Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, March 2, 2017


Dane Clark
THE GAMBLER AND THE LADY (1952). Directors: Patrick Jenkins; Sam Newfield, Written by Sam Newfield,

After getting out of jail for manslaughter, Jim Forster (Dane Clark) sets up operations in London, where he owns a nightclub, a boxer, a racehorse, and several illegal gambling dens. Jim is on a self-improvement kick, and wants to be just like, and accepted by, the titled lords and ladies with whom he wishes to mingle. He falls for Susan Willens (Naomi Chance), the sister of Lord Peter Willens (Anthony Forwood), a patron of one of Forster's gambling dens. But two things stand in the way of Jim achieving all of his goals: his nasty ex-girlfriend, Pat (Kathleen Byron); and a business deal with the Willens family that may blow up in all of their faces. The Gambler and the Lady has a 1940's style script -- one could easily see Bogart or Gable in  the lead role -- but the picture is still quite entertaining and Clark [A Stolen Life] gives a very memorable performance. The above-mentioned ladies are also notable, as is Eric Pohlmann as Colonna, one of Jim's business "rivals."  Anthony Forwood, who has a pleasing screen presence, later became the life-partner of Dirk Bogarde. [Mr.] Meredith Edwards, George Pastell [The Stranglers of Bombay], and Martin Benson [Battle Beneath the Earth] also give flavorful performances as, respectively, Jim's good right-hand, Dave; a nasty character Jim fires named Jacko; and Tony, Pat's dancing partner.

Verdict: Snappy British crime picture. ***.

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