Review: ‘Any Number Can Play’

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.

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.

Any Number Can Play

Production

M-G-M. Director Mervyn LeRoy; Producer Arthur Freed; Writer Richard Brooks; Camera Harold Rosson Editor Ralph E. Winters; Music Lenny Hayton

Crew

(B&W) Extract of a review from 1949. Running time: 102 MIN.

With

Clark Gable Alexis Smith Wendell Corey Audrey Totter Mary Astor Lewis Stone
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