Directed by Karel Reisz • 1974 • United States
Starring James Caan, Paul Sorvino, Lauren Hutton
James Caan delivers a brilliant performance in this gritty, unsparing portrait of a gambling addict caught in a relentless downward spiral. He stars as Axel Freed, a Harvard-educated New York City English professor who appears to be the picture of success, but whose compulsive gambling has left him in enormous debt to his girlfriend, his mother, and ruthless loan sharks. Now, with the mob determined to make him pay up, Axel embarks on a desperate last-ditch attempt to salvage his life.