Gambling With Souls (1936)

The evils of gambling, especially in a crooked club, can only lead to murder and ruin. Watchable because it’s not preachy and a look at what was supposed to be edgy scenes of women in..well….for the time, not much.

The movie open as the cops raid Lucky Wilder’s club. They hear shots. They break down a door. There’s Mae Miller holding a gun. On the floor is the now not so Lucky Wilder. At the police station, Mae tells her story.

Mae is married to a brain surgeon who hasn’t hit the big time. She wants nice things but she’ll just have to wait. One day she goes to a garden party where there’s bridge and boxing matches.

She wins some bucks at bridge and Molly Murdock tells her how she can get more. That night she takes her to Lucky Wilder’s club.  Mae doesn’t know it but Molly runs a string of hookers. Lucky gives the word to let Mae win. She buys herself a car and other things. Dr.Miller thinks they were all given to her. Not much brains for a brain surgeon.

The Doc is out of town a lot and that gives Mae a chance to continue her downslide. One night Wilder sets up his pal ‘Million Dollar’ Taylor to meet Mae and Molly at the wrestling matches. Mae gets drunk thanks to the stuff Taylor pours in her drinks at the bouts.

Mae goes home drunk and turned on. The Doc is not home. Eventually Mae ends up owing Wilder over ten grand. Only one way to pay it off. Taylor is her first trick. He pays her a grand and she uses it to lower her debt to Wilder. Nine grand to go. Molly tells her how to pay off the rest.

One night Wilder goes to a friend’s club. In walks the Doc and Mae’s sister Carolyn. A few tables away two guys get into a fight and one stabs the other. Doc goes upstairs to treat the injured party. Out in the hall he hears a familar laugh from behind a door. Guess who, Doc?

While he’s upstairs Molly gets Carolyn into the net. Things only get worse. Some consider this a cult classic. I wouldn’t go that far but it is worth seeing as a time piece that tries to expose the evils of the era.

About vintage45

I'm a big fan of vintage books,movies,TV shows and music. I encourage everyone to patronize your local used book/record store and pick up some of the good stuff. My posts are capsule reviews of some favorites that you may want to investigate. The albums posted aren't really reviews but items from my collection that are still available. I try and point out highlights of each one and let the music speak for itself. Thanks to all for checking out the blog.
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