6.5/10
115
6 user 2 critic

Never Trust a Gambler (1951)

Passed | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 13 July 1951 (USA)
A small-time gambler on the run from the law, hides in his ex-wife's house, accidentally kills a drunken detective during a fight and uses his ex-wife as a hostage during the final shootout with the LAPD.

Director:

Ralph Murphy

Writers:

Jesse Lasky Jr. (screenplay) (as Jesse L. Lasky Jr.), Jerome Odlum (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview:
Dane Clark ... Steve Garry
Cathy O'Donnell ... Virginia Merrill
Tom Drake ... Police Sgt. Ed Donovan
Jeff Corey ... Lou Brecker
Myrna Dell ... Dolores Alden
Rhys Williams ... Police Sgt. Quentin McCloy
Kathryn Card ... Phoebe
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Storyline

Small-time gambler flees town and hooks up with his ex-wife (Virginia) to avoid arrest for murder. Protecting Virginia from a masher, he accidentally kills the man, then tries to make it look like an accident. When police detect the crime and come after him, he goes on the run again, but this time with his wife as a hostage. Written by Mike Rogers <MICHAEL_PEM@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Be In On The Kill For The BIG KILLER HUNT! See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 July 1951 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

No Help from Heaven See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA

Company Credits

Production Co:

Columbia Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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User Reviews

Routine, at Best
5 October 2010 | by dougdoepkeSee all my reviews

Gambler-fugitive seeks refuge with ex-wife, even as police close in.

Except for the cleverly staged finale—a giant crane on the LA loading docks—it's a pretty pedestrian crime story. Despite the poor ratings from the professionals, I tuned in because of the cast. Clark makes an excellent tough-guy-with-soul as in Deep Valley (1947) and Moonrise (1948), while O'Donnell is enough to make a grown man cry in the transcendent They Live by Night (1948). What this film crucially lacks, however, is mood. It's filmed in straightforward unimaginative style, much like a TV episode. As a result, there's no complementary atmosphere to frame the twosome's particular talents, thereby largely wasting them. Too bad, because the film would likely do just as well with any number of lesser talents in the leads.

It doesn't help that the screenplay is unexceptional with few surprises, except maybe for the randy cop (Williams). Still, you wonder how such a crude guy could possibly stay on the force, let alone as a sergeant. It's also a cheaply produced programmer with two or three basic sets. At least, Columbia knew something more was needed, hence the scenic finale. All in all, the movie's a routine programmer, at best.


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