|Tyrone Power plays a good hand.|
|Piper Laurie looking serious.|
In spite of occasionally hokey dialogue, The Mississippi Gambler is a lively, entertaining yarn, Though shot on Universal-International's backlot, it looks fabulous (especially the interiors). Along with the colorful costumes, one would think that it was a costly film. However, given the studio's then-thrifty reputation, I suspect most of the budget went to pay Tyrone Power's salary. Actually, he made The Mississippi Gambler while on hiatus from his 20th Century-Fox contract and wisely took a percentage of the film's profits. It turned out to be one of 1953's biggest hits.
I recently watched The Mississippi Gambler at a film festival screening attended by star Piper Laurie. She said Power was also one of the film's producers, although not credited as such, adding:
I was in a competition for the part with Linda Christian, his wife. We both made screen tests. That was a frightening moment. I had never met with Power, although I had seen he and his wife walk into the commissary, dressed in white, looking like gods. I did my best (with the audition) and she did, too. They made us both wait for about a week and then I found out I had the job.
|Piper's co-star and friend|
As for Linda Christian, she eventually got to play Angelique--in a Lux Radio Theater production with her husband. She and Tyrone Power would divorce three years later.