5.9/10
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5 Against the House (1955)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 8 October 1955 (Albania)
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1:31 | 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.

Director:

Phil Karlson

Writers:

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

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Cast

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 Dimond Jack Dimond ... Francis Spiegelbauer
Jean Willes ... Virginia
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

They hit the jackpot in the world's richest gambling house !


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

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 »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

First major film role for Kim Novak after small roles in four films. See more »

Goofs

En route to Reno while riding in house trailer, thieves put on gloves and begin wiping down interior so their fingerprints can't be traced, but in following scenes, before they've reached destination, are no longer wearing gloves and are touching everything. See more »

Quotes

Roy: [to Buck] Well, that's the trouble with liquor. You take one drink, and it makes a new man out of you. Then the new man has to have a drink too - quote and unquote.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Graduate (1967) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
He has a system you know!
19 May 2009 | by hitchcockthelegendSee all my reviews

Four college buddies are out in a Reno casino when they mistakenly almost get arrested for a failed robbery. Upon proving their innocence, they hear a cop saying that robbing this particular casino is nigh on impossible. This gets young Ronnie thinking that it actually can be done, and sure enough he comes up with a fool proof plan that should be played out as a joke robbery. However, after letting his pals in on the plan, one of them, Brick, an ex army loose cannon, wants to do it for real.

There are many good things about this Phil Karlson directed picture, things that made me particularly glad I paid no attention to the meagre rating on the IMDb and watched it with no expectation. The cast is very strong, Guy Madison, Brian Keith, Alvy Moore, a young pre swash buckling Kerwin Mathews and a sultry and gorgeous Kim Novak in only her second credited role. Location work at Lake Tahoe is easy on the eye and the story from John Barnwell (adapting from Jack Finney's novel) is a good one, with a kicker of an idea in how to rob a casino.

I think that newcomers to the film should prepare for a more offbeat picture than what the plot synopsis hints at. It certainly has got tense moments, courtesy in the main from Keith's borderline psycho, but it's practically a talky picture with flecks of humour right up to the finale, where it all comes together without histrionics or fanfare. Phil Karlson, with the awesome Scandal Sheet on his CV, appeared on the face of it to be a good choice to direct, but although he has done crime/adventure/romance films very well before, blending those genres into one film was asking a bit too much. It's not bad directing, it's just an odd fusion that never really comes off, and it possibly stops the film from breaking out to a bigger and more appreciative audience. Karlson remains, though, a director well worth reappraisals because he has some excellent credits on his CV that are well worth checking out.

Still, it's an oddity of sorts, and tagging it as a Noir picture is a bit of a stretch, but this is one that's definitely recommended for the pluses that do indeed far outweigh the minuses. 7/10


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