon Ada. At the same time, Chaney gets a likable role as the loyal Serbian sidekick Shocker, while Sullivan has a secondary part that may have been a studio add-on.

Anyway, the movie strikes me as something of an oddity coming from big budget MGM. The film itself is in b&w, but well mounted, particularly the crowd scenes. At the same time, it's an exception that neither of the two headliners has a particularly likable role, which is not the usual way of promoting headliner careers. But then 1951 was also a time when the studio was branching into darker themes under new honcho Dore Schary, and away from L.B. Mayer's sunny wholesome fare. That may explain the movie's hybrid status, somewhere between an A and B production.

All in all, the film strikes me as something of a sleeper, particularly in it's construction, theme, and absolutely appropriate ending. Perhaps it's the rather dour subject matter, and morally ambivalent leads that have reduced the 75-minutes to real obscurity. In my little book, however, the movie definitely merits a measure of re-discovery.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 5 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial