7.4/10
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56 user 9 critic

A Big Hand for the Little Lady (1966)

Approved | | Western | 1 July 1966 (France)
Comedy western in which a traveler bets more money than he can afford in a poker game, and unusual events follow.

Director:

Fielder Cook

Writer:

Sidney Carroll
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Henry Fonda ... Meredith
Joanne Woodward ... Mary
Jason Robards ... Henry Drummond
Paul Ford ... C.P. Ballinger
Charles Bickford ... Benson Tropp
Burgess Meredith ... Doc Scully (as Burgess Meridith)
Kevin McCarthy ... Otto Habershaw
Robert Middleton ... Dennis Wilcox
John Qualen ... Jesse Buford
Jean-Michel Michenaud ... Jackie (as Gerald Michenaud)
James Berwick James Berwick ... Sam Rhine (as James Kenny)
Allen Collins Allen Collins ... Toby
Jim Boles Jim Boles ... Pete
Virginia Gregg ... Mrs. Drummond
Chester Conklin ... Old Man in Saloon
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Storyline

A naive couple and a child arrive to the town on the way to San Antonio, Texas to buy a farm there. There is a poker game between the richest men in the region. The man cannot resist it and though he is a very bad poker player, enters the game betting all the money of his family. In the climax of the game he suffers a heart-attack. His wife then takes his place in the table. That's the only way of recovering their savings. But there is a little problem. Can anybody explain to her how to play poker? Written by Miguel A. Andrade <andrade@gredos.cnb.uam.es>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

All the action you can take...all the adventure you can wish for! See more »

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 July 1966 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Big Deal at Dodge City See more »

Filming Locations:

Flagstaff, Arizona, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Eden Productions Inc. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

This film provides the final screen appearance of comedian Chester Conklin, who had appeared in about 300 movies from 1913. See more »

Goofs

The character "Doc" was played by Burgess Meredith, however in the closing credits his name was spelled "Burgess Meridith". See more »

Quotes

Henry Drummond: What'd you do, sleep in that dress?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Trading Partners (1984) See more »

Soundtracks

Ma Blushin' Rosie (Ma Posie Sweet)
(uncredited)
From the Broadway musical "Fiddle-Dee-Dee" (1900)
Written by Edgar Smith and John Stromberg
Performed by Marilyn Powell
See more »

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User Reviews

 
They're Starved For Entertainment In That Town
13 April 2008 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

A Big Hand For The Little Lady takes place in Laredo, Texas circa the turn of the last century. The film actually dates itself because a couple of current record cylinders are played, Ma Blushin' Rosie and Hello My Baby both of which came out around 1900. Anyway a big annual event in this town is when five of the big movers and shakers of the community get together for a big no holds barred poker game. The big five are Jason Robards, Jr., Charles Bickford, Kevin McCarthy, Robert Middleton, and John Qualen.

After the game gets going with the whole town just hanging on word of every hand, a very tired trio of pilgrims, Henry Fonda, Joanne Woodward, and their child Gerald Michenaud arrive in town. They are a sorry trio, especially Fonda who would be a candidate for Gamblers Anonymous if such a thing existed in 1900. Fonda just asks if he could watch, kind of like Arthur O'Connell who hasn't got the price of favors at the bordello in There Was A Crooked Man, but the madam allows him a little fun at the keyhole for old time's sake.

Kevin McCarthy is the one who takes pity on him and in fact this is the first but not the last time he shows gallantry as a true Southern gentleman.

A Big Hand For The Little Lady is a film that's almost impossible to write about without giving away anything. I absolutely dare not go any further in talking about it.

But what A Big Hand For The Little Lady is is that it is a really original idea for a western comedy that I defy anyone to watch without enjoying it. It's not got the rough house type humor that Burt Kennedy or John Ford do in their films, but there are laughs a plenty.

This film turned out to be the farewell appearance on the big screen for Charles Bickford one of the best and most durable character actors the screen ever saw. He's kind of subdued in the film, my guess is that health problems were starting to overtake him. Still he fits the gruff part he has perfectly.

It's a fine film with a surprise twist that beats all.


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