Watched Five Card Stud this afternoon (on Showtime Extreme) … a 1968 western starring Dean Martin and Robert Mitchum about a drunken poker game that turns into a lynching when the new guy turns out to be a cheat. But when the lynch mob starts dying off one-by-one, no one knows who’s seeking vengeance, nor which player will be the last man standing.
It takes place in Colorado in 1880 … the gold rush is on and the town of Rincon is fast becoming known for its juicy games and associated vice. And as much as I was intrigued by the role of black people and Christianity post-Civil War (as portrayed in the late ’60s) … what really stood out was how the players shuffled their chips.
Anyhow, the music is kinda country meets the Doors, with gambler’s lyrics sung by an old-school Vegas crooner. And with last month’s news that production of Rounders 2 is underway … well, Five Card Stud, a song about the game that was the great Uncle to contemporary Texas Hold’em, reminded me how much poker stories have changed over the years, and how much they haven’t.