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5 Against the House (1955)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 8 October 1955 (Albania)
1:54 | Trailer
Four vets attending college on the GI Bill and a cabaret singer try to rob a Reno Casino and pull off the perfect crime.


Phil Karlson


Stirling Silliphant (screenplay), William Bowers (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
1 nomination. See more awards »





Complete credited cast:
Guy Madison ... Al Mercer
Kim Novak ... Kay Greylek
Brian Keith ... Brick
Alvy Moore ... Roy
Kerwin Mathews ... Ronnie
William Conrad ... Eric Berg
Jack Diamond Jack Diamond ... Francis Spiegelbauer
Jean Willes ... Virginia


Four college buddies enjoying a night at a Reno casino are told by a cop that robbing the casino "cannot be done." That gets the brainiest rich kid among them thinking up a plan for the perfect robbery. He convinces the others to join in when they hear that it will only be a college hoax, his plan being to let the police know where the money is afterwards. The thing is, one of his friends has a head injury from the war, and has no intention of returning a dime. Written by Rone Barton Lokarr <sandbox2@ix.netcom.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


SIZZLING! See more »


Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


First filmed screenplay for writer/screenwriter Stirling Silliphant. See more »


When Brick is kissing Virginia before his fight with her other suitor, he calls her by her given name: Jean. See more »


Brick: [to a sexy woman who is gambling] I'm a stranger in town. Can you direct me to your house?
See more »


Referenced in The Graduate (1967) See more »


Forbidden Love
Written by George Duning and Tom Glazer
See more »

User Reviews

A Robbery In Reno
12 August 2008 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

5 Against The House is a stylish noir caper film that involves four Korean War Veterans and the girl friend of one of them in a heist against a Reno casino. It was directed by Phil Karlson and while it's a bit slow in developing when the action starts, it builds up to a good climax.

The four veterans are Guy Madison, Alvy Moore, Kerwin Matthews, and Brian Keith. They're in college on the GI Bill of Rights and being a bit older than the other students there and with a shared wartime bonding, they kind of keep to themselves.

After a night in Reno where they overhear an arresting cop with a suspect who tried to rob Harold's club there saying how impossible it was. That gives Kerwin Matthews who's the genius of the group an idea to plan the perfect crime.

The others mean it as a prank to give the money back, but Keith is not a well man having spent some time in the psycho ward at the Veteran's Administration. He means to keep the money and he brings a long a pistol to enforce his argument.

It's hard for Madison to say no to Keith, he saved his life in Korea. But Madison who is also romantically involved with Kim Novak resents her being roped in on the scheme.

Best in the film is Brian Keith who does a very good job in suggesting a fundamentally decent man who's been unhinged by his wartime experiences. You have to understand that in order to understand why the film ended as it did.

Novak looks fetching and lovely as always and gets a couple of inconsequential songs to sing, no doubt dubbed as they were in Pal Joey.

5 Against The House did no harm to any of the careers among the cast here. Especially that of Kim Novak who was being prepped to take Rita Hayworth's spot as Columbia Picture's new sex goddess.

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Release Date:

8 October 1955 (Albania) See more »

Also Known As:

Five Against the House See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Romson Productions See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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