Gambling on the High Seas (1940)

56 mins | Drama | 22 June 1940

Director:

George Amy

Writer:

Robert E. Kent

Cinematographer:

L. W. O'Connell

Production Designer:

Hugh Reticker

Production Company:

Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
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HISTORY

The working title of this picture was Floating Trouble . A HR production chart erroneously identified art director Hugh Reticker as an assistant director. A news item in HR notes that the film was shot on location in San Pedro, CA. Reviews note that this picture was loosely based on the true story of law enforcement efforts to close a gambling ship beyond the three mile limit of national ... More Less

The working title of this picture was Floating Trouble . A HR production chart erroneously identified art director Hugh Reticker as an assistant director. A news item in HR notes that the film was shot on location in San Pedro, CA. Reviews note that this picture was loosely based on the true story of law enforcement efforts to close a gambling ship beyond the three mile limit of national waters. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
5 Feb 40
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
26 Aug 39
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
1 Sep 39
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
2 Sep 39
pp. 6-7.
Hollywood Reporter
5 Feb 40
p. 3.
Variety
31 Jul 40
p. 14.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Warner Bros.--First National Picture
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Dial dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
Exec prod
Assoc prod
WRITERS
From an idea by
PHOTOGRAPHY
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
COSTUMES
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Floating Trouble
Release Date:
22 June 1940
Production Date:
late August--mid September 1939
Copyright Claimant:
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
22 June 1940
Copyright Number:
LP9720
Physical Properties:
Sound
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
56
Length(in reels):
6
Country:
United States
PCA No:
5753
SYNOPSIS

To escape the crackdown on casinos, gambling czar Greg Morella moves his operations to the ship Sylvania , anchored three miles off the coast of New England, safe from federal and local police. Mingling with the suckers aboard Morella's ship is reporter Jim Carver, who lulls the gangster into believing that he is his ally. Jim wins the enmity of Max Gates, Morella's trigger man, when he wonders if Gates's embittered girl friend will meet the inexplicable death that befell her predecessor. Soon after, Larry Brill, Morella's crooked manager, begs Gates to help him escape before Morella has him eliminated for embezzlement. Gates arranges for Brill to leave the ship with two policemen after Brill gives him authorization to remove $25,000 from a safe deposit box. After the panic sticken manager leaves the boat, however, Gates informs Morella, who orders Frank and Louie, his hired thugs, to kill Brill. After the murder of Brill, Jim becomes determined to expose Morella, and forces a confession from Gates by convincing him that he will be indicted for the death of his wife unless he testifies against Morella. Before the police can arrest Morella, the secretary to the district attorney turns Gates's written confession over to the gangster, who orders Gates's murder. Refusing to accept defeat, Jim convinces Morella's secretary, Laurie Ogden, with whom he has fallen in love, to tell what she knows to the police. The information enables the police to stage a raid on the Sylvania , and in the confusion, Jim and Laurie take photographs of the crooked gambling devices used on the ship. They return safely ashore with ... +


To escape the crackdown on casinos, gambling czar Greg Morella moves his operations to the ship Sylvania , anchored three miles off the coast of New England, safe from federal and local police. Mingling with the suckers aboard Morella's ship is reporter Jim Carver, who lulls the gangster into believing that he is his ally. Jim wins the enmity of Max Gates, Morella's trigger man, when he wonders if Gates's embittered girl friend will meet the inexplicable death that befell her predecessor. Soon after, Larry Brill, Morella's crooked manager, begs Gates to help him escape before Morella has him eliminated for embezzlement. Gates arranges for Brill to leave the ship with two policemen after Brill gives him authorization to remove $25,000 from a safe deposit box. After the panic sticken manager leaves the boat, however, Gates informs Morella, who orders Frank and Louie, his hired thugs, to kill Brill. After the murder of Brill, Jim becomes determined to expose Morella, and forces a confession from Gates by convincing him that he will be indicted for the death of his wife unless he testifies against Morella. Before the police can arrest Morella, the secretary to the district attorney turns Gates's written confession over to the gangster, who orders Gates's murder. Refusing to accept defeat, Jim convinces Morella's secretary, Laurie Ogden, with whom he has fallen in love, to tell what she knows to the police. The information enables the police to stage a raid on the Sylvania , and in the confusion, Jim and Laurie take photographs of the crooked gambling devices used on the ship. They return safely ashore with the pictures, but before Laurie can testify in court, Morella orders her kidnapping and Jim is trapped while trying to rescue her. Morella, determined to eliminate them for good, has Frank take them for a ride at sea, but wherever they turn, a police boat, forewarned by Jim, heads them off. In the chase, Jim overpowers Frank and when the police arrest Frank and the others, Morella's conviction in assured and Jim and Laurie are wed. +

GENRE
Genre:
Sub-genre:
Gambling, Gangster


Subject
Subject (Major):

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.