Good performances from Tony Curtis and Kathryn Grant in the story of a man who rises from the inner city to run an exclusive gambling club. It’s directed by Blake Edwards. Cory is never given a first name.
Cory leaves his Chicago neighborhood for a job as a bus boy at a Wisconsin country club. His boss is the snobbish Mr.Earnshaw (Henry Daniell). Cory loves games of skill and makes some money on everything from poker to the putting green.
He’s a big winner when playing poker with his fellow employees. One night in the dining room he spots society dame Abby Vollard (Martha Hyer). His friends aren’t happy when he ducks out on their nightly poker game. He arranges to place himself in a spot where he’ll run into Abby.
She’s outside with her fiancee Alex Wyncott (William Reynolds). He wants her to marry him and take off with him. She says no. Alex walks off and Cory makes his presence known. His attitude makes her wonder.
The next day he fixes the engine in her speedboat so it won’t start. Instead of Abby her younger sister Jen (Kathryn Grant) shows up. He gets it going and Jen invites him to the house for a drink later that night. He meets the girls’ father (Willis Bouchey) who likes him. Jen takes him to the pool table and lets him know she knows exactly what he’s up to. She’s having fun with the situation.
No one knows he’s a bus boy. Abby is in the dining room and Cory quickly tells Earnshaw he doesn’t feel well and wants to go lie down. He meets up with Abby and tells her to meet him at the lake. Back in his room Earnshaw awaits. He demotes him to dishwasher.
Cory goes to the lake and there’s Jen. She says Abby took off to Chicago with Alex. Jen sets it up with him to meet Abby at the train station since she cancelled her trip. Abby drives like a maniac until he grabs the keys from the ignition. That’s all it takes for Abby to become attracted to him. She asks him to sneak off to New York with her for two weeks.
To get the money for the trip he gets into a high stakes poker game with club members. The game is run by Jeremiah Des Plains “Biloxi” Caldwell (Charles Bickford). Cory loses everything and has to tell Abby he can’t get away for a little while.
Abby comes to look for him at the club when fellow employee Andy (Harry Lauter), still stung from the earlier poker losses, leads Abby into the kitchen. She’s shocked and walks out. Cory decks Andy and the brawl is on. Earnshaw fires him.
A year later in Reno he meets up again with Caldwell. He’s a card shark whose ulcer won’t let him play anymore and he offers Cory a chance to learn from him and get into the big time for an even split. They travel the country and do very well. Caldwell tells him they have an offer from Ruby Matrobe (Russ Morgan). Caldwell doesn’t trust him because he’s a gangster but Cory accepts his offer to run an exclusive Chicago gambling club. He hires Earnshaw to be his manager.
Cory sends out opening night invitations to Jen, Abby and their parents. Jen shows up along with Abby and Alex. Cory asks Abby to meet him on his old street later that night. She does. At the club he sets up a dealer to make sure Alex wins. When he gets hooked, Alex goes on a losing streak.
He and Abby carry on a secret affair. Caldwell tells him to bring everything out in the open and stop Alex from losing all the time. Cory turns that down. One night Caldwell has Alex banned but Cory changes that. More confrontations to come.
This is an interesting drama with a nice wrap up.