Sunday, September 25, 2011

5 Card Stud (1968)

Synopsis: Gamblers drop like fruitflies in October when creepy preacher comes to town.

Blurb From the VHS Jacket: “A stranger is caught cheating in a game of five-card stud in a Rincon, Colorado saloon in 1880. Van Morgan (Dean Martin) unsuccessfully tries to save the gambler’s life as the other five players lynch the cheat. Meanwhile, a gold rush has brought a group of outsiders to Rincon, like gun-toting preacher Jonathan Rudd (Robert Mitchum) and Lily Langford (Inger Stevens), with her collection of beautiful lady ‘barbers’.”

What Did I Learn?: If you’re ever going to pull a Derringer out of a hollowed-out Bible, make sure the book is right-side-up.

You Might Like This Movie If: You’re looking for a film that combines a serious message about the dangers of vigilantism with Dean Martin’s 'aw-shucks' affability.

Really?: Van Morgan is safe in Denver when he hears of the murders in Rincon. Instead of – oh, I don’t know... getting the hell out of Colorado, he comes back to town knowing full well that somebody’s trying to bump him off.

Rating: 5 Card Stud is a strange breed of movie: a western murder mystery. The film’s a bit too long, the tension is reduced when Roddy McDowell departs, and there aren’t that many credible suspects, but it’s still enjoyable. 7.5/10 stars.

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