Aces and Eights: Card Shark Saves the Ranch

Aces and Eights:
"Card Shark Saves the Ranch"

The title of this film refers to the "dead man's hand" held by Wild Bill Hickok when he was gunned down during a poker game. Tim McCoy, whose piercing glances enfeeble his rivals in his portrayal of "Gentleman" Tim Madigan, a card shark whose finer instincts cause him to assist a beleaguered Mexican family near the California/Nevada border. Madigan carries no gun and survives solely by his wits.

This film is not a masterpiece by any standards. Nevertheless, it is an interesting film to add to a collection of gambling movies in which a card cheat plays the leading role. "Bottom Dealing", "Card switching", "Cold Decking", and some other card cheating plots, are mentioned throughout the film, although none of the mechanics are actually shown.


The description on the back of the case reads as follows:

"Gentleman" Tim Madigan (Tim McCoy) is a dapper card shark who plays for big money in cowboy saloons from Nevada to California. Despite his big black hat and bow tie, "Gentleman" Tim never wears a gun. Instead he is armed with the skills of a card shark.

In one high-stakes game, Joseph Hernandez, the son of a respected Mexican rancher, loses a bundle until Madigan exposes the opponent as a card cheat. Later the crooked player is found murdered. The local sheriff suspects that Jose is the killer, but also keeps a close eye on Tim. While fighting to avoid arrest, Tim Madigan struggles to save the Hernandez ranch from the creditors.

Tim McCoy was a superstar of cowboy films in the 1920s and '30s, appearing in scores of early Westerns for MGM and small studios. He was an expert horseman, roper and sharpshooter, renowned for his fast draw. After serving as an officer in World War II he returned to Hollywood to star in the Rough Riders film series with Buck Jones and Raymond Hatton.

DVD Details

  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: None
  • Year: 1936
  • Approximate Run Time: 55 Minutes
  • B&W
  • Screen Format: Standard TV
  • Region: 0 (For Use In All Regions)