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The Lady Gambles (1949)

aka The Lady Gambles

Details: 99 mins · English

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Cast:

Small Joan Phillips Boothe
Small David Boothe
Small Horace Corrigan
Small Ruth Phillips
Small Dr. Rojac
No_movie_poster Barky
Small Chuck Benson
Small Tony
No_movie_poster Bank Clerk
Small Pawnbroker
Small Mr. Sutherland
No_movie_poster Mrs. 'Ducky' Sutherland
Small Bellboy (as Anthony Curtis)
No_movie_poster Jack Harris, Hotel Clerk
Small Cross lady
No_movie_poster Bert
Small Frenchy

Crew:

No_movie_poster Milton Carruth Editor
Small Michael Gordon Director
No_movie_poster Lewis Meltzer Story
No_movie_poster Oscar Saul Story
No_movie_poster Russell Metty Director of Photography
No_movie_poster Frank Skinner Original Music Composer
No_movie_poster Roy Huggins Writer
No_movie_poster Michael Kraike Producer
No_movie_poster Halsted Welles Adaptation
Small Michael Gordon Director

Plot:

When his estranged wife Joan is found badly beaten after using loaded dice in a back-alley game, David Boothe looks back on how she came to this sorry state.

A reporter from Chicago, he had been on an assignment at Hoover Dam, so he and his wife stayed at a hotel in Las Vegas. There the casino's owner, Corrigan, introduces her to gambling with a few chips on the house.

Joan eventually loses $600 of David's expense money, as well as pawning a camera, before winning it back. Gambling excites her. When her sister Ruth joins them in Nevada, her husband decides to leave. Ruth has always been a divisive presence, manipulative and neurotic.

Corrigan flirts with Joan and persuades her to be his proxy in a poker game. She wins $6,000 and is given a share. But the game lasts till dawn, and when David phones from the road, Ruth tells him Joan has not slept in her bed all night.

He returns to Vegas and can see how gambling has her hooked. David quits his job and takes her to Mexico, where he intends to write a book. A couple Joan met in Vegas get her into a dice game, where she loses all of their life savings. David leaves, intending to file for a divorce.

Not knowing where else to go, Joan returns to Vegas, where she is hired by Corrigan to front a horse-racing operation. But she double-crosses his partners just to cash in on a long-shot bet. On her own again, Joan descends into a world of disreputable characters, partnering in Shreveport with a crooked gambler named Frenchy.

By the time David rejoins her after the beating, Joan is hospitalized and suicidal. He must fight to convince her that it is not too late to kick her gambling habit and save their marriage.