In attempting to sketch a portrait of a bigtime casino operator, screenwriter Richard Brooks has jammed the yarn [based on a novel by Edward Harris Heth] with too many subordinate characterizations which fly off at a tangent. Director Mervyn LeRoy, however, does a creditable job in integrating the secondary roles and sub-plots with an atmospheric consistency.
Pic’s thesis maintains that gambling is legitimate – if you re a winner. Yarn develops the point via a domestic break between Clark Gable, as the legalized gambling house operator, and his collegiate son who is ashamed of his pappy’s profession.
Gable effectively projects the hard-playing gambler with no sympathy for his son’s idealistic gripings.