Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 199: Wed Jul 20

The Gambler (Reisz, 1974): Prince Charles Cinema, 6pm

This film, starring the late James Caan, is part of the Cinematic Jukebox season at the Prince Charles Cinema. Full details here

Time Out review:
James Caan's gambler (a fine performance) is a university lecturer who gets into hot water with the mobsters over his debts, and uses Dostoievsky to intellectualise his weakness into tragic compulsion. Predictably, his increasingly desperate measures are at the expense of those closest to him, and are accompanied by a deepening masochistic streak. In keeping with this definition of classic impulses, Karel Reisz's direction is panoramic, with aspirations towards the epic, when it should have been closer in and faster. The result is a highly melodramatic and romantic film, for all the veneer of disillusion, whose weighty statement too often swamps the potentially strong suspense. The Gambler looks all the more old-fashioned for coming in the wake of Robert Altman's systematic demythology of the subject in California Split; and James Toback showed how his script might perhaps have been tackled when he came to make his own directing debut with Fingers.
Chris Peachment

Here (and above) is the trailer.

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