Any Number Can Play

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Any Number Can Play
Any Number Can Play FilmPoster.jpeg
Directed by Mervyn LeRoy
Produced by Arthur Freed
Written by Edward Harris Heth (novel)
Richard Brooks
Starring Clark Gable
Alexis Smith
Production
company
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Mervyn LeRoy
Release dates
  • July 15, 1949 (1949-07-15)
Running time
112 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $1,363,000[1]
Box office $3,205,000[1]

Any Number Can Play is a 1949 drama film starring Clark Gable and Alexis Smith. It is based on the novel of the same name by Edward Harris Heth.

Plot[edit]

Casino owner Charley Enley Kyng (Clark Gable) is advised by his physician to slow down, after being diagnosed with a heart disease. Charley takes this under consideration, but he supports his own family as well as his wife's sister, Alice (Audrey Totter) and her husband, Robbin (Wendell Corey), who are in poor financial standing. Charley begins to change his life by quitting drinking and smoking as well as making another oft failed vow to spend more time with his wife and son.

Brother-in-law Robbin works as a dealer at Charley's casino. Destitute Robbin can't pay off the $2,000 gambling debt he owes to a gangster, who sends his two goons Lew Debretti (Richard Rober) and Frank Sistina (William Conrad) after him. The dealer agrees to admit the goons to the casino, and use loaded dice to let them win at craps. Charley's son Paul (Darryl Hickman) expresses shame about his father's line of work to his mother, Lon (Alexis Smith). His date for the prom found out about his father and decided not to go with him after all. Charley tries to get his son to accompany him on a fishing trip in the mountains, but the son refuses. Charley and his family get a visit from a very dissatisfied couple of customers, Mr. and Mrs. Lorgan. They lost their entire savings at his casino and demand their money back. Charley doesn't agree to this, and the meeting ends with threats and tears. Lon feels bad about the way they are making their living.

Charley is depressed by the breakdown of his personal life, but still rejects an invitation from a woman working at the casino, Ada (Mary Astor), who wants to sleep with him. Paul gets into a brawl at the prom because of his father's business, and is arrested together with a few other boys from school. Charley goes there to get his son out of jail, but Paul doesn't want to speak with him. Instead, Paul follows his mother home and, later in the evening, to the casino. During their visit, a big-time gambler named Jim Kurstyn (Frank Morgan) is about to win enough to bankrupt the whole casino. Ethically committed to fairness, Charley refuses to shut the game down and lets the man bet as much as he wants. As the game ends, the gangster's goons try to rob the place. With the help of his son and supportive regulars, Charley manages to overpower the goons. Father and son are then able to reconcile and the family's happiness is restored. Charley then wagers against his casino staff for the entire casino operation. They draw cards; Charley loses by concealing his winning card. Charley, Lon and Paul walk happily away arm in arm.

Cast[edit]

Release[edit]

According to MGM records the film earned $2,466,000 in the US and Canada and $739,000 overseas resulting in a profit of $763,000.[1]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c The Eddie Mannix Ledger, Los Angeles: Margaret Herrick Library, Center for Motion Picture Study .