Scott T. Rivers | Los Angeles, CA USA | 03/08/2008
(1 out of 5 stars)
"The idea of teaming Robert Mitchum with Dean Martin certainly had potential, but no one bothered to provide a worthwhile vehicle. "Five Card Stud" (1968) is a ludicrous Western "whodunit" directed by the usually reliable Henry Hathaway. Nothing works here - even Dino's title song falls flat. It's hard to believe Mitchum turned down "The Wild Bunch" in favor of this turkey."
A mystery western
B. W. Fairbanks | Lakewood, OH United States | 05/31/1999
(3 out of 5 stars)
"A poker game ends in a hanging when one of the players is accused of cheating. Shortly thereafter, the players are murdered one by one. A western with a novel mystery angle, "Five Card Stud" is certainly no classic, but it is an easygoing, thoroughly enjoyable oater with Dean Martin and Robert Mitchum well-matched as adversaries. It is Roddy McDowell, however, who steals the show as the bad seed brother of Katherine Justice."
Entertaining Mystery Western.
Michael Serrano | Barkhamsted, Ct USA | 10/10/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is a fine mystery thiller under the guise of a western.
The movie opens with a card game and one player accused of cheating,this player is hanged. Soon members of the card game
begin to die one by one. Card player Dean Martin attempts to
find out who the killer is before he ends up dead. While there
are a few suspects, most viewers will soon figure out who the
killer is. Why is not revealed till the end. Still this is a
movie that works, this is due to the entertaining cast. DeanMartin retains his easy going style, while Robert Mitchum brings
a performance that is edgy and not as straight forward as he
appears. Roddy McDowall delivers an entertaining performance
as the spoiled rich kid at odds with Dean Martin. Yapphet Kotto
gives a strong performance as the bartender who helps Dean work
out the mystery. I have seen this movie a few times and enjoy
it due to the cast, as well as to the scenery. Attention to detail is well thought out in this western town. So saddle up."
A Missed Opportunity
Peter Kenney | Birmingham, Alabama, USA | 06/06/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"FIVE CARD STUD is a movie which never quite realizes its potential. It basically has a promising screenplay and a solid core of talented actors in Dean Martin, Robert Mitchum, Roddy McDowell and Inger Stevens. Katherine Justice and Yaphet Kotto aren't bad either. In one way the film looks like a convenient vehicle to utilize the many talents of Dean Martin, especially the opportunity for him to sing the catchy theme song.The script is based on a novel by Ray Gaulden. It reminds me somewhat of THE LEAGUE OF FRIGHTENED MEN by Rex Stout. In FIVE CARD STUD a crooked gambler is lynched by a group of angry poker players. Soon thereafter the lynchers begin to be killed one by one by somebody who is obviously seeking vengeance for the mob action. My chief complaints about the movie are that it drags in too many places and it lacks the proper amount of tension.Henry Hathaway will always be remembered as the director of some great westerns such as THE SONS OF KATIE ELDER and TRUE GRIT. I am afraid that FIVE CARD STUD will be recalled instead as one of his missed opportunities."
Dino and Mitchum: Legends in search of a story...
Mark Savary | Seattle, WA | 06/04/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I saw this fim a number of years ago, and decided I liked it. Mostly, this was because of Dino and Mitchum. Upon a fresh viewing, I found other things to like (Yaphet Kotto's and Roddy McDowall's performances), but I also came away a bit unhappy with the picture. Despite being helmed by the great Henry Hathaway, and despite having a well-known supporting cast (including Inger Stevens, Denver Pyle, John Anderson, and Whit Bissell), the script just doesn't work. Inger's dialogue seemed particularly out of place for some reason, and you never actually get the sense that she runs a brothel.Dino only croons on the short opening and closing credits, and the King of Cool is stuck with an unimaginative song to work with. There is a big shootout, and a nightime attack in a livery stable, in both of which Dino has some fair action scenes. Other than that, the movie is on the bland side. The only imaginative visual touch by director Hathaway comes during the livery stable shootout, in which we see the killer escape into a back-lit steam cloud.Dino is supposed to be a professional gambler, but that never really comes across. He plays a bit of cards now and then, but he could be a plain old cowhand who likes an ocassional cardgame for all we get to see here. A real waste of Dino's talents, though of course he does his best with the role.Mitchum is great, as always. He plays a fire n' brimstone preacher who packs a Colt 45. The script works against him, but like Dino, he does the best he can.Roddy McDowall is also in top form as Dino's vengeful rival. His evil schemes help carry the movie along.Denver Pyle plays a hardscrabble land baron, hardly a challenge for him. Ruth Springford does her best Thelma Ritter impression as saloon owner Mama Malone. Yaphet Kotto plays her bartender, and seems a bit more modern in his education, thinking, and attitude than 1880 would allow a black man to be. Sadly, Whit Bissell has what amounts to a walk-on as the town doctor.Basically, seven men are playing cards one night, when an out-of-towner is caught cheating. Despite Dino's best efforts, the other players hang the card cheat. Then, the men start turning up dead, one by one. Dino tries to dope out the identity of the killer and save some lives. Along the way, he makes time with Inger Stevens, and trades witty remarks with the new town preacher, Mitchum.Murder mystery westerns are all too rare (check out the film "Pursued", a fine Mitchum western noir!). That's why it's so regrettable that, for everything the movie has going for it (great star actors, great supporting cast, fabled western hand Hathaway, and a very interesting concept), the film falls a bit flat. Dino is never really in danger, and the hero needs to be a target for this kind of mystery to work. There just isn't all that much tension, and a murder mystery needs tension. The killer is revealed to us way too early, and it takes too long to get to the ultimate showdown with good guy Dino.If only the movie had been handled with a bit more care by Hathaway, "Five Card Stud" could have been a real classic. Alas, the overall impression I was left with was that this was a made-for-TV movie.Still, Dino, Mitchum, and McDowall's performances make this one worth seeing at least once."