Mostly Fun

This film seems to be precursor to the character-driven crime films that have beeen so prevalent in recent years. But it's not really a crime film, it's largely a tale of determined people set against each other in unusual circumstances.

Those circumstances? A high stakes poker game in Laredo, into which Henry Fonda stumbles into, on the sly from wife Joanne Woodward, and bets the family savings. Complications, as you might expect, ensue. This is all about characterization, and without the polished performances, there's not quite enough plot to keep things along. The ending is somewhat predictable, including one fundamental plot twist, but it's oddly drawn out for one final point of irony that isn't worth the screen time. Up until then, it's pretty fun to watch. Two or three of the last five minutes could be cut to positive effect here.

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