5.8/10
807
33 user 18 critic

The Only Game in Town (1970)

Fran walks into a piano bar for pizza. She comes back home with Joe, the piano player. Joe plans on winning $5,000 and leaving Las Vegas. Fran waits for something else. Meanwhile, he moves in with her.

Director:

George Stevens

Writers:

Frank D. Gilroy (screenplay), Frank D. Gilroy (play)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Elizabeth Taylor ... Fran Walker
Warren Beatty ... Joe Grady
Charles Braswell Charles Braswell ... Tom Lockwood
Hank Henry ... Tony
Olga Valéry Olga Valéry ... Overmade Female Craps Player (as Olga Valery)
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Storyline

While waiting in vain for her married lover to get a divorce, Fran Walker, a lonely chorus girl approaching middle age, falls for Joe Grady, a frustrated musician and compulsive gambler who dreams of escaping Las Vegas for fame and fortune in New York City. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Dice was his vice. Men hers.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

M | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 January 1970 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Juego de amor y deseo See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$11,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$1,500,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Production was supposed to start in July 1968, but was delayed until September because Elizabeth Taylor needed time to convalesce after a hysterectomy. See more »

Goofs

When Fran gets off work at the Desert Inn at the beginning, her walk home makes no geographical sense. She is strolling past hotels, chapels and casinos miles apart and in completely opposite directions. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

My Blue Heaven
(uncredited)
Music by Walter Donaldson
Played by Joe at the piano
See more »

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User Reviews

"Easy Come, Easy Go"
25 October 2002 | by harry-76See all my reviews

The superficial values and emotional anguish that often permeate the world of gambling is captured by George Stevens in his final film.

Maurice Jarre's "bluesy" score (punctuated by a sorrowful trumpet) enhances the "downer" quality of this mundane drama.

It's understandable why Stevens saw something in this Frank D. Gilroy script, based upon his play. During this general period there were some pretty stark two-character plays being produced.

There was, for example, "Two for the Seasaw," "Silent Night, Lonely Night," "Husbands," and "Scenes from a Marriage." In this last film Ingmar Bergman laid bare a vacillating marriage-on-the brink, creating heart-breaking experience.

In "The Only Game in Town," two very good-looking actors try their hand at a challenging duo-character piece. It is said that "one-take" Frank Sinatra declined the role because he felt it might clash with Stevens' perfectionistic "multiple-take" approach. He was probably right.

The part then went to Warren Beatty, who tries very hard in what almost sounds like a Sinatra imitation (close one's eyes and listen to his timing and inflection). Elizabeth Taylor was apparently a favorite of the director, having utilized her talents successfully twice before. She invests her role with much energy and feeling.

However, the two, for all their earnest effort, create only a medium degree of "chemistry." Part of their lack of connection is in the script, which saddles Beatty's "ring-a-ding" character with an unrelenting degree of flippancy, right up to the last line. Taylor's role doesn't break any fresh dramatic ground, either.

Most people agree, though, that it's pretty hard to stop watching this, once one gets past the [characteristically slow Stevens] "late bedroom" -"morning after" scenes. While the presentation didn't exactly turn out to be the consummate emotional experience Stevens was obviously striving for, "The Only Game in Town" is still a most respectable piece of work.

With this opus, a great film director bid his final farewell to the medium.


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