Gambling With Souls

1791. GAMBLING WITH SOULS (1936-usa). WITH martha chapin, wheeler OAKMAN, BRYANT WASHBURN. Directed by ELMER CLIFTON. The police raid a gambling den. As they round up the wheelers and dealers, several shots ring out. It seems (hat Frank ‘lucky” Wilder, a notorious crime figure, has just run out of luck: he’s been murdered, plugged in the gut in cold blood. The key suspect is an attractive blonde mystery woman. “It’s women of your kind that must be brought to justice,” the District Attorney tells her. ‘You who thrive on the slime of life…” The scenario of this thoroughly fascinating exploitation curio chronicles how the woman, who is “from a good family,” is transformed from sweet, loving wife of a struggling young doctor (who, incidentally, is “working on a new technique for brain surgery!”) to bitter, brazen hussy. This begins after the lass chooses to have some innocent fun gambling on a prizefight, hoping sheÕll win money for a new dress. Soon, she’s practically living at the gambling club; at first, she enjoys the life of a “good-time Clara,” slugging down booze and casually requesting IOUs to cover her losses. Suddenly, she’s over $10,000 in debt. The lady has already sold her soul; now, it will be a matter of time before she will be coaxed into selling her body. This is classic 1930s exploitation fare. Count the number of times our heroine strips to her undies, or a variety of young (and not so young) cuties find excuses to lift op their dresses to display some leg. Ogle as the camera captures in close-up the chests and derrieres of chorus girls. The film is gloriously overwritten and overacted, and remains endlessly intriguing as a cautionary relic of its time. 69 minutes. Exploitation