A handsome, well-dressed fortune hunter, Ricardo, conducts an affair with the married Fritzi but, worse, weds the wealthy, fatally ill Valerie for her money—this in the course of the narrative of The Big Bluff, a 1955 film noir. As often occurs in life, Ricardo begins as a rogue and ends as a devil.

It is the task of storytellers Mindret Lord and Fred Freilberg to make the Ricardo-weds-Valerie concept convincing, and they do. Partly this is because an appetite for romance is everywhere. Ricardo romances Fritzi, Valerie’s good friend Marsha (Eva Miller) romances Valerie’s doctor; hence Valerie’s eagerness for involvement with the rogue simply comports with the rest of what is going on.

John Bromfield, not unsubtle, is successful as Ricardo, while Martha Vickers and Rosemary Bowe are okay as Valerie and Fritzi, respectively. The characters are good-looking enough, moreover, that they seem to have walked over from Le Amiche. W. Lee Wilder did the interesting direction.

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