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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining Mystery Western.
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...
Published on October 10, 2002 by Michael Serrano

versus
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A mystery western
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...
Published on May 31, 1999 by Brian W. Fairbanks


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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining Mystery Western., October 10, 2002
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This review is from: Five Card Stud (DVD)
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. Dean
Martin 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.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A mystery western, May 31, 1999
This review is from: Five Card Stud [VHS] (VHS Tape)
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.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable thriller western, June 6, 2003
By 
T O'Brien (Chicago, Il United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Five Card Stud (DVD)
Five Card Stud is a very good mystery western that seems like a thriller or horror movie at times. The movie starts with a lynching of a stranger in the town of Rincon who was cheating at a card game. Soon after, all the men in the mob start turning up dead. No one knows who is responsible for all the grisly murders that keep going on. The story is well told throughout even though the viewer knows who the murderer is almost from the beginning. The mood and musical score contribute to the overall feeling of the movie more as a horror or thriller movie than as a western, but there are still plenty of gunfighters, gun battles, and barroom smoke everywhere.
Dean Martin stars as Van Morgan, the gambler who attempts to stop the lynching but ultimately fails. As the hero, he plays his usual cool self which works in this role. Robert Mitchum plays the preacher who appears in town soon after the lynching. This role is very similar to that of The Night of the Hunter. Yaphet Kotto is very good as George, the bartender and friend of Van Morgan. Roddy McDowall is also excellent as Nick Evers, the leader of the lynch mob. Also starring are Inger Stevens, Denver Pyle, Thelma Ritter and several other familiar western faces. The DVD offers a widescreen presentation which is very good after seeing it mangled on full screen. Very enjoyable murder mystery western with an excellent cast!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Five Star Rudd, October 30, 2002
By 
Gary Peterson (Omaha, Nebraska USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Five Card Stud [VHS] (VHS Tape)
SPOILER WARNING!! This review is for those who have already seen this fine film (or don't mind knowing the ending). I've read the earlier reviews and believe the tragic elements of this story have been overlooked.
When I first saw this movie on TV years ago I thought Mitchum's character was the hero, and I still do, albeit a flawed hero. Mitchum plays Jonathan Rudd, a preacher who comes to Rincon, Colorado to avenge the murder of his card-cheat brother. A murder even the town sheriff says won't be investigated. I believe Mitchum was sincerely trying to clean up the town by removing the guilty (based on misinformation from an especially sleazy McDowell) and by trying to prevent further slips hellward by maintaining the church in an increasingly sinful town (a whorehouse had recently opened in Rincon along with an influx of greedy, violence-prone goldminers).
Mitchum is a flawed hero for his blasphemous statement that today he is the Lord and vengeance is his; he was wrong to take justice into his own hands (though in the movie's Rincon, and often in the Old West, it may have been the only earthly justice to be had). Nonetheless I found him much more admirable than Dean Martin's character, who gambles for a living and cavorts with courtesans while shamelessly leading on an innocent young lady. Contrast that with Mitchum, who preaches righteousness in his church and lays fresh flowers on his brother's grave.

Five Card Stud is a very enjoyable but tragic film, because the hero is killed in the end. As for the film itself, it is beautiful to watch. Martin's Van Morgan is a bit flip (Matt Helm under a cowboy hat), Mitchum clearly relished his role (reminiscent of Night of The Hunter) as did McDowell playing the cold-blooded psychotic whelp who wouldn't even cry at his mother's funeral. Yaphet Kotto is also very good, even if his character is a bit of an anachronism here. The title song, crooned by Dino, is catchy and sticks in my head for a day or two after every watching.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Martin, Mitchum, and murder, May 22, 2010
By 
This review is from: Five Card Stud (DVD)
Although I'll grant that this is not one of the best Westerns ever filmed, it's still one that I enjoy. Van Morgan (Dean Martin) is a gambler who wanders to and fro in search of games but keeps coming back to Rincon, Colo., where Nora Evers (Katherine Justice), daughter of the local big rancher (Denver Pyle), has been in love with him since she was a girl. Late one night he and five other men, including Nora's spoiled brother Nick (Roddy McDowall), are playing poker when Nick catches the only stranger at the table cheating and incites his fellow players to a lynching. Van tries to stop them ("You run a tinhorn outta town, you don't kill him!") and fails, and leaves for Denver the next day. Several months later a gold strike transforms Rincon into a boom camp--and one of the players in the game turns up strangled. When Van returns to find out what's going on, other deaths follow. Only Van and the other players, and Little George (Yaphet Kotto), the bartender in the saloon where they were playing, knew why a stranger was found lynched from the railroad trestle--but now, it seems, someone else has learned the truth too, and is taking payment for the stranger's death.

