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Author Topic: Five Card Stud (1968)  (Read 2389 times)
cigar joe
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« on: December 18, 2007, 09:09:57 PM »

Director Henry Hathaway with:

Dean Martin ...  Van Morgan
Robert Mitchum ...  The Rev. Jonathan Rudd
Inger Stevens ...  Lily Langford
Roddy McDowall ...  Nick Evers
Katherine Justice ...  Nora Evers
John Anderson ...  U.S.Marshal Al Dana
Ruth Springford ...  Mama Malone (saloon owner)
Yaphet Kotto ...  Little George (Mama's bartender)
Denver Pyle ...  Sig Evers (rancher)

Hathaway as a Western director seems a bit hit or miss hits like True Grit, Nevada Smith, mixed with lesser Westerns, Sons of Katie Elder, Garden of Evil and North To Alaska.  He was one of the three directors of How The West Was Won. Five Card Stud in 1968 is a miss, but it definitely has some Spaghetti Western touches (archetypes such as coffins, crosses, hidden guns in bibles, a shootout in a cemetery) but little style. Its watchable enough to still be just barely entertaining.

It has an ok type of who-done-it "Ten Little Indians" plot revolving the participants in a poker game who lynched a card cheat with Dean Martin (always cool) playing the gambler. Roddy McDowall is seriously miss cast as the villan, this disaster drops a blandness over the whole film. Robert Mitchum plays a gun toting preacher. Inger Stevens in a break from her usual ice queen performances plays a more thawed madam of a barber shop/whorehouse, who price list is Shave $1.00 Haircut $2.00, and Miscellaneous $20.00

The participants of the lynching start to mysteriously die each by a form of strangulation, its not too hard to guess who is doing it about half way through the film.

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« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2007, 11:10:43 PM »

  AMC used to show this constantly a few years back, and I would always sit down and watch it.  Always kept me entertained, and like you said cigar, Dean-o was always cool.  And by about the half hour mark if a viewer doesn't know who's responsible for all the mysterious killings, they probably shouldn't be watching the movie.  Wink

  Found these at Youtube, the opening credits w/ the catchy theme song and then the final scene, no spoilers really, with the song again. 

Opening credits
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y0dv_OpaJio

Last scene, closing credits
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vat6bI7fzDw

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« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2007, 03:45:29 AM »

Yea Dino was mega cool in real life, I used to always catch The Dean Martin Show regularly in the 60's his covers of popular songs  & Country Western songs were usually better than the originals.

As far as his films I've never seen any of them that match his DMS persona, the closest  I've seen is "Kiss Me Stupid" where he plays a showbiz star named "Dino", lol, Bandolero is probably the best Western of what I've seen, the ones that I'd like to see is "Rough Night In Jerico" where he is the villan, and possibly "Something Big" but I think I saw the later once and was not impressed enough to remember much about it.

« Last Edit: December 20, 2007, 03:51:36 AM by cigar joe » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2007, 11:23:50 AM »

  I've always liked Dean in westerns, here in FCS, but also Bandolero and his teamings with the Duke, Rio Bravo as Dude, the drunken deputy and Sons of Katie Elder as Tom, the gambler.  I also want to catch 4 For Texas, a Rat Pack western.  I remember watching the first 25, 30 minutes and liking it.  The only other western I can find on IMDB is Sergeants 3, another Rat Pack movie, but I haven't seen it.

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« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2010, 07:02:53 PM »

Mitchum's performance as a kind of reprise of his "hate-love" character is one of his worst ever.He musta have been half drunk because he constantly mumbles his lines (well, at least I have that impression). Anyway, it never ends. 5\10 

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Spikeopath
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« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2017, 08:32:01 PM »

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0062626/reference

When he played he played for blood.

5 Card Stud is directed by Henry Hathaway and adapted to screenplay by Marguerite Roberts from a novel written by Ray Gaulden. It stars Robert Mitchum, Dean Martin, Inger Stevens, Roddy McDowall, Katherine Justice, John Anderson, Ruth Springford and Yaphet Kotto. Music is by Maurice Jarre and cinematography by Daniel L. Fapp.

Rincon, Colorado and when a gambler is caught cheating at poker, the rest of the players administer frontier justice and hang the man. All except one man that is, Van Morgan (Martin), who tried desperately to stop the lynching. When members of the card school from that night start being killed off, it's clear that somebody is also administering their own brand of retribution justice. Morgan teams up with the new unorthodox preacher in town, Reverend Jonathan Rudd (Mitchum), to try and crack the case.

I don't think anyone would seriously try to argue that 5 Card Stud is a great movie, but it is a fun picture made by people who knew their way around the dusty plains of the Western genre. Basically a Western take on Agatha Christie's Ten Little Indians, it's a whodunit at the core, but surrounded by Western staples as fights, gun-play, murders, barroom shenanigans and thinly veiled prostitution exist during the run time, while the Durango location photography is most pleasant (TCM HD print is gorgeous).

It's not short of flaws, mind. Jarre's musical score is simply odd, I'm not even sure what film genre he thought he was scoring, but it's about as far removed as being in tune with a film as can be. McDowall as a whiny weasel villain doesn't work, the costuming is a bit sub-par and the reveal of the perpetrator is revealed too early. Yet film overcomes these problems because being in the company of Mitchum and Martin brings rewards.

Dino harks back to his Western glory days in the likes of Rio Bravo, and Mitch gets to parody his Night of the Hunter preacher whilst adding six- shooter charms into the bargain. The girls are short changed by the writing, but both Stevens and Justice grace the picture with their presence, and Kotto enlivens a role that quite easily could have been standard fare. A good time to be had with this Poker Oater 7/10

« Last Edit: February 09, 2017, 08:28:19 PM by Spikeopath » Logged
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« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2017, 03:02:27 AM »

Thank heavens THE WILD BUNCH came along, and OUATITW, and LITTLE BIG MAN...
5 CARD is one of those westerns that could have meant the end of the genre. Great people I really admire doing "another one" just for the sake of it. Like BANDOLERO or THE UNDEFEATED.

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« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2017, 05:27:06 AM »

Thank heavens THE WILD BUNCH came along, and OUATITW, and LITTLE BIG MAN...
5 CARD is one of those westerns that could have meant the end of the genre. Great people I really admire doing "another one" just for the sake of it. Like BANDOLERO or THE UNDEFEATED.

I easily agree completely.
5 Card Stud is Hathaway's weakest western, his only weak western. Uninspired in every respect, but Dino is still good, while Mitchum seems to be very bored. 4/10

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