Any Number Can Play (1949)

Genres - Drama, Thriller  |   Sub-Genres - Family Drama  |   Release Date - Jul 15, 1949 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 112 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Any Number Can Play is a moderately entertaining if unspectacular little flick, given extra "oomph" by the presence of Clark Gable in the leading role. It's a familiar role for Gable -- an honest rogue, a man's man who lives by his own code of honor and always plays fair, even while making sure no one makes a sucker of him. By 1949, Gable could have played this role in his sleep, but he finds ways of breathing new life into this familiar part. It's a good thing he does, too, as he gets little help from co-star Alexis Smith, also playing a familiar role -- the ice queen who longs to be melted -- but never managing to imbue it with more than a spark of life. The rest of the cast is quite good, especially Frank Morgan, Lewis Stone, Barry Sullivan, and Mary Astor. And if the non-stop interiors stifle director Mervyn LeRoy a bit, he still keeps the pacing fairly taut and makes the most of a routine screenplay. Any Number Can Play is not all aces, but Gable and his colleagues turn it into a winning hand -- barely.