Saturday, July 16, 2011

Gambling Lady (1934)

You've just gotta love Barbara Stanwyck!

So she's supposed to be a tough girl, but honest. Her father is a gambler who always plays it straight, even when his luck fails him.

Working for a gambling ring called "The Syndicate", he falls on hard times, and a bookie friend named Charlie looks out for them. (SIDE NOTE: The Syndicate is somewhat sinister and in an early seen is shown to be multi-racial. I think this was meant to be ominous at the time, but to a modern audience it looks like a meeting of the UN).

Later, she goes into business for herself as a gambler and does pretty well - but always honestly. When a nice young man from a rich family falls for her at first she thinks it will never work, but she won't take a bribe to jilt him.
Her sense of honesty, loyalty and honor ends up serving her well when someone close to her is framed for a crime and only her reputation can save her from ruin.

She's kind of like a Golden Age version of Goody Proctor, if you really think about it, only with a happy ending. Stanwyck is excellent.

Three stars, would definitely watch again (Margo wasn't as much of a fan).