Gambling House (1950): Obscure Gem

Gambling House (1951)

After small-time hood, Mike Fury (aka Furioni) beats a rap for a murder committed by a crooked casino-boss, he has to collect from the capo who welshes on the deal, and fight deportation as an undesirable alien. (1950 RKO. Directed by Ted Tetzlaff 80 mins)

Apart from leads Victor Mature and Wiliam Bendix, the only other strong film noir connection for Gambling House, is Roy Webb’s soundtrack. With a plot broadly similar to Mature’s earlier Kiss of Death (1947), this is a tight thriller-melodrama with nicely-integrated social and romance angles. Mature is charming as the reforming hood, Bendix dependable as the casino-operater, and Terry Moore truly engaging as the love interest.

The cinematography and art direction have a gritty noir look with deep-focus New York location shooting. The direction is tight with not a false step for the full 80 minutes.

The cast is entirely convincing, and the post-war migration and citizenship themes are handled simply at a personal level with a moving sincerity, and without grand-standing.

An engaging picture which has an immediacy that belies its age.

Gambling House (1950)

2 thoughts on “Gambling House (1950): Obscure Gem”

  1. I have seen and liked KISS OF DEATH (1947), but I admit I haven’t seen GAMBLING HOUSE. I don’t think this one is available on DVD yet. But it appears to have that gritty and enticing noir-look with the deep focus photography and the on location shooting in and around Manhattan. The esteemed Mr. Webb of course, scored a number of Val Lewton films, and was an integral component in their artistry. A few of his score CDs are available, and I own two. Of course it goes without saying that William Bendix is always appealing and Victor Mature has always commanded an audience. I’ll have to check this 80 minute film out. Very nice capsule here!


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