Although the cohorts of Grover Whalen have had little success in solving the riddle of "who killed Arnold Rothstein", Paramount has advanced a neat solution of the whole mystery. "The Street of Chance", now current at the Uptown is based frankly upon the known facts of the Rothstein murder with a mixture of adduced facts and some love interest added thereto in order to make a presentable movie plot.
The result is far better than one might have hoped. "The Street of Chance" is the story of a king among professional gamblers who in the end sacrifices his life in an effort to keep his younger brother from following the life that he himself has led. The plot is well knit together and is surprisingly convincing thanks primarily to the almost perfect casting and to the ability of the director to keep up a sustained interest.
William Powell, always an interesting figure upon the screen, completely dominates the whole picture. Suave, quiet, yet inwardly domineering in character, he presents a most convincing picture of the master gambler who, without ballyhoo and outward arrogance, holds in subjection all the forces of New York's gambling racket. The minor characters, Kay Francis as the gambler's wife, and Regis Toomey who takes the part of the selfish younger brother are admirably cast.
"The Street of Chance" is probably the first underworld picture, (and there have been many of them lately), which does not try to reach its climax in the midst of pistol shots, machine gun fire and the scream of police sirens. The whole tone of the movie is quiet efficiency, whether it involves taking a hundred thousand dollars from a sucker at the gaming table or in taking an obstreperous colleague for a ride.
Whether one likes this unquestionably rather sordid type of entertainment or not, this picture has definitely set a new level in its particular field and seems to fulfill the promises of merit which its producers made for it.