Sunday, June 18, 2006

Big Hand for a Little Lady

Yesterday as I sat in front of the coffee table, surfing the internet on hubby's laptop, I flipped on the TV to see what was on.

Usually there isn't anything much interesting on Saturday afternoons except for shows on sports, cars and fishing (bOriNg!)

But then I caught the opening title of an afternoon matinee on Channel 7: "Big Hand for a Little Lady". I'm quite a sucker for old movies. I quickly Googled the movie to see what it was about, sounded interesting, so I left the TV on while I contined surfing.

But soon, I started to grow more and more engrossed in the movie... what a story! Why don't they such have great stories and plots in movies today... without the need to insert numerous sexual innuendoes throughout the scenes... this was definitely refreshing... read on if you want to follow my ramblings on what I thought of this movie...

The opening scenes of the movie can put some people off... because it seems to start off as this boring cliche western type film with cowboys, gambling houses and the like...

Brief Synopsis/Spoilers: A family had just moved into town and were staying at the local hotel until their farm was ready. The husband was an ex-compulsive-gambler who had sworn off poker, but had an itch to play one last game. He joined in a big poker game and bet their entire life savings. Mid-way through the game, he suffered a heart attack. So the wife in desperation, reluctantly took over his place (even though she knows nothing about poker!) to avoid losing their 10 years worth of savings. In order to stay in the game, she needed more money to up the bet, so went to the bank to borrow money using her poker hand as collateral. In the spur of the moment, the banker agreed to lend her any amount after seeing her poker hand. In the end the wife won all the money back as well as the entire takings on the table of over $20,000.

What grabbed me: The innocent yet gutsy wife character (played by Joanne Woodward) who decided to take matters into her own hands after her wimpy husband fell out // The funny scene when the boys at the poker table were trying to teach the wife how to play poker // The bank scene when the wife tried to persuade the banker to lend her money solely on the basis of her winning poker hand // The unexpected twist at the end of the movie //

Unexpected Twist: All I'll tell you is that the "innocent little wife" and "wimpy husband" are not really who you thought they were. It almost seems that this story was inspired by Roald Dahl's short story My Lady Love, My Dove. In the end, those mean poker boys who tried to clean out the poor couple's savings are just harmless puppies compared to the likes of the seemingly innocent couple. An ingenious twist indeed!

Favourite Quote: [Banker, upon being offered a poker hand as collateral] "Forty-six years ago, I started lending money in Larry Bingham's back room. My first customer was a drover named Penny. He wanted two dollars on a Brindle cow at six percent interest. He said she gave six quarts of milk a day. You know what I made him do? I made him move that cow into my back yard for a whole week. And I watched him milk her every day. Sure enough, she gave an average of six and a half quarts a day, so I gave him the money at six and half percent interest. Not only that, I kept the 60 pounds of manure she left behind. When you show me collateral, madam, you better make sure it's good collateral. For forty-six years, I've been lending money on good, old-fashioned principles. I stand here now to tell you one and all that I've never been offered a better piece of collateral that I hold in my hand now!"

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