Gambler's Choice (1944)

Approved   |    |  Crime, Drama

Gambler's Choice (1944) Poster

The professional gambler Ross Hadley is the owner of a posh gaming establishment in the heart of New York. Hadley's main antagonist is his childhood friend Mike McGlennon. McGlennon, now a ... See full summary »


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10 June 2007 | Bunuel1976
| GAMBLER'S CHOICE (Frank McDonald, 1944) **1/2
This Chester Morris vehicle is superior to AERIAL GUNNER (1943) – it's made by practically the same people – but still emerges as nothing special. The film follows the familiar plot line of MANHATTAN MELODRAMA (1934) – two childhood friends grow up to be on opposing sides of the law, one a cop (Russell Hayden) and the other a gambler (Morris); of course, they both happen to love the same girl (Nancy Kelly, whom I should be watching soon in her most important – and Oscar-nominated – role in THE BAD SEED [1956]) and, by the end of it, Morris has seen the error of his ways and gives his life – and gal – for his best pal.

Actually, the early 20th century New York atmosphere is vividly recreated on a shoestring – and Morris struts in clear imitation of James Cagney (who starred in the similar ANGELS WITH DIRTY FACES [1938]); his character's epitaph, then, is borrowed from another Cagney vehicle – THE ROARING TWENTIES (1939). Featured in the colorful supporting cast are Sheldon Leonard (as Morris' business rival), Tom Dugan (as Morris' right-hand man), Lee Patrick (as Morris' financier), Lloyd Corrigan (as Kelly's politician father) and, in minor roles, Jimmy Conlin, Lyle Talbot and Dewey Robinson. Interestingly enough, the script was a combination of the writing talents of James Edward Grant, Irving Reis and Maxwell Shane (who also had a similar credit on AERIAL GUNNER).

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