Drawn to an alluring beauty he meets aboard a train, a Russian writer follows her into an elegant casino. There he is intrigued by the obsessive life she and her father share, risking their fortunes and their futures on the spin of a roulette wheel.
Drawn to an alluring beauty he meets aboard a train, a Russian writer follows her into an elegant casino. There he is intrigued by the obsessive life she and her father share, risking their fortunes and their futures on the spin of a roulette wheel. At first the writer is a mere observer. But soon he is drawn inexorably into a madness that threatens to destroy him.
An all-star cast headed by Gregory Peck and Ava Gardner headlines this lush period drama inspired by Fyodor Dostoyevsky's The Gambler, etching portraits of sinners great and small caught in a vortex of self-destruction.
Based loosely on the Dostoyevsky novel, THE GAMBLER stars Gregory Peck as a sensitive 19th-century Russian author. His "great sin" is gambling, which starts when he attempts to rescue aristocratic Ava Gardner from the gaming tables. He succeeds, only to lose himself to gambling fever, which costs him his friends, his reputation and his talent. Director Robert Siodmak was never happy with the screenplay for THE GREAT SINNER, constant revisions bloated the film's rough-cut running time to nearly six hours! After Siodmak pared the film down, MGM insisted that the director reshoot the love scenes. Siodmak refused, thus the new sequences were filmed sans screen credit by Mervin LeRoy.
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