splash  This page presents an annotated, worldwide bibliography of reviews, articles and other published material related to the 1937 film King of Gamblers (link to LBS filmography page). This American film includes Louise Brooks in the role of Joyce Beaton (her scenes were deleted). Under its American title, documented screenings of the film took place in Australia, Canada, China, Dutch Guiana (Surinam), England, India, Ireland, Isle of Man, and Scotland. The film was also shown in the United States under the title Czar of the Slot Machines. Elsewhere, this motion picture was known to have been shown under other-language titles including O Amor é como um Jogo (Brazil); Král hazardních hrácu (Czechoslovakia); Storbyens sjakaler (Denmark); L’homme qui terrorisait New York (France); and Król graczy (Poland).

As research is ongoing, this page is a work in progress. It is understood that any given citation comes from an American source, unless otherwise noted. The intention of this bibliography is to be both comprehensive and useful. Most citations represent a substantial review or article. Capsule reviews, or significant shorter pieces — usually a paragraph or two in length — are so noted. Entries are arranged chronologically. Critical commentary regarding Brooks, or the film as a whole (excerpted from the material cited) is given as annotations. Some citations link to the material noted: some of these links reside on the Louise Brooks Society, while others reside elsewhere on the web.

Much can be gleamed from a bibliography such as this. Besides what critics thought of the film, one can follow the path of the film’s distribution — where it showed and when; sometimes, for example, the exhibition record might reveal if the film was shown before its official release date. As well, this bibliography shows which critics at which newspapers and magazines reviewed films. History, here, is in the details.

An * indicates that a copy of this citation is held in the archives of the LBS. This annotated bibliography has been compiled by Thomas Gladysz, and was last updated in October 2015. [Help wanted: If you know of additional citations, can provide further information on entries noted on this page, or can provide copies of citations not marked with an * but which are known to exist, please contact the LBS. The LBS would like to acquire additional material on the screening of this film.]

released May 3, 1937

anonymous. “Back Again.” Amarillo Globe, April 4, 1937. *
— “Louise Brooks and Evelyn Brent, both stars of silent days, have been assigned roles in Robert Florey’s current directorial assignment Paramount’s King of Gamblers.” – brief article in Amarillo, Texas newspaper

author unknown. Daily Variety, April 13, 1937. (United States)
— ” . . . . a little more sophisticated than usual.”

author unknown. Hollywood Reporter, April 13, 1937. (United States)
— “This is an excellent crime melodrama on the program level that, without departing radically from established plot elements, progresses by so much fresh and believable episode and builds for such high suspense that it will win general approval.”

anonymous. “Reviews of the New Films.” Film Daily, April 16, 1937. *
— capsule review; “This is a strong melodrama that holds the interest from the start.”

M., G. “Showman’s Reviews.” Motion Picture Herald, April 16, 1937. *
— review in trade journal

author unknown. Box Office, April 24, 1937.
— “Given the benefit of superior production, this film is meaty but highly entertaining fare.”

B., J. A. “The Crimson Moviegoer.” The Crimson, April 27, 1937. *
— short review in Harvard University student newspaper

author unknown. Hollywood Spectator, April 24, 1937.

author unknown. “Showman Review.” Motion Picture Herald, April 24, 1937. (United States)
— pages 38, 43

author unknown. National Legion of Decency, April 29, 1937. (United States)

author unknown. Motion Picture Review, May, 1937. (United States)
— “Such a picture as this has no constructive social value.”

anonymous. “Monitor Movie Guide.” Christian Science Monitor, May 1, 1937. *
— capsule review; “Sociological aspects of the theme are quite overshadowed by melodramatics which may prove too violent for the more sensitive.”

author unknown. Philadelphia Exhibitor, May 1, 1937.
— “Above average racketeer story, this is packed with fast action, suspense.”

anonymous. “King of Gamblers. Paramount.” Leading Motion Pictures, May 1, 1937. *
— capsule review; ” . . . a tense melodrama.” – publication of the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America

East Coast Preview Committee. “King of Gamblers (Paramount).” Selected Motion Pictures, May 1, 1937. *
— capsule review; “The plot presents several new angles as well as an expose of the racket and clearly shows that crime does not pay. It is capably acted and directed.” – publication of the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America

Boulevardier. Screen & Radio Weekly, May 2, 1937.
— review in newspaper supplement

Southern California Council of Federated Church Women. Fox West Coast Bulletin, May 8, 1937.
— “Not wholesome. Waste of time.”

