Tuesday, January 30, 2018
Gambling House (1950)
Marc Fury (Victor Mature) is a gambler and he has a few problems. Firstly he’s close to broke. Secondly he has a bullet in his guts. And thirdly he’s about to be made an offer that he really should not contemplate accepting.
Everything seems to be working out until the immigration people decide to deport Marc. Marc had always assumed he was an American citizen but he wasn’t and since he hasn’t exactly been law-abiding there seems little chance of the deportation order being reversed. To add to his woes Farrow seems to be remarkably reluctant to hand over the fifty grand he’d promised him.
At this point the main plot grinds to a halt and we get a dull love story combined with speeches about the plight of immigrants and what it means to be an American citizen plus messages about how even a guy like Marc can be saved by the Love of a Good Woman. To make things worse we also get a clumsy and irrelevant sub-plot about a Polish immigrant family. And we get more speeches. Lots of speeches.
This is one of those movies in which the characters do things that are totally out of character and entirely unbelievable simply because the script demands it. This makes it hard to judge the acting. Victor Mature tries hard but Marc’s actions are simply not believable and Mature is not at his best delivering inspiring speeches. I’m actually a big fan of Victor Mature as an actor but his performance in this movie just doesn’t work due to the awful script.
Terry Moore’s performance is dire but again with a script like this even the best actress would be struggling. Lynn comes across as irritating and self-righteous. William Bendix is flat and dull.
Gambling House is a movie that is incredibly poorly paced and structured and it’s embarrassingly clumsy. It’s annoyingly emotionally manipulative but the manipulation backfires because the characters are so unconvincing. It’s a total waste of time. Do whatever you have to do to avoid seeing this movie.