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James Toback made his screenwriting debut with this taut drama, loosely adapted from the story by Dostoevsky. Axel Freed (James Caan) is an intelligent and well-respected professor of literature at a noted New York university, who uses great writing as a springboard for examining moral and philosophical issues in his class. But when he's not in front of the chalkboard, Axel has a serious problem -- he's hopelessly addicted to gambling. Axel will bet on almost anything, and while he lives for the heady rush of winning, it ...

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