Almost in breadth and depth of a documentary, this movie depicts an auto race during the 70s on the world's hardest endurance course: Le Mans in France. The race goes over 24 hours on 14.5 ... See full summary »
Lee H. Katzin
In 1930s New Orleans, the Cincinnati Kid, a young stud poker player who travels from one big game to the next, stopping along the way up with various girls, is pitted against the legendary champion card-sharp Lancey Howard in a high-stakes poker game.Written by
Edward G. Robinson wrote in his autobiography, "In the film I played Lancey Howard, the reigning champ of the stud poker tables...I could hardly say I identified with Lancey; I was Lancey. That man on the screen, more than in any other picture I ever made, was Edward G. Robinson with great patches of Emanuel Goldenberg [his real name] showing through. He was all cold and discerning and unflappable on the exterior; he was ageing and full of self-doubt on the inside....Even the final session of the poker game was real...I played that game as if it were for blood. It was one of the best performances I ever gave on stage or screen or radio or TV, and the reason for it is that is wasn't a performance at all; it was symbolically the playing out of my whole gamble with life." See more »
During the brass band parade, multiple room air conditioners can be seen on the outside walls of the buildings. These were not common until after WWII, and would have been extremely rare during the depression era, especially in the Black neighborhoods of New Orleans. See more »
How the hell did you know I didn't have the king or the ace?
I recollect a young man putting the same question to Eddie the Dude. "Son," Eddie told him, "all you paid was the looking price. Lessons are extra."
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Gritty dialogue and location shooting make a great classic
Norman Jewison's (`In the Heat of the Night,' `The Thomas Crown Affair,' `Fiddler on the Roof')1965 `The Cincinnati Kid' contains top notch location shooting in New Orleans and gritty dialogue (screenplay by Ring Lardner, Jr., `M*A*S*H*') that seems way ahead of its time.
The star power of this film is immense, with Steve McQueen portraying `the Kid' who is overly confident that he can beat `the Man,' Edward G. Robinson at his own game, stud poker. McQueen is ever confident while Robinson has seen it all and will not be surprised or scared by anything that he sees on the card table.
As in all great movies there is a very strong supporting cast in this film. Led by Karl Malden as `the Kid's' confidant, Shooter and a trio of strong supporting actresses, Ann-Margaret, Tuesday Weld and Joan Blondell. Ann-Margaret portrays Shooter's wife, Melba with great flair; she sees her husband as a loser and as a weakling. She openly commits adultery and talks down at him in front of anyone. Her characterization appears to be the role model for Fredo Corleone's wife Deanna, in `The Godfather, Part II.'
Beyond the obvious supporting roles is one of the best supporting/character players of all time, Jack Weston. He appears in many films in the 1960s and 1970s often as a person who gets in over his head with people and situations he cannot handle. In this movie he plays `Pig,' the first victim of Edward G. Robinson at the big card game. Pig thinks he is a pro but quickly and thoroughly gets gutted by `the Man.' Weston portrays a similar character in the original `Thomas Crown Affair.' Nobody sweats on camera like Jack. His type of adept characterizations can be seen in more recent settings, for example William H. Macy's `Jerry Lundergard' in 1996's `Fargo.'
Al in all this is one of the all time classics and by far is my favorite of any of the serious gambling movies such as `The Hustler,' `The Gambler' and `The Color of Money.'
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