Spun off from Kenny Rogers’ country-western tune, the Gambler franchise was a reliable TV-movie ratings grabber.
Celebrated gambler Brady Hawkes (Rogers) is en route by train from El Paso to Yuma, where he's going reunite with his son, Jeremiah (Ronnie Scribner). He's keeping a low profile, offering gallant assistance to fellow passenger Jennie Reed (Lee Purcell), a lovely widow, and privately chastising tin-horn adventurer Billy Montana (Bruce Boxleitner), for cheating, though only after extricating Billy from a stand-off with card sharks. Brady declines Billy’s tempting offer to compete in a five card stud competition in San Francisco in favor of keeping his rendezvous with Jeremiah while trying not to exacerbate the bad blood between him and his ex-wife’s new beau, Rufe (Clu Gulager). Playing the Good Samaritan as the locomotive chugs along, Brady again bails Billy out of trouble during a stop-over and protects Jennie from the advances of the super chief’s owner, Mr. Stowbridge (Harold Gould). Meanwhile, Jeremiah stows away aboard the train. After lecherous Stowbridge insists that Jennie was once a lady of easy virtue, Brady accepts his challenge of a high-stakes wager to settle the matter of her reputation. Meanwhile, jealous Rufe dispatches two henchmen to pick off Brady. Focussed on winning the pot and defending Jennie’s honor, Brady isn't ready for an ambush, but whatever happens, Billy, Jeremiah and Jennie have Brady’s back.
Horse- and gunplay drive this amiable action adventure, which puts a twist on western conventions by avoiding open-air vistas in favor of tawdry saloons, railroad cars and gambling dens.
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- Released: 1980
- Rating: NR
- Review: Spun off from Kenny Rogers’ country-western tune, the Gambler franchise was a reliable TV-movie ratings grabber. Celebrated gambler Brady Hawkes (Rogers) is en route by train from El Paso to Yuma, where he's going reunite with his son, Jeremiah (Ronn… (more)