In Jean Delannoy’s sexy, funny, and uber dark adventure-melodrama, Macao, L’enfer Du Jeu (aka Gambling Hell 1939), starring a charming Erich von Stroheim as an arms dealer, the luminous Mireille Balin as a cabaret dancer, and the suave but sinister Sessue Hayakawa as a racketeer, the spin of the roulette wheel offers no escape nor redemption. Justice is swift and unromantic – only the innocent survive.
Don’t believe the dictates of les enfants terribles of the French New Wave or the pompous snobbery of contemporary ‘cineastes’, mainstream movies do have craft, enduring meaning, and true value. Viva la difference!
The fantastic hellish climax which sees the anti-heroes destroyed is captured in the following clip.