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The Gambler and the Lady

UK 1952
produced by
Anthony Hinds for Hammer/Exclusive, Lippert Pictures
directed by Paul Jenkins, Sam Newfield
starring Dane Clark, Naomi Chance, Meredith Edwards, Thomas Gallagher, Eric Pohlmann, Anthony Forwood, Kathleen Byron, Martin Benson, George Pastell, Julian Somers, Max Bacon, Mona Washbourne, Jane Griffiths, Anthony Ireland, Enzo Coticchia, Richard Shaw, Percy Marmont, Robert Adair, Mark Singleton, André Mikhelson, Paul Sheridan, Robert Brown, David Keir, Hal Osmond
music by Ivor Slaney

Hammer noir

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Tony (Dane Clark) is a gangster from the USA who has come over to London to run a line of nightclubs and gambling dens, and both his business sense and his ruthlessness have brought him to the top before long - and being at the top, he can even afford to oppose the Colonna boys (Eric Pohlmann, Enzo Coticchia), a gangster duo from Italy who wants to take over his organisation - using whatever needs necessary.

But Tony has also a softer side, one that makes him want to be a member of British aristocracy, and to that end he tries to learn decent manners and the like - even though in his heart he might always remain a gangster. Then he meets Lady Susan Willens (Naomi Chance), member of a somewhat impoverished noble family who is somewhat tired of aristocrats and who soon falls in love with rather wild but gentle Tony, because he is different from all the aristocrats she knows.

Before long though, Susan's brother Peter (Anthony Forwood) and her dad (Percy Marmont), who have invested in a goldmine, take an interest into gangster Tony - or more precisely his money -, because they want him to further finance the goldmine. With this, Tony sees his chance to go legitimate and to really get involved with aristocracy, & thus he finally does sell all his gambling dens and clubs to the Colonnas after all and invests every last penny into the goldmine - bad idea, because soon the whole goldmine business is uncovered as a hoax, and suddenly Tony finds himself pennyless.

Meanwhile, a former employee of Tony, Jacko (George Pastell), whom Tony fired because he stole some money, plots his revenge on Tony, and blows the whistle on three gambling dens of the Colonnas (for whom he works now), then convinces them that it was Tony who betrayed them.

Furiously, the Colonnas have Tony's best friend (Meredith Edwards) shot, which in turn causes Tony to plot revenge.

It all culminates in a shootout in which the Colonnas and Jacko are all shot, but Tony emerges unharmed - only to be, run over by his former lover Pat (Kathleen Byron) who just couldn't stand losing him when leaving the scene of the crime ...

The film ends with Tony breathing his last in Susan's arms.

 

In parts, this film isn't uninteresting, but overall, it suffers from a weak and directionless script that introduces way too many narrative threads for the film's relatively short running time (approx 75  minutes), only to have all of them resolved rather suddenly in the finale leaving open way too many questions. Pity.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD