Based on the talented Frank D. Gilroy’s novel, The Edge, Jinxed is a comedy drama film that follows the life of a blackjack dealer in Las Vegas, who ultimately meets his match when a shady, professional player sits at his table.
The player then learns of the hardships of being involved in the gambling world when he is considered a jinx at every casino, and ultimately realises just how much there is to gamble in life. Featuring 103 minutes of run-time the film was distributed by MGM in 1982.
An Unexpected Twist
Jinxed was directed by the ever-famous director and producer by the name of Don Siegel. Siegel is well known for his involvement in the original sci-fi film, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, as well as the Clint Eastwood police thriller, Dirty Harry.
During the production of Jinxed, which was already considered troubled due to conflict between cast and crew, Don Siegel suffered a heart attack and the film was ultimately Siegel’s very last. Due to his deterioration in health he invited Sam Peckinpah to get on board, and even though he wasn’t credited for his work in Jinxed, his involvement lead to him being hired as the director of The Osterman Weekend.
Film Crew and Cast
Jinxed was produced by Herb Jaffe and the screenplay was written by Frank D. Gilroy and David Newman, while the film features an interesting cast with the world-famous Bette Midler included.
Bette Midler is cast as the female lead Bonita Friml who is professional player, Harold Benson’s unhappy mistress. Harold Benson is played by Rip Torn, while Ken Wahl plays the main character, blackjack dealer Willie Brodax.
Other actors credited include Val Avery, who plays Milt Hawkins, Jack Elam as Otto, Benson Fong as Dr. Wing, Jacqueline Scott as Woman Bettor, F. William Parker as Art, Ian Wolfe as Morley and much more.
Jinxed Plot Overview
When Harold Benson, a professional gambler who comes across as an untrustworthy character from the start, discovers the fact that he never loses against a Las Vegas blackjack dealer, named Willie Brodax, he sets out to ensure his winning streak never ends.
Brodax is so consistently beaten by Benson, that his career ends up on the line, with most of Las Vegas and even elsewhere considering him a jinx as a dealer, and refusing to employ him. A casino manager by the name of Milt Hawkins, who is played by Val Avery, suggests that Brodax’s only chance to survive this so-called curse would be to ensure that he wins something off of Benson.
Brodax, also suspicious of the player, follows him back to his trailer where he sees Benson’s miserable mistress. The desperate blackjack dealer gets creative when he experience’s a chance encounter with the mistress, Bonita Friml, a Las Vegas lounge singer. However, when emotions take over it ultimately sparks a series of troubling events for the blackjack dealer.
Jinxed was released to theaters on the 22nd of October in 1982 and made a Box Office total of 2,869,638 US dollars, while it had a budget of 13.4 million US dollars.