Any Number Can Play (1949)
Release date: July 15, 1949
Directed by: Mervyn Leroy
Available on DVD through The Warner Brothers Archive Collection
Gable is Charley King, the owner of a gambling house in New York. After learning he has a heart problem, he begins to re-evaluate his life: his relationship with his wife (Smith) and teenage son, his business and his associates.
Watch the trailer :
“Howdy, kid.” first line
“Took me twenty years to get here. They said I’d never do it alone. But I did, I’m here, on top.”
“What you’re saying is if I give up living, I’ll live.”
“Since when is money so indecent?”
“Let me tell you something about gambling. You know how many decks of cards were bought last year? Over sixty million! And more than five million pair of dice! I didn’t use all of them, believe me. More than half the people gamble and I didn’t force one, not one, to come to my place.”
“Honest kid, I don’t think you’re old enough to judge your father.”
“Why is it I can get along with everyone except my own kid?”
“Funny thing, all my life I’ve tried to play it smart, keep the percentages working for me. You know why most people lose in the gambling house? They play too long. Even the house can lose, I guess, if it plays too long.”
“Sometimes a fellow plays so long, he forgets the chips count for real money.”
“Who cares about a gambler? Certainly not those who lost money to him. Friend? Up until now I’ve never needed one. Maybe that’s why I had so many.”
“There’s always a first time.” last line
Behind the Scenes:
MGM couldn’t find a suitable leading lady available in their roster to play Gable’s wife, so Alexis Smith was borrowed from Warner Brothers. Gable wasn’t too keen on her casting so to make it more pleasant for him, they cast his longtime friends Mary Astor and Frank Morgan in supporting roles.
Shooting began on January 4, 1949 and went on for forty-three days. The production cost $1.5 million.
During production Gable started dating co-star Audrey Totter, who played his sister-in-law in the film.