In this often gripping film based on Dostoyevsky's 1866 story "The Gambler" (uncredited by the producers here), Peck is an honorable writer who falls in love with Gardner, but learns that her father (Huston), an inveterate gambler, is horribly in debt to casino owner Douglas and that
father and daughter are almost chattel to the smooth gambling czar. Peck plans to rescue the pair and redeem their IOUs by beating Douglas at his own gaming tables. At first, it appears as though he will be able to accomplish the impossible. He wins and wins, his beginner's luck triumphing with
every turn of the cards, roll of the dice, and spin of the wheel. Magnanimously, Peck begins...