• This is one of the prolific Mervyn LeRoy's less-distinguished directorial efforts, in my opinion. The story seems cobbled together, everything takes place indoors or at night on studio streets (sometimes rainswept), and none of the actors, including the leads, seem entirely comfortable in their roles. Possibly because of his wartime experiences, Clark Gable returned to the screen, after the end of World War II, looking quite a bit older than his chronological age and he doesn't appear to be well-matched here with the elegant, twenty years younger Alexis Smith, on loan from her home studio, Warner Brothers.

    Ms. Smith was not very well-served by the M-G-M artisans assigned to this film. She looks rather grim and is not nearly as flatteringly photographed as was the case in her Warner Brothers films. (On a recent Turner Classic Movies broadcast, host Robert Osborne commented that Alexis was not happy working at M-G-M and was anxious to return to the "less pretentious" atmosphere of her home at Warner Brothers. She may have looked at the rushes for this one and decided that she'd been given short shrift at Hollywood's preeminent glamour factory.)

    The story revolves around a gambling house whose boss is a hard-edged guy (not anything that Gable couldn't make sympathetic) whose family and employees, as well as his patrons, all seem to be not always on his team. A showdown in the final reel attempts to make everything right, of course, but I listened to the swell of the end title's music without much of a feeling of satisfaction.