Tuesday, March 31, 2015
TCM Film Festival Day 1: The Cincinnati Kid
After having sat through the tough and sad real life story of Lenny Bruce, my friend Michael and I queued up for a second helping of dingy drama, but this time in a much more romantic movie setting, the 1930s in New Orleans. This fictional story of an up and comer taking on "the man" at the top of the poker playing mountain, is filled with wonderful character actors, gritty sets and a jazz based score. Originally a Sam Peckinpah film, the producers replaced him with Norman Jewison and recast Tuesday Weld in the part originally to be played by Sharon Tate.
Even though we we near the end of the line to get into the film, we ended up in almost exactly the same seats we had had just a few minutes before. I'd not eaten anything that day so I went to the concession stand to get some popcorn. It was nice that I did because at the back of the line of the concession stand I had to move slightly forward to allow the featured guest to get into the theater. That's right, Ann Margaret brushed right by me while I waiting to get some corn and coke. She did move by quickly but you can see that she retains the glow of beauty that has made her a star for fifty years.
If you have not seen The Cincinnati Kid, let me recommend to you for the cool of Steve McQueen, the sensuality of Ann Margaret but especially for the seasoned wisdom of Edward G. Robinson. Robinson plays the top dog in the poker world, and he is appropriately confident, wary, and assured. Rip Torn is impossibly young in the movie and most of you won't recognize him. The perspective that time has given me on the movie made it a very worthwhile couple of hours.