- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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- kevin sellers
Maybe because McQueen and Paul Newman were box office rivals in the mid 60s this movie is always compared to "The Hustler." It usually comes in second, and I agree, although there are some things I like about it, such as the New Orleans setting (I'm a sucker for movies shot in the Crescent City) Edward G. Robinson's performance as the aging, tired, but still classily dominant poker player Lancey Howard, and a generally low key, unpretentious screenplay by Ring Lardner Jr. and Terry Southern (a nice contrast to Sidney Carroll's speechifying in "Hustler.") I also may be the only person in the entire western world who likes Ann Margaret as an actress. Norman Jewison is a competent director, but nothing more. Any chance this movie had of being quirkily interesting was blown when producer Martin Ransohoff fired Sam Peckinpah as director two weeks into shooting, which of course raises the deep philosophical question of who was the bigger jerk, Ransohoff or Peckinpah? My money's on Ransohoff, but it's a close call. Give it a B minus.
Great acting, not so great film...
This film belongs to Edward G. Robinson and Joan Blondell, with Steve McQueen as the supporting actor, but that isn't how it's billed. Ann-Margret and Tuesday Weld are very unnecessary eye-candy and add nothing to the story. I've never quite understood this film. If you have ever been in the room for a private, high-stakes poker game, you know there is a lot here that rings untrue. Firstly, NOBODY talks! Secondly, there aren't people hanging about and watching the hands. Thirdly, if there is even a whiff of a fix being in, that person would be found in a trash heap the next morning in a non-living state. This is as true today as it was back in Wyatt Earp's day and every day since! The ending of this film is too pat. It ends with a whimper, not a roar, and is anti-climactic.
A Card Shark's Winning Hand.
- Frank Harris Horn
Norman Jewison directs Steve McQueen, Ann-Margret, Edward G. Robinson, Karl Malden, Tuesday Weld and an all-star cast in this high-stakes drama based on the novel by Richard Jessup. McQueen in the title role of high-stakes gambler, who travels to New Orleans to challenge a hot-shot poker player (Robinson) and a trio of other gamblers to a non-stop stud poker championship match for the title of "The King of the New Orleans Gambling World." Place your ladies and gentlemen. The game's about to begin. A high-stakes movie for all card sharks. The immortal Ray Charles sings the movie's title song. Jewison took over as the movie's director, when he was assigned to replace Sam Peckinpah. Also starring Rip Torn, Joan Blondell, Jack Weston, Cab Calloway, Milton Selzer, Jeff Corey, Karl Swenson, Irene Tedrow, Theo Marcuse, Ron Soble, Midge Ware, Emile Genest & Dub Taylor.
Poor Man's "Hustler"
- Bob Hendrick
Four years after the release of Rossen's "Hustler", Norman Jewison made a valiant effort to capture the feel of that cinema classic. Final result; it was no "Hustler", but it was an entertaining film, thanks to the great cast. The gem in this cast was the redoubtable Edward G. Robinson in the role of stud poker champ Lancey Howard. Spencer Tracy was originally cast in this role, and frankly, I can't imagine him doing a better job than Eddie G. McQueen, the great Karl Malden, Tuesday Weld and a supporting cast of well known stars from yesteryear make for a slick, higly entertaining film; whose setting in the thirties added to the appeal.
Again to much introspection. Cant any one these days just enjoy great acting for the sake of great acting. Its meaning has no meaning, just sit back and enjoy the craft
A real fancy man...
Sometimes when you think you've got the "Bull by the horns" it turns out that the Bull is the one doing the leading. As good as you think you are, there's always someone better. And what's that old maxim, "pride goeth before a fall"? Well it's very difficult to outclass class, nearly impossible actually. The stars "must" be in proper alignment or else! This is an interesting study of the human condition, "Lady luck" style.