Synopsis: Just arrived in Argentina, small-time crooked gambler Johnny Farrell is saved from a gunman by sinister Ballin Mundson, who later makes Johnny his right-hand man. But their friendship based on mutual lack of scruples is strained when Mundson returns from a trip with a wife: the supremely desirable Gilda, whom Johnny once knew and learned to hate. The relationship of Johnny and Gilda, a battlefield of warring emotions, becomes even more bizarre after Mundson disappears...
Director(s): Charles Vidor
Production: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  1 win & 1 nomination.
Rotten Tomatoes:
110 min



To me, a dollar was a dollar

in any language.

It was my first night

in the Argentine

and I didn't know much about

the local citizens.

But I knew about American sailors,

and I knew I'd better get out of there.

Put your hands up. Up!


Get going.

A cane like that can come in handy.

It is a most faithful friend.

Silent when I wish to be silent,

talks when I wish to talk.

That's your idea of a friend?

That is my idea of a friend.

You must lead a gay life.

I lead the life I like to lead.

You're a lucky man.

I make my own luck.

What are you doing

in a neighborhood like this?

I came down to save your life.

He wouldn't have killed me

if I'd give him the money.

But you wouldn't have given him

the money.

I don't think I would.

How did you get it?

Get what?

The money you would have died for.


I'll leave you here.



I'll do the same for you sometime.

Save my life?

Give you a cigarette.

Why don't you go where

there's some real gambling?

Thought it was illegal in Buenos Aires.

Oh, it is.

Oh, I see. Just like home.

There's a casino about

a half hour the other side of town.

Here's the key.


But don't go.

Why not?

They won't let you use

your own dice.

What? I didn't think it showed.

A man who makes his own luck,

as I do, recognizes it in others.

In any event,

they won't let you in without a tie.

The spot is not on your nose yet.

Who's he?

A loafer.

Would you like a fine perfume,

suitable for nobility?

No, thanks.

We have a talcum powder

as soft as raw silk.

No, thanks.


Yeah, thank you.


Oh. Mm-hm.


Hey, who's she?

A harpy.

How would you classify me?



Place your bets, ladies and gentlemen.

Place your bets.

Ladies and gentlemen,

place your bets.

Place your bets, ladies and gentlemen.

Place your bets.



Number two, 1000 pesos.

No more bets.

Number two, black.

Number two.

Place your bets, ladies and gentlemen.

Place your bets.

Place your bets.

Two chips.

A thousand pesos, sir.



The player's allowed to cut at any time.

Of course.

A thousand pesos.



As usual, I made my own luck

and I knew just when

to stop letting it ride.


Hey, bud, the director

wants to see you.

Is Brooklyn across the river

here too?




Thanks, peasant.

Where is he?

Don't worry, bub. He'll be here.

How would you like

1000 pesos apiece?

You don't buy your way out of this, bub.

You're in trouble.

Oh, now wait a minute.


All right, Casey, Huerta.

Well, well. The little man

with the sharp friend.

I told you not to bring your dice.

"Well, well" again.

You really had me fooled last night.

I thought you were somebody.

I didn't think you'd just

be the manager of a gambling joint.

My name is Ballin Mundson.

Mine's Johnny Farrel.

And I'm not the manager,

I own the joint.

And I don't like to be cheated.

There isn't a dice table in the house.

Nobody wins that much at 21


I hit a lucky streak.

A very deft way of cutting cards.

Took me years to learn.

Of course you ought to be in jail.

But I suppose I owe you an obligation

since I saved your life.

You ought to be more careful

about those things.

Now get out of here.

Don't come back.

You know, you're being very stupid.


You had me gambling

on the wrong side. I'll be better

if you had me on your side.

I don't like my people to cheat.

I cheat with my own money, sure.

But with your money, I wouldn't

have to cheat. Think it over.

You know, I think I will.

How much time do you give me?

Oh, there's no hurry.

You can take a minute or two.

Excuse me while

you're making up your mind.


Not you.

You really shouldn't hit a man when

he has his hands behind his back.

You see?

This way you'll have two friends.

You've no idea how faithful

and obedient I can be

for a nice salary.

This I must be sure of,

that there is no woman anywhere.

There's no woman anywhere.

Gambling and women do not mix.

Those are the very words I use myself.

Now shall we quit talking about it?

There was one once?

Get this, Mr. Mundson.

I was born last night

when you met me in that alley.

That way I'm no past

and all future, see?

And I like it that way.


He let me ease myself

right to the top.

At first, I just watched the play

and the check-offs.

By the way,

about that time, the war ended.





Great news. I thought

we ought to celebrate too.

Oh, yes, of course.


I have to take a trip, Johnny.

I may be gone for a while.

You're in charge of the casino.

You've been promoted.

Faithful service. Do I get a raise?

No. Fair enough?

Fair enough.

But you do get 5 percent of the profits.

I'll take 7 and a half.

Heh, heh,

you're sharp, Johnny.

Almost as sharp as my other

little friend.

But not quite so obedient.


My other little friend

would kill for me, Johnny.

Well, that's what friends are for.

To us, Johnny.

To the three of us.

The three of us.


Makes me laugh now to think back,

me so sure it was just the three of us.

I soon found out, all right.

I remember it was late

one afternoon.

I was getting ready

for the Saturday night crowd.

Funny I'd remember

what day it was, isn't it?

Isn't it enough?

For a peasant?

Mr. Farrel, Mr. Mundson called.

Just got back.

Like you to come around to his house.

Thank you.

After all, I run the place.

He calls me Mr. Farrel.

Isn't that better?


You'd think a bell would've rung

or you'd think I'd have

had some instinct of warning.

But I didn't.

I just walked right into it.


Seor Mundson will be down

in a moment.


It's great having him back, isn't it?

I hope it will be the same,

Seor Farrel.


Johnny, is that you?

Hello, Ballin.

Come on up here.

Well, what are you crying about?

I feel great.

You look foolish.

Ha, ha. I'll show you why.

Where's the canary?

How did you know?

How did I know what?

So you don't know. Come.

This is where the canary is, Johnny.

Quite a surprise to hear a woman

singing in my house, eh, Johnny?



It's quite a surprise.

Gilda, are you decent?


Sure, I'm decent.

Gilda, this is Johnny Farrel.

Johnny, this is Gilda.


So this is Johnny Farrel.

I've heard a lot about you.


Now, I haven't heard a word about you.


Why, Ballin!

I wanted to keep it as a surprise.

Was it a surprise, Mr. Farrel?

It certainly was.

You should have seen his face.

Did you tell him what I'm doing here?


No, I wanted to save that

as a surprise too.

Hang onto your hat, Mr. Farrel.

Gilda is my wife, Johnny.

Mrs. Ballin Mundson, Mr. Farrel.

Is that all right?



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Marion Parsonnet

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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