In the 1860’s Nevada was home to gold prospectors searching the Sierra Nevada mountains for riches. After the day was done, there was nothing to do but drink some beer, watch the stars, and play cards with each other. One deck of cards provided all the entertainment that the prospectors needed, and as the territory grew, gambling was a natural part of life in Nevada.
In 1869 the state officially made some forms of gambling legal, and Virginia City, Nevada quickly became the center for gambling houses and soon became the most populous town in the state. All was well until 1909 when Nevada decided to make gambling a criminal act, beginning on October 1, 1910.
In this story, Clara Kimball Young is ‘Faro Lil,’ owner of the popular Helldorado gambling saloon in Virginia City. When the clock struck midnight and October 1 arrived, she packed up her belongings and her new baby boy and left Nevada and gambling behind.
Fast forward to 1931, and we are in the first years of the stock market crash and the Great Depression. Lil is still wealthy, having put her money in the stock market, and her son is in college and part of the wealthy sophisticated crowd. Suddenly she discovers that all of her money in the stock market is gone, and she is near penniless.
Director: John P. McCarthy
Stars: Clara Kimball Young, Bruce Kimball Warren, John Elliott