The Mississippi Gambler
Directed byRudolph Maté
Written bySeton I. Miller
Produced byTed Richmond
StarringTyrone Power
Piper Laurie
Julie Adams
CinematographyIrving Glassberg
Edited byEdward Curtiss
Music byFrank Skinner
Color processTechnicolor
Universal International Pictures
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release date
  • January 13, 1953 (1953-01-13) (St. Louis Missouri)
Running time
99 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$5 million[1]

The Mississippi Gambler is a 1953 American Western film directed by Rudolph Maté and starring Tyrone Power.[2] The film was nominated for an Oscar for Best Sound Recording (Leslie I. Carey).[3] This film was the third Universal Studios film to bear this title—though with a different plot each time, the others being The Mississippi Gambler (1929) and Mississippi Gambler (1942).[4]


Mark Fallon persuades professional gambler "Kansas John" Polly to teach him the trade. As they board a riverboat bound for New Orleans, Kansas John advises him to be wary of F. Montague Caldwell, an unscrupulous riverboat gambler.

Mark makes the acquaintance of two fellow passengers, attractive Angelique Dureau and her brother Laurent. Laurent loses a great deal of money at cards. He gives Mark a valuable diamond necklace to redeem his gambling IOUs. When Mark learns that it is Angelique's, he offers it back to her, but she angrily declines. Caldwell hires some men to ambush and rob Mark, but a friend warns Kansas John, and he and Mark jump ashore to reach New Orleans alive.

There, he meets the father of Angelique and Laurent, the suave Edmond Dureau, a noted fencer who is impressed by Mark's own skill with the sword. He invites Mark to his home, despite Mark's warning that his son and daughter would not welcome him. Dureau wishes his daughter would feel differently toward Mark, but Angelique instead weds banker George Elwood.

Mark builds a successful casino. He and Edmond also give a helpful hand to Ann Conant, the sister of an unlucky gambler who committed suicide after losing the money entrusted to him by his firm. Laurent falls for Ann, but she is smitten with Mark, so Laurent forces Mark into a duel. As the challenged party, Mark has the choice of weapons; he selects pistols instead of swords. Laurent dishonorably fires prematurely and misses. Mark refuses to shoot back.

Angelique's husband skips town with his bank's money. Mark, who had refused to withdraw his money out of consideration for Angelique, despite widespread disquieting rumors, is left penniless, so he returns to his old life as a gambler. Angelique realizes her true feelings and asks to go along.



Ron Randell had a small role.[5] LIFE magazine that Tyrone Power--in lieu of salary--took a 50% participation deal for his work on the film, and that it was Universal-International's biggest moneymaker that year.[6]


The film was very popular. Variety estimated it had earned box office rentals in America of $3 million by the end of 1953.[7]


  1. ^ Edwin Schallert (March 6, 1953). "Sobbin' Women' Shaping for Betta St. John; 'Far West' Set for Hornblow". Los Angeles Times.
  2. ^ Hal Erickson (2008). "The Mississippi Gambler". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times. Archived from the original on December 12, 2008. Retrieved August 20, 2011.
  3. ^ "The 26th Academy Awards (1954) Nominees and Winners". Retrieved August 20, 2011.
  4. ^ "The Mississippi Gambler (1953)". American Film Institute.
  5. ^ Vagg, Stephen (August 10, 2019). "Unsung Aussie Actors – Ron Randell: A Top Twenty". Filmink.
  6. ^ "The Universal Appeal." LIFE, 15 June 1953, 106.
  7. ^ 'The Top Box Office Hits of 1953', Variety, January 13, 1954. Please note this figure is rentals, not box.