Cast & Crew
Joe Barnes, the owner of the El Rancho Vegas casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, is approached by visitor Mabel Dooley, who begs him to reimburse the money she has lost gambling. Mabel explains that she was headed home after selling some property belonging to her and her husband Milton, when she stopped at the casino. Although Joe recognizes that Mabel is a compulsive gambler, he explains that he cannot refund the money of every loser and refuses her request. After Mabel leaves, Sam Costar, Joe's assistant, enters with the day's hotel reservations. Joe scrutinizes the list and informs Sam that notorious racketeer Al "Gimpy" Sirago has been released from prison and is probably sending someone to kill him, as it was Joe's testimony before the Kefauver Crime Committee that sent Gimpy to prison. The majority of the names on the list are familiar to Sam, although he wonders if one, J. L. Rae, could be Gimpy's assassin. Unknown to Joe and Sam, J. L. Rae is actually Julia L. Rae, a schoolteacher who is taking the bus to Las Vegas. During the ride, Julia explains to her companion that she is writing a book about how it is impossible for the average gambler to win. Meanwhile, in Joe's office, another name Sam does not recognize is that of Ernest Raff. Ernest and his wife Mary, an elderly couple from Nebraska, decide to live daringly and drive to Las Vegas for the weekend, although the citizens of their small town would be scandalized if they knew where Ernest, the bank president, was going. Soon after, as Gimpy drives west with his henchmen, Doc and Matty, he tells them that he is going to pressure Joe to sell the El Rancho Vegas to the syndicate for which he works. Unknown to his bosses, Gimpy intends to kill Joe after he signs the required papers. Later, the Raffs check in, as does Julia, who asks to see Joe. Joe is struck by Julia's beauty and calm demeanor, but must leave to meet with the city manager and Sheriff Charlie Woods. The men ask Joe to leave town for his own safety while they apprehend Gimpy, but Joe demurs, stating that Gimpy is his problem. Meanwhile, Ernest decides to gamble using mathematical principles. After Joe dismisses Woods, he finds Julia, who is flattered by his attentions and confides in Joe her disappointment over her staid life. In Salt Lake City, Milton, having guessed Mabel's location, hitches a ride to Las Vegas. While Joe is showing Julia his apartment near the casino, Gimpy sends Matty and Doc to the El Rancho Vegas. When Joe kisses Julia, however, she feels pressured by the haste of his courtship and leaves. As Julia waits to check out, she overhears Woods tell an employee that Gimpy intends to kill Joe. Realizing how much Joe means to her, Julia decides to stay. Murray and Doc are spotted and brought to Joe's office, where they lie about being associated with Gimpy. Not believing them, Joe follows them to Gimpy's hotel room, and there is beaten and tied to a chair. Gimpy shows Joe the deeds he wants him to sign and when Joe refuses, Gimpy continues to beat him. Julia, who was instructed by Joe to call the police in ten minutes, summons help, and the wailing sirens force Gimpy and his men to flee. While Joe convalesces and gives the willing Julia a kiss, Ernest wins $10,000, using his mathematical system. Upon telephoning their daughter, however, Mary learns that a shortage has been discovered at the bank and alerts Ernest. Mary is terrified that the auditors will accuse Ernest of embezzling the missing money, although he assures her that it is probably only a small clerical error. Mary nonetheless convinces Ernest that he must dispose of his winnings, and Ernest begins to gamble again, this time with the intention of losing. Woods visits Joe, telling him that Gimpy and his men are still at large, and after Woods departs, Joe comforts Julia by proposing to her and she accepts. Meanwhile, Doc and Matty ask Gimpy to leave town, but the deranged Gimpy refuses. When the trio comes upon a roadblock, Gimpy shoots two deputies. One of the lawmen shoots and kills Matty, but Doc and Gimpy escape on foot. At the casino, Milton arrives and finds Mabel. His violent treatment of her prompts the bouncers to drag him into Joe's office, where Mabel explains that she has been winning and has raised $1,700. Milton bitterly complains that it is not enough to buy his dreamed-of lunch wagon, and Joe loans him the remaining $800 on condition that he take Mabel back. Milton refuses, stating that he wants a divorce, and Joe lectures him that for some people, gambling is a disease, just like alcoholism. Milton relents, and the reunited couple thank Joe as they leave. Near the railroad tracks, Doc threatens to go to the police and attempts to leave, but as he backs away, Gimpy throws a knife at him. The wounded Doc escapes when a police car cruises by, and Gimpy hides in an abandoned train car. Julia is with Joe in his office when he receives a call from Doc, requesting a meeting. Joe instructs Doc to come to the casino, and while he waits, he is visited by the Raffs. Ernest explains their situation, and that despite his best attempts, his winnings have grown to $15,000. Joe suggests that Ernest anonymously donate the money to charity, and the Raffs leave happily, knowing that their secret is safe. When Doc arrives, he tells Joe where Gimpy is, and Joe, upset about the death of the deputy, goes after the gangster alone. A grim chase ensues, with Gimpy and Joe shooting at each other. Julia brings the police, but as they arrive, Joe kills Gimpy in self-defense. Rushing to Joe's side, Julia begs him never to leave her again.
Mary Beth Hughes
William F. Broidy
Edward J. Kay
A. R. Milton
A. Robert Nunes
The working title of this film was Neon Rainbow. Mary Beth Hughes's name is misspelled "Mary Bethe Hughes" in the onscreen credits. Although studio publicity materials list the song "Miss You So," written by Matty Malneck and performed by the Matty Malneck Trio, Eve Marley and Beverly Richards in the credits, it was not heard in the viewed print and is not mentioned by any other contemporary source. Hollywood Reporter news items include Slick Slavin and Rory Mallinson in the cast, but their appearance in the completed picture has not been confirmed. According to Hollywood Reporter news items and reviews, the majority of the film was shot on location in Las Vegas, NV. The real El Rancho Las Vegas was one of the sites used.
Released in United States Spring May 1955
Released in United States Spring May 1955