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Men of Chance (1931)

Passed | | Drama | 8 January 1932 (USA)
Hoping to get even with gambler/bookie Johnny Silk, racetrack owners and partners Dorval and Farley convince down-and-out Martha Preston to pose as a rich, single French countess, whom Silk... See full summary »

Director:

George Archainbaud

Writers:

Louis Weitzenkorn (by), Louis Stevens (adaptation) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Ricardo Cortez ... Johnny Silk
Mary Astor ... Marthe
John Halliday ... Dorval
Ralph Ince ... Farley
Kitty Kelly ... Gertie
James Donlan James Donlan ... Clark
George Davis ... The Frenchman
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Storyline

Hoping to get even with gambler/bookie Johnny Silk, racetrack owners and partners Dorval and Farley convince down-and-out Martha Preston to pose as a rich, single French countess, whom Silk falls in love with and asks to marry. After the marriage Martha, who has genuinely fallen in love with Silk, innocently feeds his inside betting information to Dorval, causing Silk to lose a fortune. When she realizes what she's done, she confesses all to her husband, who becomes enraged and orders her out of his life. Faced with poverty, she teams up once again with Dorval as he asks her to betray Silk one last time. Written by Doug Sederberg <vornoff@sonic.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

8 January 1932 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(TCM print)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Photophone System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The 5,000 franc bet Johnny makes about what drink will be ordered next would equate to about $200 at the time, or about $3,500 in 2016. See more »

Goofs

Martha hears music being played out on the street and goes to the window and looks down. She then throws a coin down to them. The violinist goes to pick up the coin from the sidewalk. However, the coin was already there in the first shot, before Martha throws it. See more »

Soundtracks

El Capitan
(1896) (uncredited)
Music by John Philip Sousa
Played at the racetrack
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Mary Astor and the Art of Scene Stealing
4 May 2006 | by bobliptonSee all my reviews

I'm not quite sure what happened to Ricardo Cortez' career. True enough, he was pretty shaky in his early talkies, still (mis)cast as the foreign lover with a Bowery accent, but by the time this movie was made, he was absolutely solid and well cast as a gambler. Perhaps by this point in his career, people were no longer interested in paying money to find out.

Mary Astor, on the other hand, had finally learned her craft. In silent movies, she had relied on her immense, youthful beauty. In her early talkies, she seems timid and overwhelmed, but by this time she knew how to steal a scene by repose: in a swirling sea of movement, she was the still spot. Think of her in THE MALTESE FALCON, seated in the armchair. Think of her in DODSWORTH offering her hand to Walter Huston. Think of her in PALM BEACH STORY chattering a mile a minute.... but no. Everyone is brilliant in a Preston Sturges comedy, and unexpected.

She is not note perfect here: a bit weak in the early scenes. But still, by the 20-minute mark in this one-hour programmer, she owns it. Take a look at it.


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