After a dice game one night in the Oklahoma oil town of Richfield, out-of-work engineer Buzz Doyle is broke. Another gambler, Reno Sebastian, has been cleaned out, too, but hostess Terry Miller tips them off that her boss Walter Karns, the big winner, was cheating with loaded dice.
Reno has a ranch and an oil well that has not yet produced. He invites Buzz to come work for him, and Terry, who is close to Reno, thinks it's a good idea because Reno's got just 45 days to strike oil or the well will go to his sister Lilli, as stipulated in their father's will.
Lilli has hated Reno ever since he killed her fiance during a fight while they were gambling. Lilli is determined to get all his holdings now and will stop at nothing. She even tries to seduce Buzz into abandoning Reno and working for her, and when that doesn't work, Lilli threatens that something bad will happen to Buzz if he stands in her way. The corrupt Karns is in love with Lilli and will do her bidding.
Reno is found dead. Lilli is found by the body. But in his will, Reno has left his ranch to Terry, not to his sister. To sort out who's entitled to what, Terry and Buzz seek the advice of Corpus P. Mills, a tipsy attorney who represented the father of Reno and Lilli before he died.
Next it is Lilli who is found dead. Terry now stands to inherit everything, the ranch and the oil well both, but Buzz warns her this means Terry also could be the next victim. Karns comes along, but to everyone's surprise, Karns is killed, too, by a totally sober Corpus Mills, who has been masterminding this scheme from the start, eliminating family members so that he can claim the well for himself. His crimes don't pay, however, and in the end, Terry and Buzz get each other and a gusher of oil.Marie Windsor as Terry Miller
Richard Denning as Buzz Doyle
Fay Baker as Lilli Sebastian
Carleton Young as Reno Sebastian
James Griffith as Walter Karns
Taylor Holmes as Corpus Mills
In July 1950, it was announced that Marie Windsor and Richard Denning would be starring in the film. It was the first picture being produced by the newly formed company, Bel Air Productions. It was scheduled to begin filming in July at RKO Studios. Denning had been working on the radio show, My Favorite Husband, co-starring with Lucille Ball, which had caused him to pass up several film roles. Double Deal was the first part he took after finishing the radio show. After ten years of playing the bad girl in films, this picture was Marie Windsor's first starring role. While completely shot on the RKO lot, the film was not financed by the studio, who only handled distribution. During production Denning was injured by a blow to the back, which left him immobile for approximately half a minute. The picture was filmed in a total of nine days, and production was completed by the middle of August.
Harrison's Reports gave the film a less than stellar review, calling it a "weak melodrama". The magazine felt the plot was illogical, the acting weak, and the direction heavy-handed. Motion Picture Daily did not like the picture, also commenting on the lack of logic in the script. They felt that Fay Baker and Richard Denning acquitted themselves well, but that the rest of the cast struggled, although they felt that could have been due to the weakness of the script.