The Cincinnati Kid Movie Review – Poker, Love, and Ambition

Gambling movies from the old days have always boasted with incredible true stories that could simultaneously inspire us and teach us a life lesson. However, more often than not, the classic gambling films are adapted from novels. Today, we'll be looking at The Cincinnati Kid movie – a masterpiece that has inspired many players to sit on the poker table for the first time. Although the movie was released in 1965, there are still many discussions over certain controversial scenes. Stick around and learn all the peculiar facts we have prepared for you!
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Since The Cincinnati Kid was first shown in theatres, dedicated moviegoers have been comparing it with The Hustler – an incredible film about an ambitious pool shark and his heartbreaking affair. Although we believe there are quite a few key differences between the two classics, saying that they have nothing in common would be a lie. The Cincinnati Kid 1965 has a lot to tell – there are many life lessons, carefully embedded in breathtaking scenes. That’s enough with the foreshadowing, let’s get down to the plot.

The Cincinnati Kid 1965 – Plot Summary and Trailer

The Cincinnati Kid movie starts with Eric “The Kid” Stoner (Steve McQueen) as the main character. He is a young poker player who’s chasing his dream of becoming the best card slinger. The action takes place in New Orleans, 1930. The Kid is going to a poker game, but, on his way, he meets a shoe shiner boy who challenges him to a coin-toss game. Eventually, Eric Stoner accepts the challenge and wins.

The Cincinnati Kid then proceeds to enter a poker game, which he wins with ease and is then chased out by the thugs that were gathered around the table. While looking for gambling adventures, Eric Stoner finds out that Lancey “The Man” Howard (Edward G. Robinson), the best five-card stud poker player, is in town. The Kid immediately wants to arrange a game so he could play against his greatest rival, but his best friend, Shooter (Karl Malden), warns him that Howard is incredibly good.

Shooter is a reputable poker dealer, but he has a promiscuous wife called Melba (Ann-Margret). While Cincinnati’s girlfriend Christian (Tuesday Weld) is out of town, Melba decides to try and seduce the protagonist, but she fails. In the meantime, a poker game that would include both The Man and The Kid is being arranged. Wealthy William Slade (Rip Torn) is one of the men behind the poker upcoming poker night. At the table, Eric Stoner seems to be winning easily – he’s gutting Lancey Howard and everybody else playing.

However, while taking a break, The Kid finds out that the croupier, Shooter, has made a deal with William, resulting in a loss for Lancey Howard. The protagonist finds that Slade has grudge against The Man, who has won a lot of money from him in the past. Cincinnati is shocked by the disgusting act and demands a new dealer on the table. Lady Fingers (Joan Blondell) substitutes Shooter as a croupier for the final hand between The Kid and The Man.

After a brief conversation, the final cards are dealt. The remaining two players on the table are Eric Stoner and Lancey Howard. The room is packed with people who are anxiously betting on their favourite player to win. Unfortunately for The Kid, The Man takes all the money with a queen-high straight flush. Eric Stoner is broken and gutted. He leaves the table and goes out of the building only to be challenged to a coin-toss by the shoe shiner boy from the beginning of the movie. Cincinnati accepts, but this time he loses.

What Is the Moral Behind the Cincinnati Kid Story

There’s no doubt that the Cincinnati Kid movie is a masterpiece that perfectly captures the struggle of a gambler. However, there are many misconceptions about the message that the film conveys. From an objective view, the moral behind the story is that no matter how good you are, there is always someone who can beat you. As they say, there’s always a bigger fish.

The Cincinnati Kid Movie Moral

The thing that ties the knot between the end and the beginning of the movie is the shoe shiner kid. Although Cincinnati beats the boy in a coin-toss game the first time they play, the young one gets his revenge right after Eric Stoner’s humiliating loss. This teaches us, the viewers, one thing about gambling – you can’t always win. The movie resonates with many gamblers around the world. We believe that this is one of the main reasons why the film is still talked about.

Similarities Between The Cincinnati Kid and The Hustler

We continue The Cincinnati Kid movie review with a brief comparison with another classic. Everybody who has seen both The Cincinnati Kid and The Hustler can agree that there are a lot of similarities between the movies. Not only are they both about gambling, but they also give the spotlight to a gambler and his dream of becoming the best in his game. In both films, the protagonist has to defeat a certain player in order to establish his reputation for being the best.

The Cincinnati Kid Movie Similarities

However, there are also a couple of key differences between the two classics. In The Hustler, the main character gets to beat his greatest enemy at the end, despite suffering a tragic heartbreak. In The Cincinnati Kid movie, the protagonist wins every game, but that ultimately leads him to lose the most important hand of them all. You could say that the two films contrast with their endings.

