The Cincinnati Kid

Posted on January 5, 2013 by

(1965)
102 min. – drama
Directed by: Norman Jewison
Written by: Richard Jessup, Ring Lardner Jr.
Starring: Steve McQueen

The Cincinnati Kid

Eric Stoner, aka “The Kid,” a young poker player wants to take on Lancey Howard, “The Man,” a master poker player.  Despite warnings from his friend Shooter not to take on Howard the Kid decides to play. Before the game is played Howard plays against William Jefferson Slade with Shooter as the dealer. Howard comes out victorious taking Slade’s pride and his $6,000.

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Slade then tries to bribe Shooter into dealing in the Kid’s favor in the upcoming game. The Shooter doesn’t want to compromise his integrity and refuses but gives in after Slade blackmails him. At one point in the game the Kid finds out and tells Shooter to stop dealing in his favor as he is confident that he could win on his own.

Poker players will love this movie since it is all about poker. Before the main game between the Kid and the Man there are several games played by other characters which ultimately affect the main game.

The opening scene will grip the viewer from the start. Robinson, McQueen and Malden were appropriately cast for their roles and were quite convincing. Filmed in New Orleans the movie shows a great deal of the city during that three day poker tournament. While the plot is familiar, the underdog trying to overthrow the reigning king, nothing else is predictable about the film.

The secondary plots all support the main storyline so viewers are never bored or at a lost in the film. The female actors are a stark contrast to one another but add a bit of glamour, maybe a bit too much. Back to the poker scenes, they’re tense, well thought out and so realistic that poker players won’t be in the least bit disappointed.

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