The Cincinnati kid
Acclimatized from Richard Jessup’s novel, The Cincinnati kid was written by Ring Lardner Jr. and Terry Southern. This particular film was Lardner’s first chief studio work since getting blacklisted after 1947 as one of the Hollywood Ten. Staring the fashion icon Steve McQueen and Edward G Robinson as Lancey ‘The man’ Howard, the Cincinnati kid was directed by Norman Jewison who originally replaced Sam peckinpah and called this piece of work his ugly ducking film while this particular script providing a transition to his career from step up comedies to more serious films and associated subjects.
According to Poker30 the film was shot in New Orleans, Louisiana, The Cincinnati kid follows the story of Eric ‘the kid’ Stoner (Steve McQueen), a young thirties era poker player who looks to institute his reputation as the best in the game while this expedition leads him to face Lancey ‘The man’ Howard (Edward G Robinson) an older poker expert considered to be the best ever. This tale concludes on the epic final hand played between the two.
The chronicle starts with the kid persuading an old friend shooter (Karl Malden), a skilled poker dealer, to set up a game between the kid and ‘The man’. Shooter in return cautions him about the repercussion it would cause in playing the man and how while previously he thought himself to be the best five card stud player in the world until the man instinctively proved dead wrong any such theories there in.
Initially Howard arranges a game between a well to do businessman, William Jefferson Slade (Rip Torn) with shooter as inducted to deal and while there at it, Howard takes Slade for a thirty hour game ripping him of six thousand dollars and furthermore wounding his pride.
Later that night; Slade tries to bribe shooter to cheat in the Kid’s match with Howard, in favor of Eric stoner but with shooter originally declining, Slade began to threaten him to call markets of worth twelve thousand dollars on shooter and also blackmails to reveal the disturbing information about his wife’s Melba (Ann Margret) affair.
With continuation the film folds and twist to the point where Howard, The kid and six other players gather at a poker table and shooter and Lady finger as their respective dealers. One by one all the players are burst out of the game with leaving a face to face duel between the newly contested rivals comprising of the Kid and The man.
Nearing the end the kid finds out about shooter’s intention to cheat and accordingly confronts him, after hearing his situation in a private break from the ongoing game, the Kid announces that shooter has fallen ill and instructs lady fingers to take over as the primary dealer. With each passing time the kid slams the man’s one move after another and consequently enough Howard losses his self confidence, just as it all seemed black and white with the Kid to be the next Man, Howard plays his vital final hand in a combination of the utmost clever calling and betting and finally wins the match, stating that even though the kid was a better opponent, as long as he stays the kid would always be second best and the film ends on the note of the Cincinnati kid losing again.