Robert Aldrich's final film is a fitting crowd-pleaser of a coda to his directing career. Mel Frohman's script is a satisfying mixture of character piece, road movie and sports-competition flick (complete with a rousing wrestling-ring finale tailor-made for Aldrich's skills). The comedic dialogue has a profane charm to it and the characterizations have a colorful edge that enhances the film's pulpy feel. All The Marbles also benefits from spot-on casting. Vicki Frederick and Laurene Landon both bring plenty of eye-candy appeal to their roles but there's more to their performances that that: Frederick lends a real emotional gravity to her struggles with her chosen career and Landon has a girlish charm that is positively ingratiating. However, All The Marbles really belongs to Peter Falk, whose grizzled charisma is a natural fit for the role of the manager. He hits the ideal blend of never-say-die wit and world-weariness to instantly convince the audience and his tireless scheming to ensure his girls come on out on top at the finale is unexpectedly moving. Aldrich's direction offers a nice blend of light and shade: he can play it subtle during the film's moodier, more dramatic moments but he brings a muscular, visceral touch to the wrestling matches that really sells them. His crowning achievement is the finale, which is masterfully choreographed for maximum impact and atmosphetically shot by Joseph Biroc. In short, All The Marbles is a winner for any Aldrich fan and worth a look to anyone interested in sports films.