Saturday, November 9, 2013

DON'T GAMBLE WITH STRANGERS (1946)

I enjoyed this low-budget "poverty row" picture way more than I thought I would.  The story is about a professional gambler (Kane Richmond) who teams up with another professional gambler (Bernadene Hayes) and together they travel around acting like a brother and sister all the while liberating money from suckers.  One day they come across a rich guy on a train who takes a liking to the sister, so they let him win a little thinking it'll lead to a bigger score.  Making up a story about going to the same town as him they start working on him when out of nowhere an even bigger score appears.  Next thing you know the two are making money hand over fist when Kane sets his eyes on a local young lady that's set in to inherit a fortune!

There isn't much action, but the 67 minute runtime flies by watching the unscrupulous Kane running over whoever he has to to make money.  Fast story, interesting ways to get around an obviously low budget, a young lady who singing voice sounds like a tea kettle whistling, solid direction by the workhorse William Beaudine (who also directed the previous year's BLACK MARKET BABIES as well as 70 other movies between 1942 and 1953!!!) and good performances by a number of familiar faces including Addison Richard, Charles Trowbridge, Anthony Caruso, Philip Van Zandt, Edith Evanson, Harold Goodwin, Mary Field, Leonard Mudie and more.  Recommended.