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|Steve McQueen||Eric Stoner|
|Edward G. Robinson||Lancey Howard|
|Tuesday Weld||Christian Rudd|
|Joan Blondell||Lady Fingers|
|Rip Torn||William Jefferson Slade|
|Philip H. Lathrop||Director of Photography|
|Henry Grace||Set Decoration|
|Lalo Schifrin||Original Music Composer|
|Ring Lardner Jr.||Screenplay|
|Edward C. Carfagno||Art Direction|
|Hugh Hunt||Set Decoration|
|George W. Davis||Art Direction|
|Richard Jessup||Story Contributor|
"He'd take on anyone, at anything, anytime."
"He'd take on anyone, at anything, anytime ....it was only a matter of who came first!"
Eric Stoner, nicknamed "The Kid," is an up-and-coming poker player. He hears that Lancey Howard, a long-time master of the game nicknamed "The Man," is in town, and decides to take him on. The Kid's friend Shooter cautions him, reminding the Kid how he thought he was the best five-card stud player in the world, until Howard "gutted" him when they played.Howard arrives in town and arranges a game with William Jefferson Slade and secures Shooter's services as dealer. Howard takes Slade for $6,000 over a 30-hour game, angering Slade and wounding his pride. That night at Slade's home, Slade tries to bribe Shooter into cheating in the Kid's favor, as a big game involving the Kid and Howard has been arranged. When Shooter declines, Slade calls in markers worth $12,000 he holds on Shooter, and blackmails him by threatening to reveal damaging information about his wife, Melba. When Shooter asks him why he wants him to cheat, Slade tells him that he wants to see Howard gutted the way Howard gutted him. Shooter agonizes over his choice, having spent the last 25 years building a reputation for integrity.With The Kid's girl Christian visiting her parents, Melba tries to seduce the Kid. Out of respect for Shooter he rebuffs her, and spends the day before the big game with Christian and her family.The big game starts with six players, including Howard, the Kid and Shooter playing as he deals. In the first big confrontation between The Kid and Howard, Shooter is short $2,000 and Slade steps in to stake him. Several hours later, Howard busts one player, perhaps with a bluff, and the remaining players take a break. Following the break Lady Fingers, who's been delighting in needling Howard all evening, takes over as dealer and continues to needle him.As the game wears on, Shooter only deals the game, and then after another hand when Howard outplays them, two more players drop out, leaving just Howard and the Kid, who after a few unlikely wins catches on to Shooter's cheating. The Kid calls for a break and confronts Shooter, who brags about his skills as a mechanic but admits to being forced into cheating by Slade. The Kid insists he can win on his own and tells Shooter to deal straight or he'll blow the whistle, destroying Shooter's reputation. Before the game resumes, Melba tries again to seduce the Kid and succeeds, though Christian makes a surprise visit to the room, catches them after the fact and walks out on the Kid.After another break in the game, Slade tells the Kid that Shooter will continue to cheat in his favor. Despite Slade's threats, the Kid tells him he won't allow Shooter to cheat, insisting he'll beat Howard without help. Back at the game, the Kid maneuvers to have Shooter replaced by Lady Fingers, and wins several major pots from Howard, who is visibly losing confidence.
DVD : 2005-05-31