GAMBLER AND THE LADY, THE (aka: IN THE MONEY) (directors: Pat Jenkins/Sam Newfield; screenwriter: Sam Newfield; cinematographer: Walter Harvey; editor: Maurice Roots; music: Ivor Slaney; cast: Dane Clark (Jim Forster), Anthony Forwood (Lord Peter Willens), Kathleen Byron(Pat), Naomi Chance (Lady Susan Willens), Meredith Edwards(Dave Davies), Eric Pohlmann(Arturo Colonna), Enzo Coticchia (Angelo Colonna), Julian Somers (Licasi – Club Manager), George Pastell (Jaco Spina), Anthony Ireland (Richard Farning), Thomas Gallagher (Sam), Max Bacon (Maxie), Mona Washbourne (Miss Minter); Runtime: 72; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Anthony Hinds; VCI Entertainment; 1952-UK)
“Routine crime thriller.“
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
This routine crime thriller is credited to British director Pat Jenkins. Sam Newfield (“The Terror of Tiny Town”) was the uncredited co-director (Newfield was scheduled to direct, but if he received credit he would have violated British labor quotas on the number of foreign directors allowed to direct British films during the course of a year–so he receives no credit but did serve as co-director). Newfield is also credited with the screenplay.
American tough guy Jim Forster (Dane Clark), a recovering alcoholic, flees to London after serving a three-year prison stretch for manslaughter after beating a stranger to death when in a rage. It seems Jim has a violent temper and a drinking problem, which he solves by no longer drinking. One night the compulsive gambler borrows a dollar from friendly bar owner Maxie (Max Bacon) and wins a fortune gambling. With his winnings Jim opens up a nightclub and a number of successful illegal gambling houses, and he also buys a champion race horse and a boxer. But four years later, Jim still feels insecure about his lack of etiquette and polish. So Jim hires an old schoolmarm (Mona Washbourne) to teach him proper manners, as he wants more than anything else to be accepted by British society.
Social-climber Jim finally rejects his vulgar English sweetie-pie Pat (Kathleen Byron), a dancer at the club. The nasty common woman swears to get even with him for humiliating her. Meanwhile Lord Peter Willens (Anthony Forwood) pays off his gambling debt to the gambling house receipt taker Jaco Spina (George Pastell) with a bad check. Though Jaco is told to forget about it and further told by the boss he wants no strong-arm tactics, the slimy Jaco disobeys. As a result he’s fired, as Jim loses his temper and bodily throws Jaco out. When Jim confides to best friend and club manager Dave Davies (Meredith Edwards) that he still has an anger-management problem, Dave tells himto accept who is and stop trying to sniff around the bluebloods for acceptance.
Soon Jim meets Lord Peter’s pretty sister Lady Susan Willens (Naomi Chance) and becomes smitten with her. Then ruthless American gangsters, the Colonna brothers (Eric Pohlmann & Enzo Coticchia), kicked out of America and now operating gambling houses in Rome, show up in Jim’s club and threaten that he better sell to them or else. Not frightened of the brothers, even after they wreck a few of his clubs, nevertheless Jim sells them his gambling business when he’s talked into investing all his money in a gold mine that the respectable Lord Peter and his father have invested in. He sees this as a way to be accepted by the upper-crusts. But the stock broker (Anthony Ireland) is a swindler, and Jim loses everything. Also Jacko, wanting revenge on Jim while now working for the racketeering brothers, convinces them that Jim is calling the cops who are raiding their gambling houses. When Angelo Colonna and Jaco visit Jim to rough him up on Arturo’s orders, they find Jim’s not home and instead Angelo Colonna kills Jim’s best friend in the world Dave. A drunken Jim vows revenge and goes to the Colonna’s gambling house, where despite being wounded knocks off a few of the thugs and Jacko. But while staggering down the street, Jim’s struck and killed by the speeding car of his crazed jilted lover–Pat.
REVIEWED ON 2/3/2011 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”
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