Alpha Video

Two Dollar Bettor

Obsessed with gambling, a once respectable man is forced into a life of crime to cover his debts.
Rating 4.1
9 ratings
Movie on IMDb
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Item:  ALP 4331D
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DVD Features:

  • Rated: Not Rated
  • Run Time: 1 hours, 12 minutes
  • Video: Black & White
  • Released:
  • Originally Released: 1951
  • Label: Alpha Video
  • Encoding: Region 0 (Worldwide)
  • Packaging: Keep Case
  • Aspect Ratio: Full Frame - 1.33

Performers, Cast and Crew:

Cinematography by
Directed by
Music by
Performer: , &
Starring , &

Description by OLDIES.com:

A family man loses everything in this horrifying tale of gambling addiction! John Hewitt (John Litel) is a straight-laced widower with two teenage daughters whom he "loves too deeply." One day he goes with friends to the race track and, as a lark, places a two dollar bet and wins. He becomes totally seduced by the rush of the race. Within weeks "JH," as John is known to his bookie, is cashing in his life savings and risking everything with long shot bets. Finding himself in a hole that grows deeper by the day, "JH" finds solace in the arms of grifter Mary Slate (femme fatale Marie Windsor), who along with her no good ex-con husband Rick (Steve Brodie), set him up for a twenty thousand dollar fall.

Two-Dollar Bettor is a classic '50s "problem picture" - part noir gangster exploitation and part campy morality play, filled with glittering production design that offers an insightful and now nostalgic window into America's past.

Product Description:

When a young man gets hooked on gambling he begins a long, spiralling descent.

Plot Keywords:

Road To Ruin | Theatrical Release

Movie Lovers' Ratings & Reviews:

Customer Rating: Rating 4.1
Based on 9 ratings.
Write an online review to share your thoughts with other customers.
Rating 4.0 Classic Campy "B" Movie Movie Lover: from NJ -- October, 9, 2008

A guy who has no interest in gambling, tags along with his friends to the race track, places a $2 bet for the heck of it, and the next thing you know, he's a gambling addict... stealing money from work, and trying to break even so he can stop gambling. A very entertaining ( and unintentionally funny) cautionary "B" movie tale. Keep an eye peeled for a grown-up Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer (He's easy to spot, because he still looks the same as an adult!!)


Rating 4.0 Bet you'll like this one Movie Lover: from somewhere out there -- May, 12, 2006

Also known as Beginner's Luck. A devoted father of two beloved daughters falls from grace on his first visit to a horse track, when he places a fateful two-dollar bet and wins ten bucks. The excitement of the whole thing is infectious and before you can say "overblown moralistic melodrama" he's hooked and out of control, spending all his life savings on racing bets. When he goes through his own money, he embezzles more from the bank where he works and loses that. His brother loans him money to get him out of trouble and he swears to give up gambling... but of course he can't and gets hit with more bad luck. The woman who collects his bets exploits him, which really greases the rails on his downward spiral. Look for a bit by Barbara "June Cleaver" Billingsley as a secretary in this decent cautionary tale, which plays kind of like an Afterschool Special for grownups.


Rating 4.0 Could compulsive gambling really be this much fun? Movie Lover: from Benson, AZ -- May, 10, 2004

Sometimes those Poverty Row studios put out a surprisingly good product. This is a fun movie and it actually does teach a lesson. John Litel (best remembered from the "Henry Aldrich" series, is a straight-laced banker who is known and liked by everyone. He is a widower who is devoted to his daughters and a conscientious worker. One night his friends get him to visit a race track and he innocently places a $2 bet and wins $93. Well that does it! Quicker than you can say "Gamblers Anonymous" he is placing bets all the time. At first he has a winning streak that even Nathan Detroit would envy and he buys his eldest daughter a fancy new car and generally lives it up.
Of course all winning sreaks have to end and John's eventually does. Too bad the Gambling Bug has bitten him rather deeply and his only ambition is to win back everything he has lost. Soon he is "borrowing" funds from the bank vault and juggling the books. When John finds out the auditor is coming to check the books he at first does not know where to turn. Just when you find yourself saying "Oh no! Don't tell me he's going to get mixed up with gangsters!" guess what happens. Small time bookie Steve Brodie and his sultry assistant Marie Windsor persuade John they know of a sure thing and get him to lift $20,000 from the vault for a bet he cannot lose. Would you care to . . .er . . .bet what happens? John finds out he is about to be double crossed and goes to Steve's apartment with a gun. Will he be in time? Is a mild mannered banker a match for streetwise gamblers? What about John's career?
You'll find out, and I feel safe in saying you will not be disappointed.
Marie Windsor went on to do things like CAT WOMEN OF THE MOON and ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET THE MUMMY. Steve Brodie later turned up in THE GIANT SPIDER INVASION.


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Product Info:

  • Sales Rank: 8,282
  • UPC: 089218433190
  • Shipping Weight: 0.48/lbs (approx)
  • International Shipping: 1 item

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Film Collectors & Archivists: Alpha Video is actively looking for rare and unusual pre-1943 motion pictures, in good condition, from Monogram, PRC, Tiffany, Chesterfield, and other independent studios for release on DVD. We are also interested in TV shows from the early 1950s. Share your passion for films with a large audience. Let us know what you have.