The best part of this movie is Mitchum as the Rev. Jonathan Rudd, a gunslinging preacher ("Every man was somethin' else once," he says) who takes over the deserted church. Black-clad and menacing, he hovers like a buzzard over the scene, and although we know he must have something to do with the deaths, it's still intriguing to watch how Van works out the truth--and to learn how Rudd himself found out who he should be pursuing. His decision to kill one of the victims by using his own church's bell-rope--and then to preach a funeral sermon in which he damns the murderer (himself) for sacrilege--adds wonderful depth to his character; you feel as though he knows he's condemned his own soul, yet feels that duty requires him to do so. Longtime TV character stalwart John Anderson also does a nice turn as Marshal Al Dana.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great little western..!!, April 5, 2013
This review is from: Five Card Stud (DVD)
The start of the move shows six men sitting at a table in a saloon after hours playing stud poker. Suddenly one of the players accuses another of cheating. The others take him out of town and lynch him from railroad bridge. When one of the group tries to stop the lynching he is hit on the head and left in the riverbed. A short while later a mysterious preacher comes to town and the poker players start to die. Very good western with lots of suspense. Good performances from Dean Martin, Robert Mitchum, Roddy McDowell, and Yaphet Kotto
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Card Stud, December 8, 2011
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This review is from: Five Card Stud (DVD)
Robert Mitchum and Dean Martin are in top form in this video. This is one of my favorite Westerns of all time. Not only is there plenty of action, but this story is a great "Who Done It?" as well. The ending will definitely surprise you. I recommend this great movie for all Western/Mystery aficionados.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Underated Western Mystery, September 11, 2009
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This review is from: Five Card Stud (DVD)
This Dean Martin vehicle was a childhood favorite. Getting to see it on DVD forty years later, I still am a fan.

The plot, involving a string of revenge killings,is much like a "Columbo" episode. Solving the case, though fun, is not nearly as important as wotching the interaction of the principles. In this case, they are Dean, Robert Mitchum, and Roddy McDowell. Dean is a card-playing "everyman", not as much heroic, as resigned to playing out the string to see what befalls him. His understated performance is a perfect foil for Mitchum, as a gun toting preacher, just arrived in town.
The Reverend steals every scene he is in. McDowell plays a callow, craven son of a rancher, just a bit "over the top". All three are a joy to watch.

Yaphet Kotto and Inger Stevens provides nuanced secondary characters and give solid performances.

The story is a good one, with elements of revenge, romance, deceit, humor, and world-weary cynicism. The pace is usually quite brisk, and the camera work excellent.

Any fan of the lead actors owes it to themselves to pick up this "Noir Western".
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Card Stud's Merits, May 11, 2014
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This review is from: Five Card Stud (DVD)
Great storyline, great cast: Dean Martin/Robert Mitchum/Inger Stevens/Roddy McDowall, makes for a classic Western shoot-up filled with loads of suspense, drama, some romance, and side humor. I highly recommend this to one and all to get. One of my older classic Western favorites.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars McCarthy Witch Hunt in the Old West, February 28, 2014
By 
dennis scarnecchia (williston, ND United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Five Card Stud (DVD)
This very underrated movie has been called a western and a mystery; it is both but more than that.. It is first and foremost a morality play/metaphor for the McCarthy-era witch hunts. To fully understand it, you need to know that Marguerite Roberts, the screenplay writer, was blacklisted in the 1950s. A communist sympathizer and (perhaps) an atheist. This is a movie about a group of people who are partners (comrades) in something (a card game) and witness something(a lynching), and, before the Committee (Robert Mitchum, the Holy Man and Defender of Decency and Values), who names names (the bad guy, Nick the Racist(Roddy McDowell), and who does not name names(the good guys, Van(Dean Martin) and George the Atheist(Yaphet Kotto). The elderly woman and saloon keeper even says that "What I don't know I can't swear to" Even at the end, when Van knows that Nick has named names, causing the deaths of several "comrades", he does not tell Nick's family about it, and that is his ultimate morality. This movie is laden with moralistic statements, symbolism, and some intentionally wry humor. There are people left on the set intentionally to think about what is actually being said, just as the viewer has to do. It is a leisurely western, a mystery, but most of all a morality play. I am not sure why this connection between Roberts and the theme has not been brought out more fully in reviews.

The acting is professional all around, especially ever watchable Martin, Mitchum, McDowell and Kotto. It gets 4 stars instead of 5 mainly because Maurice Jarre's offbeat score was not the right choice for this particular film.
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Five Card Stud
Five Card Stud by Various (DVD - 2013)
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