Mark Fallon, with partner Kansas John Polly, tries to introduce honest gambling on the riverboats. His first success makes enemies of the crooked gamblers and of fair Angelique Dureau, whose necklace he won. Later in New Orleans, Mark befriends Angelique's father, but she still affects to despise him as his gambling career brings him wealth. Duelling, tragedy, and romantic complications follow.Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
A joyous technicolor is the symbol of what dear old classic movies mean for us: entertainment, relax, simple but beautiful stories, nice and talented actors, great cinematography and costumes, accurate direction, and, of course, a due happy ending. "The Mississippi gambler" is a perfect instance of what I've just said.
The whole cast works beautifully. I like Tyrone Power. He succeeds in the difficult task of being a beautiful man and an incredibly nice guy. He is a very good actor, too, largely underrated, in my opinion. For the talent of pretty Piper Laurie just refer to "The hustler". Here she manages to be brilliant even in the somewhat straightforward role of the spoiled girl. And then we have John McIntire: he is a member of the club of the all-time-greatest supporting actors, together with Walter Brennan, Thomas Mitchell etc. His mere presence improves a film.
The story is quick-paced, interesting, entertaining, romantic, much 1800ish. The good taste rules. There's plenty of amiable 19th century cliches. Who doesn't like the old gentleman (great job by Paul Cavanagh) who faces a duel to defend the reputation of a young woman? According to the literature of the 19th century, brothers seem to exist mainly to cause major troubles and misery to their affectionate sisters. In "The Mississippi gambler" we have no less than two independent examples in this direction. By the way, John Baer is very good in the role of the debauched, arrogant but coward youngster.
The photography, costumes, and locations are gorgeous. The interiors are outstanding: look at the furniture, it's magnificent. Everything is merged in a glorious, shining technicolor, the main ingredient of our dreams, the vehicle for us to be transferred into another epoch.
Something to add? A fine design is made of the 1800ish psychology of the characters: romanticism, honor, duels, pride, want of adventure, and all that sort of likeable things.
"The Mississippi gambler" is a really good movie, worth of a golden age of cinema.
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