It is 1957. J.C. Cullen is a young man from a small town, with a talent for winning at craps, who leaves for the big city to work as a professional gambler. While there, he breaks the bank at a private craps game at the Gem Club, owned by George Cole, and falls in love with two women, one of them Cole's wife. Infuriated, Cole wagers everything on the craps table, including the Gem Club itself, and he and Cullen have it out.Written by
Brian C. Madsen <firstname.lastname@example.org>
It's 1957. Indiana small town kid J.C. Cullen (Matt Dillon) wins the local craps games at the gas station. Hooker sets him up with Ferguson Edwards (Lee Grant) in Chicago. Mr. Edwards (Bruce Dern) is her blind partner. Sonny Binkley takes him around to play. He charms nice girl Aggie Donaldson (Suzy Amis) who has a past with Sonny. He goes to a private game at the Gem Club owned by George Cole (Tommy Lee Jones) where Cole's wife Lorry Dane (Diane Lane) dances. He breaks the bank angering Cole. The next night, Cole sets him up with loaded dice. Then gambler Phil Carpenter (Tom Skerritt) from California comes in.
I've never been a fan of Matt Dillon coming in hard as a cocky young stud lead. He's too pigheaded to like. He's not as charming as he acts. He needs some vulnerability and more introspection. The production style is limited and the directing style is craps. There are some interesting actors but the story lacks sustained life. It has sections where the story is compelling. J.C.'s gambling with Cole over the two nights has good tension but it doesn't keep it going. It gets tied down with a messy story and an unlikeable Dillon. The movie could be good if it simplified to just them and Diane Lane. But I doubt it.
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