Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Director Gerry Mayer, nephew of MGM-head Louis B. Mayer, proved that nepotism had nothing to do with his hiring by turning out the first-rate historical melodrama Inside Straight. The film begins in 1870 San Francisco, as the city is threatened with financial disaster due to overspeculation on the Comstock Lode. David Brian stars as local tycoon Rip MacCool, who in a series of flashbacks recalls his rise to prominence. While wheeling and dealing with other people's money, MacCool loves and loses two wives: Lily Douvane (Arlene Dahl) takes him for every penny he's got, while Zoe Carnot (Paula Raymond) dies in childbirth. Back in the present, MacCool is forced to make a fateful decision that will, for once, benefit someone else rather than himself. In a supporting role as town banker Ada Stritch, Mercedes McCambridge figures prominently in the final sequence, in which everything hinges on the titular poker hand.
ambition, bank, cards, childbirth, con/scam, corruption, death, finances, fortune [wealth], gambling, greed, hatred, help, home, loot, on-the-run, panic, running, ruthlessness, town, wager, wife, man