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Gambling House

Gambling House(1951)

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The working titles of this film were Alias Mike Fury, Alias Marc Fury, Walk Softly, Stranger and Mr. Whiskers. Walk Softly, Stranger was also the release title of an unrelated 1950 RKO picture. The passage quoted in the film comes from the last paragraph of the Thomas Wolfe poem "The Promise of America," published in his book You Can't Go Home Again (New York, 1940): "So, then, to every man his chance/to every man, regardless of his birth, his shining golden opportunity/to every man the right to live, to work, to be himself, and to become whatever thing his manhood and his vision can combine to make him/this, seeker, is the promise of America."
       According to documents in the RKO Production Files at the UCLA Arts-Special Collections Library, the studio acquired Erwin Gelsey's unpublished short story in the early 1940s. Over the ensuing years, a number of writers worked on drafts of the screenplay, including Samuel Fuller. According to a Hollywood Reporter news item, Twentieth Century-Fox temporarily suspended Victor Mature when Mature failed to report for work on Gambling House, claiming the role was "not suitable for him." RKO borrowed Mature from Twentieth Century-Fox for the production, Terry Moore from Columbia Pictures and William Bendix from Hal Roach Studios. Leonidas Ossetynski, who plays "Mr. Sobieski" in the picture, was a former Polish prince and stage actor, and Loda Halama, who plays "Mrs. Sobieski," was a former star of the Warsaw Ballet, according to a Hollywood Reporter news item. Some modern sources refer to this film as a remake of the 1943 RKO release Mr. Lucky, but the two pictures, though similarly themed, are not related.