Saturday Afternoon Singalong

Five Card Stud

by , Jan 22, 2011 | 7:59 pm

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.


  • http://None Alan C. Lawhon

    Five Card Stud (along with “Prizzi’s Honor”) are my two favorite movies. The opening credits indicate that the screenplay for Five Card Stud is based on a novel by Ray , so that incident (and many similar incidents) very likely occurred back in the old west. (Poker does have a “history” of sorts that goes way back.)

    The nice thing about “frontier justice” – unlike today – is that poker cheats got what they deserved back then. Nowadays poker cheats can steal $20,000,000.00 (if their first name just happens to be “Russ”) and not have to worry about “the smell of a rope.” Oh, well …

  • http://www.girlsinpoker.com Mark Conner

    It is interesting I’ve never heard of this movie, and I thought I’ve watched them all. I basically got the titles from http://www.pokermovies.org and watched everything on their list. The california split is especially good.