Wales, Clarke. “King of Gamblers.” Sacramento Union, May 9, 1937. *
— reviewed in the Screen & Radio Weekly section; “Entertaining melodrama with an unusual performance for this class of picture.” – Sacramento, California newspaper

Frink, Marion. “Slot Machine Racket Bared in Apollo Film.” Chicago Herald and Examiner, May 12, 1937. *
— review in Chicago, Illinois newspaper

Tinee, Mae. “Slot Machine Racket Bared in This Movie.” Chicago Tribune, May 13, 1937. *
— capsule review in Chicago, Illinois newspaper

Harrison, P. S. “King of Gamblers with Akim Tamiroff, Claire Trevor and Lloyd Nolan.” Harrison’s Reports, May 15, 1937. *
— short review in trade publication; “A fair but somewhat sordid gangster melodrama.”

anonymous. “Sigma Offers Fast Action Film Sunday.” Lima News, May 16, 1937. *
— article in Lima, Ohio newspaper

anonymous. “The New Films.” Christian Century, May 19, 1937. *
— “Well done racketeer thriller.”

anonymous. “King of Gamblers Exciting Film On Screen At Allyn.” Hartford Courant, May 21, 1937. (United States)
— “Three personalities who until a short time ago were among the obscurities of filmdom but are now definitely headed for the peaks of stardom, appear in the principal roles in King of Gamblers, the exciting, at times startling and occasionally almost too brutally realistic. . . .” – article in Hartford, Connecticut newspaper

anonymous. “King of Gamblers Exciting Film On Screen At Allyn.” Hartford Courant, May 21, 1937. (United States)
— “Three personalities who until a short time ago were among the obscurities of filmdom but are now definitely headed for the peaks of stardom, appear in the principal roles in King of Gamblers, the exciting, at times startling and occasionally almost too brutally realistic. . . .” – article in Hartford, Connecticut newspaper

T., J. B. “Slot Machine Racket Makes Exciting Film.” Hartford Daily Times, May 21, 1937. *
— review in Hartford, Connecticut newspaper

author unknown. National Council of Jewish Women, May 25, 1937.
— “Excellent direction of a well chosen cast adds materially to this interesting expose of ‘slot machine’ racketeers.”

Scheuer, Philip K. “Two Theaters Project Melodrama and Romance.” Los Angeles Times, May 27, 1937. *
— review in Los Angeles, California newspaper

anonymous. “Best Performances in Current Pictures.” Los Angeles Times, May 30, 1937. *
— short write-up praising Lloyd Nolan and cast in Los Angeles, California newspaper

anonymous. “Family Movie Guide.” Parents Magazine, June, 1937. (United States)
— capsule review

author unknown. Kine Weekly, June 3, 1937. (England)

anonymous. “King of Gamblers Coming to Texas.” San Antonio Light, June 6, 1937 *
— article in San Antonio, Texas newspaper

anonymous. “New Films In London.” London Times, June 7, 1937. (England) *
— review in London, England newspaper

L., J. A. “Akim Tamiroff and His Sinister Work at Melba.” Dallas Morning News, June 22, 1937. *
— article in Dallas, Texas newspaper

anonymous. “Slot Machine Racket Bared at Orpheum.” Oakland Tribune, June 23, 1937. *
— short article; Oakland, California newspaper

“Two Resume Screen Careers.” Los Angeles Times, June 24, 1937. *
— caption photo of Brooks and Evelyn Brent, nothing that they are appearing in King of Gamblers

Cinemaid. “Singing Marine, Tune Potpourri – Dick Powell.” San Francisco Call Bulletin, June 25, 1937. *
— brief mention – King of Gamblers is second film on bill; ” . . . much more entertaining than the usual gangster film.” – San Francisco, California newspaper

Hobart, John. “Musical and Underworld Story Bow.” San Francisco Chronicle, June 25, 1937. *
— brief mention; ” . . . an excellent crime melodrama.” – San Francisco, California newspaper

Letts, Bob. “Powell’s Songs, Hugh Herbert Headline Fox.” San Francisco News, June 25, 1937. *
— brief mention; ” . . . a gangster picture, on a slightly different footing.” – San Francisco, California newspaper

P., E. “King of Gamblers.” Monthly Film Bulletin, June 30, 1937. (England) *
— short review; “The acting is on a high level.”

anonymous. “Tip-Offs on the Talkies.” Motion Picture, July, 1937. *
— capsule review; “An excellent crime melodrama . . . . It is brutal and sordid, but convicingly real.”

anonymous. “King of Gamblers – Paramount.” Photoplay, July, 1937. *
— capsule review

C(risler), B. R. “At the Criterion.” New York Times, July 3, 1937.
— “Unscrupulous editing and the conscienceless substitution of camera angles and mechanical dissolves for ideas and genuine suspense have made a superficially presentable melodrama out of King of Gamblers at the Criterion.” – New York City newspaper

Gilbert, Douglas. “Thrillers at Roxy, Criterion.” New York World-Telegram, July 3, 1937. *
— review in New York City newspaper

Hale, Wanda. “Roxy’s Holiday Show Startling Adventure.” New York Daily News, July 3, 1937. *
— ” . . . a grim, yet satisfactory cinematic account of the machinations of slot machine racketeers.” – New York City newspaper

Soanes, Wood. “Musical and Crusade at Fox Oakland.” Oakland Tribune, July 3, 1937. *
— short review in Oakland, California newspaper

