In 1930s New Orleans, the Cincinnati Kid, a young stud poker player who travels from one big game to the next, stopping along the way up with various girls, is pitted against the legendary champion card-sharp Lancey Howard in a high-stakes poker game.Written by
There had been talk about Cary Grant taking the role of Lancey Howard, although it is unlikely that Grant would have conceded first billing to Steve McQueen. See more »
Strings to the chickens can be seen in the cock fight sequence. See more »
You call that an argument?
No, that's a fact. The argument's leaning over there against the door jamb.
[Referring to his muscleman]
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In 2005, the BBFC cut this release further compared to the previous 1993 edits. UK cinema release in 1970 and early video versions were cut by 38 seconds to a scene featuring a cockfight (scenes involving cockfights are always cut by the BBFC). The 2005 wide-screen version substituted some scenes though the cuts were lengthened to 1 min 4 secs. See more »
"There's always a kid", says Edward G. Robinson's character, "the man", in this film, and I guess there's always a man as well. In fact, the Cincinatti Kid is just about the least kid-like kid you could imagine, as Steve MacQueen was little more than ten years away from his death-bed when he played the part. I don't know what it is I like about Steve MacQueen: either his acting is very subtle indeed, or it's virtually non-existent, but there's something about his strong, silent, only reluctantly violent heroes that is innately more appealing than, say, the "make my day, punk" attitude of Clint Eastwood. Robinson's suave gambler is also an appealing figure in this movie. There's also some good use of traditional New Orleans jazz (but also some nasty, obvious strings on the soundtrack as well, reminding one of the equally ugly music in director Jewision's 'In the Heat of the Night', made at around the same time).
There are obvious parallels between this film and 'the Hustler', but while more modern, this film is also simpler in construction: there are some side-plots but ultimately, the characterisation (though strong) is static and it all comes down to the cards on the table. Someone wins, someone loses; but that's always the way. This isn't the deepest film you'll ever see, but it remains an immensely watchable one.
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