Friday, May 15, 2020

5 Against the House (1955)

This is an intriguing crime drama about a group of college students pulling off a heist of a Reno, Nevada casino. After a holiday trip to the casino, one of the students gets the idea of pulling off the perfect crime, and gets his classmates involved -- some of them against their will. One of them, a traumatized Korean war vet (Brian Keith) gets carried away and takes charge of the heist himself, with devastating consequences.

Directed by Phil Karlson, it builds some effective suspense about how the characters will be impacted by the scheme, but the heist itself is a relatively minor element compared with other films of this genre. The script is by a team of writers including Stirling Silliphant and Frank Tashlin. Guy Madison, Kerwin Mathewsm, and Kim Novak co-star.

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