Tazelaar, Marguerite. “On the Screen.” New York Herald Tribune, July 3, 1937. *
— ” . . . imaginative direction and good acting makes it a picturesque melodrama.” – New York City newspaper

Thirer, Irene. “King of Gamblers Drama of Rackets at Criterion.” New York Post, July 3, 1937. *
— “Criterion goers are clutching their chairs these days, because this is probably the most blood-thirsty picture in several seasons.” – New York City newspaper

Mishkin, Leo. “Screen Presents.” Morning Telegraph, July 4, 1937. *
— review in New York City newspaper

Gaynor, Edward. “Tamiroff Displays Ability in King of Gamblers.” Daily Worker, July 5, 1937. *
— Brooks is listed as a member of the cast in review in New York City-based Communist newspaper

Cassal, Gould. “The Screen.” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, July 6, 1937. *
— Brooks is listed as a member of the cast in review in Brooklyn, New York newspaper

Scho. “King of Gamblers.” Variety, July 7, 1937. (United States)
— “This meller is of the old gangster school of pix, but well enough done to rate okay in the smaller spots solo.”

anonymous. “King of Gamblers to be Shown Here.” Appleton Post Crescent, July 10, 1937. *
— article in Appleton, Wisconsin newspaper

author unknown. Ohio State Journal, July 10, 1937.
— article in Columbus, Ohio newspaper

Lusk, Nobert. “Unheralded Film Lauded by Broadways.” Los Angeles Times, July 10, 1937. *
— “An unpretentious picture that tops in interest and appeal those which arrive on Broadway with benefit of ballyhoo.” – article in Los Angeles, California newspaper

M’Combs, R. L. F. “Majestic’s King of Gamblers Is Entertaining.” Columbus Citizen, July 10, 1937. *
— review in Columbus, Ohio newspaper

Nickels, Tom. “Death Ends Life Of Gambler In Crime Picture.” Columbus Dispatch, July 10, 1937. *
— review in Columbus, Ohio newspaper

anonymous. “Also Showing.” Time, July 12, 1937. *
— capsule review

Zolotow, Maurice. “King of Gamblers.” Billboard, July 17, 1937. (United States)
— capsule review; ” . . . just another filler-in for the neighborhood duos.”

anonymous. “A Brisk Drama Of Gamesters Clicks at Met.” Washington Post, July 31, 1937. *
— “The cold chills and icy thrills of King of Gamblers make the Metropolitan air-conditioning quite superfluous. If you are one for hard-boiled homicides mixed in with your entertainment, this show will give you a good time and a half.” – review in Washington D.C. newspaper

anonymous. “Gamblers At The Met.” Washington Times, July 31, 1937. *
— review in Washington, D.C. newspaper

M., H. “Melodrama Is Keynote Of Met Film.” Washington Evening Star, July 31, 1937. *
— review in Washington, D.C. newspaper

author unknown. “King of Gamblers, by Thayer, Racket Expose, Is at the Capitol.” Atlanta Constitution, August 1, 1937. (United States)
— “Tiffany Thayer, one of America’s outstanding writers on crime and rackets, comes through with another winner in King of Gamblers, a during story of the slot machine racket as it exists in many cities, which opens a week’s engagement at the Capitol theater….” – review in Atlanta, Georgia newspaper

S., W. “Claire Trevor Starred In King of Gamblers.” Atlanta Constitution, August 2, 1937. (United States)
— article in Atlanta, Georgia newspaper

Fred, Slyvia. “Adventure Film Centers Around Slot Machines.” Dayton Journal, August 21, 1937. *
— brief review in Dayton, Ohio newspaper

anonymous. “Film of the Week.” The Scotsman, September 14, 1937. (Scotland) *
— review in Edinburgh, Scotland newspaper

anonymous. “The Monotony of Hollywood.” Irish Times, November 30, 1937. (Ireland) *
— “There are several old favourites of the screen in the cast of an unpretentious, but amusing, film.” – short write-up in article in Dublin, newspaper

anonymous. “King of Gamblers Due at T & D.” Oakland Tribune, December 16, 1937. *
— article on second run screening in Oakland, California newspaper

Graham, Sheila. “From Trailers to Teasers on the Screen.” Dallas Morning News, February 6, 1938. *
— comments on the trailor of the film in syndicated column in Dallas, Texas newspaper

Taves, Brian. Robert Florey: The French Expressionist. Metuchen, New Jersey: Scarecrow Press, 1987. *
— a two page section and a handful of references to the film

Erickson, Hal. “King of Gamblers.” All Movie Guide, circa 2000. *
— capsule review on film website; “Though only a “B” picture, King of Gamblers was given “A” treatment by director Robert Florey.”

anonymous. “King of Gamblers.” TV Guide Online, circa 2001. *
— capsule review on entertainment website; “Buried in the hefty cast is silent screen beauty Louise Brooks (Pandora’s Box, 1929), who had to endure just one more Poverty Row western before retiring from films in 1938.”