Gambling Hell (1942)

  |  Adventure, Drama

Gambling Hell (1942) Poster

A captain, who has rescued a woman from danger,sails with her to Macao to do an arms deal with the Asian proprietor of a gambling den.The proprietor,s daughter, whom a visiting journalist ... See full summary »



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4 September 2005 | dbdumonteil
| Place your bets in Macao.
Fact: although the movie was to be released in 1939,it was postponed to 1942.WW2 had broken out and all Stroheim's scenes were remade with Pierre Renoir instead of the Austrian actor/director.After the liberation,the original version was shown in the theaters.

Jean Delannoy ,although always put down by the nouvelle vague,is a good director ,whose best works were made in the fifties though(notably his two Maigret)."Macao" ,IMHO,is not Delannoy at his best.One can feel a lot of influences ; Marcel Carné's "Jenny" :in that work,Françoise Rosay did not want her daughter to know about her job ( go-between);in Delannoy's work ,Ying-Tchai (Hayakawa) does not want his daughter Jasmine (Louise Carletti)to discover he's involved in dealings and the owner of a dive (which recalls "Forfaiture" ,also featuring the Japanese thespian);Von Sternberg's extravaganzas such as "Shanghai express" .

Roland Toutain is miscast as the young romantic lead.The plot remains a bit confused and ,except in the last pictures ,Delannoy's perfect style cannot make up for it:it would have taken more madness:only the last sequence,where Hayakawa outdoes himself reaches a peak of tragic grandeur.But weren't it for that only,"Macao" would remain watchable.Besides,Mireille Balin's character is modern ,a femme fatale with a down-to-earth side.

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