18 September 2019 | MartinHafer
A disjoint but somewhat entertaining morality tale.
"Born to Gamble" is a very low budgeted B-movie from tiny Liberty Pictures, a 'Poverty Row' studio that filmed at the RKO lot at night. Many of the so-called 'Povery Row' studios filmed at night because they didn't actually own studio space but instead rented sound stages at the major studios--filming when the majors sent everyone home for the night. Not surprisingly, cheapness seems to be pretty obvious with this one...but there ARE bits and pieces which are pretty good.
H.B. Warner plays Carter Mathews, a rich industrialist whose family has been torn apart by gambling. How do we know this? Because Carter tells all his friends at the club all about his family nightmare--starting with his father-in-law and with the gambling bug somehow jumping onto Carter's three sons. Because of the type story it is, the film is quite episodic and all point to the evils of gambling and the virtues of hard work.
Is it any good? Mostly no because the message is obvious and heavyhanded. Plus, with a running time of only about an hour, the film is rushed and unconvincing. Too bad, as Warner and Onslow Stevens are both quite good and there are some very good moments in the film. Worth seeing as a flawed time-passer and not much more.