The gambler is a collection of five films, starring Kenny Rogers and inspired by his hit song, the gambler.
Four of the films were directed by Dick Lowry, the last film in the series was directed by Jack bender who most recently directed episodes of the television series Lost and Under The Dome
Kenny Rogers as The Gambler
This made for TV movie was released in 1980. The series was commercially and critically successful and earned two Emmy award nominations. Kenny Rogers plays Brady Hawkes, the gambler from his hit song.
He is on a mission to find his young son after he receives a letter from him. He meets Billy Montana and the two partners up for the journey.
The Gambler Adventure Continues
After the success of the first Gambler, CBS green lit a sequel that was released in 1983. Both this film and its prequel were written by Jim Byrnes.
This sequel of The Gambler was an even bigger critical and commercial success and the film earned another two Emmy award nominations.
In this film, Brady and Billy must save Brady’s son from a gang of train robbers. Linda Evans plays Kate Muldoon, a female bounty hunter.
The Third Installment
Written by Joe Byrne and Jeb Rosebrook. Released in 1987, Kenny Roger as The Gambler Part 3: The Legend Continues was commercially successful but it did not earn any nominations.
The film was almost twice as long as the previous two films at 240 minutes. Brady Hawkes and Billy Montana are back again, this time they fight for a more noble cause.
They attempt to protect a tribe of Sioux Indians from the Governments attempts to unlawfully take their land away from them.
They also need to face off against cattle thieves working with the government to cripple the Sioux’s source of food and wealth
The Final Chapters
The fourth installment The Gambler Returns: The Luck Of The Draw again written by Joe Byrne and Jeb Rosebrook. It was released on the NBC network on 1991.
It was nominated for an Emmy once again and features as a homage to many western TV series. The story takes place in 1906, three weeks before a new law is enacted banning professional gambling. With the amount of online gambling Canada and in the US today, it’s hard to believe there was such a time.
Brady Hawkes needs to get to the final ever poker tournament. Hawkes doesn’t have much confidence though as he had recently lost a match to a British poker player.
At the tournament, Brady meets a who’s who of television including David Carradine as his character from Kung Fu, Hugh O’Brian as Wyatt Earp, James Drury and Doug McClure from The Virginian and many more. The film also stars Reba McIntire.
The Gambler Returns: The Luck Of The Draw aired on CBS in 1994. It was the first film in the series to be directed by Jack Bender.
It was written by Frank Q Dobbs, David S Cass Sr and Kelly Junkerman. In the fifth installment, Brady’s son gets involved with Butch Cassidy and The Sundance kid and Brady tries to save him.
Don’t forget to check out the hit song, The Gambler, but Kenny Rogers that inspired this film series: