The Lady Gambles is an entry in the psychiatric sweepstakes – this time of a gal who becomes a gambling addict because of a guilt complex.
Story [based on one by Lewis Meltzer and Oscar Saul, adaptation by Halsted Welles] meanders too long for top results. Veiled hints are tossed out from time to time on the reasons for the gal’s mental instability but, when it is finally revealed at the end, the story twist has lost its punch.
Barbara Stanwyck is the lady who gambles and the role is practically a tour de force for her, giving her numerous opportunities for emotions, ranging from humor to hysterics. She does her usual capable job. Standout in the film is Stephen McNally, as the professional gambler who takes her under his wing until she snafus even his operations with her excesses, then drops her cold.