The Gambler (1980)

DailyView: Day 238, Movie 327

I needed a movie that would fit into the small window I had today and I went on to Peacock to find it. I almost watched it last night before Hawkeye episode 6 was broadcast, but time got away from me. So I picked up The Gambler, starring country music superstar, the late Kenny Rogers.

The Gambler is a Western. Kenny Rogers played poker connoisseur Brady Hawkes, a grifter who received a letter from a son (Ronnie Scribner) he did not know he had. His son, Jeremiah, wrote that he and his mother needed his help.

As he was traveling by train, Hawkes met a young, brash gambler named Billy Montana (Bruce Boxleitner) who was cheating in a poker game. Hawkes taught Billy a lesson taking his money from him.

This was a fun, TV movie form 1980. Kenny Rogers is fine, though you can tell he is not an experienced actor. We get several examples of poker playing and we see how Brady Hawkes is an amazing gambler. The friendship between Hawkes and Billy that built through the movie and they worked well together.

The poker game they played with the character Doc Palmer (Lance LeGault) was really great and brought an intensity to a card game that was unexpected.

I liked this for what it was. It was a decent Western with good characters and a simple story. Most of the time, if you got that, then you’ve got something.

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