The Cincinnati Kid Cast – Nominations, Ratings, and More

Nowadays, with so many new films coming out every week, most moviegoers go to the cinema to watch their favourite actors. Back in the 60s, the situation wasn’t much different. The Cincinnati Kid cast was so well-thought-out, that people would wait in queues just to be able to see Steve McQueen on the big screen. In terms of box office, The Cincinnati Kid wasn’t as successful as its predecessor, The Hustler, but the love it received from poker enthusiasts around the world was astounding.

🃏 Name: The Cincinnati Kid
🚩 Release Date: October 15, 1965
🎭 Genre: Drama, Adaptation
✅ Nominations: 2
🥇 Awards: 1
⭐ IMDB Rating: ⭐ 7.3
🍅 Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 🍅 82%
💰 Box Office: $7 million
📽 Director: Norman Jewison
🎞 Screenplay: Terry Southern, Ring Lardner Jr.
🔥 Starring: Steve McQueen, Edward G. Robinson, Ann-Margret, Karl Malden
⏰ Running Time: 1h 53m

The critics, on the other side, weren’t too happy with the movie. Seemingly, they found a lot of disadvantages and plot holes. Perhaps that was the reason for the low amount of nominations and awards the film has received. Unlike many other movies that don’t go anywhere near their names, The Cincinnati Kid was actually filmed on location in New Orleans. When the flick was first announced, many people felt that Steve McQueen was too old for the role, but once he showed up on the screen, everybody fell in love with him.

Poker Facts and Conspiracies in The Cincinnati Kid Movie

While gathering information for The Cincinnati Kid movie review, we found plenty of conspiracies and debates over the final poker hand between The Man and The Kid. As we’ve already established, the gamblers in the film are playing five-card stud poker. Nowadays, there are plenty of new exciting poker types in the best poker sites in the UK. Although the variation in the film is not as popular as it was back in the day, it’s still a fascinating sight to see. In the movie, Cincinnati lost with a full house against a straight flush.

The Cincinnati Kid Movie Facts

After several calculations, we found that the chance for this exact hand to be dealt is one in 300 billion. This means that, for the situation to arise once, it would approximately take playing every hour in a day, for 443 years. However, many conspiracies assume that The Kid was cheated by Lady Fingers, the new dealer, as she has a long history with The Man. To this day, fans still believe that the ending was unfair and uncalled for. That’s what made the final scene the most talked about poker deal in cinema history.

Where To Watch The Cincinnati Kid 1965 Online

If you liked The Cincinnati Kid movie review and you haven’t watched the flick yet, the chances are high that you would like to see it. However, as the film is quite dated, you might find it very challenging to find it online. Fortunately for you, we’ve already done our research, and we will show you the exact platforms where you can find The Cincinnati Kid movie. Here are the most popular options out there:

Watch The Cincinnati Kid Movie Online
Amazon Prime yes
DIRECTV yes
Google Play yes
FandangoNOW yes
Microsoft Movies & TV yes
VUDU yes
Netflix no

Although you can find the movie on a few online platforms, you should know that you can’t watch it for free – you either need to rent it, buy it, or be subscribed to the given streaming service brand. We loved the movie, and we would definitely recommend watching it. The film can inspire many gamblers to hop on the best online casino sites in the UK and try their luck with card games such as blackjack and poker.

Frequently Asked Questions

With The Cincinnati Kid movie review coming to an end, we would like to introduce you to our concise section dedicated to the most frequently asked questions about the film. In the paragraphs below, you’ll find our experts’ answers to some of the most common queries raised by moviegoers. We hope you find the section informative!

🤔 What happened at the end of The Cincinnati Kid 1965?

The Cincinnati Kid lost his last game to Lancey "The Man" Howard. Although Eric Stoner received a scrambled full in the last betting round, his biggest rival gutted him with his a queen-high straight flush. Many fans didn't like the outcome and, to this day, there are still many conspiracy theories about the last hand.

🎭 Who was The Cincinnati Kid?

The Cincinnati Kid is a man named Eric Stoner – a fictional character and the main protagonist in the movie The Cincinnati Kid. Even though he is a great poker player, he finds himself in a terrible situation at the end of the film. The movie plot consists almost entirely of The Kid and his gambling adventure.

📺 Where can I watch The Cincinnati Kid 1965?

You can watch The Cincinnati Kid movie online at platforms like FandangoNOW, Amazon Prime, DIRECTV, Google Play, VUDU, and quite a few more. However, keep in mind that, in order to watch the film at one of these sites, you'll have to pay.

⭐ Who were the stars in the Cincinnati Kid movie?

The Cincinnati Kid cast includes many popular celebrities like Steve McQueen, Rip Torn, Edward G. Robinson, Ann-Margret, Karl Malden, and Tuesday Weld. Although the stars really helped the film become popular, it was the similarity with The Hustler movie that made the critics speak.

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