The Cincinnati Kid

The Cincinnati Kid ★★★

Steve McQueen is cool, Ann-Margret is va-va-voom, the cast is stacked (+ Karl Malden, Edward G. Robinson, Joan Blondell, Rip Torn, Tuesday Weld), but it also sits at the table a lil too long for me. (The whole crew is stacked, actually, but Hal Ashby's early editing credit, and first for Jewison, could've definitely used more of a trim.) What's most interesting about this movie is Norman Jewison subbing in for Sam Peckinpah because Peckinpah wanted to include some nudity to spice things up. What Jewison uses to spice up the gambling movie is some extra New Orleans jazz scenes, a young black kid who wants to the Kid for what he's worth, and a Ray Charles theme song. While the movie is imperfect it kinda sets up Jewison's In the Heat of the Night perfectly.

Last thought: somehow the poster gets McQueen's near salt-n-pepper hair and Ann-Margret's max volume red hair all wrong. It looks like Paul Newman's playing with Anne Bancroft on his shoulder. But I'd watch that version, too.