There is an indelible history to films, typically with the various genres and what an audience clamors for. We decided to take a look back at some of the more notable casino-esque films (or scenes) and hope you too would sound off below on what may have been memorable to you. Movie watching naturally ends up being about a list, if you’re looking at favorites. Be it the film itself, or the actors involved, even the backdrop of Las Vegas is seemingly de facto when it comes to gambling.
It’s not always the case, with the gambling den Rick (Humphrey Bogart) set up in Casablanca (1942) or Tego and Rico hitting up Monte Carlo to gamble away $10 million a piece in a single game of roulette in Fast Five (2011). I mean, really? Did you ever think those two films could be uttered in the same sentence? They really shouldn’t, but that’s the point. It’s the moments in films like these which can inherently tie commonalities together. Be it the entire film as a whole with Casablanca or simple characters coming in and creating a memorable moment to an audience. It’s about favorites.
We could also look at Raymond and Charlie’s road-trip across America where Charlie eventually brings his autistic brother to count cards in blackjack in the movie Rain Man (1988). We more recently saw Alan from the Wolfpack count cards in The Hangover (2009) in order to rescue their friend Doug from Leslie Chow. There is also the true story of the group of MIT students who took counting cards to another level as teams, where they would always look to rob the house in the 2008 film, 21 starring Jim Burgess, Kate Bosworth, Kevin Spacey, and Laurence Fishburne. We could also look at poker films such as Lucky You (2007) with Eric Bana as Huck Cheever playing against his estranged father L.C. Cheever played by Robert Duvall or the cult classic Rounders (1998) starring Matt Damon and Edward Norton.
Then there are the films which use gambling as a background as whole with Scorsese’s Casino (1995) or Soderbergh’s Ocean’s Eleven (2001) and Ocean’s Thirteen (2007). Especially with the latter, where the heist of stealing money becomes an exciting setup in respect to a great cast of actors. Then last but not least, there is James Bond who is typically synonymous with everything high stakes, especially in the more recent Casino Royale (2006).
Whether its the moment(s) surrounding the film as a whole or subplots, it’ll be interesting to see where the next film with the casino-esque genre goes next. Could it be a focus with online gambling, a Hollywood style version of casino games or Texas Hold’Em, complete with dramatic clicking of a mouse to get that bet in? Anything is possible, but the point is as movie goers, it becomes a list. A list of favorites or these general ‘cool’ moments where maybe seeing a four-of-a-kind is great, but a straight flush, as we all know is better. It also helps that you’re gambling with money that isn’t yours and if you lose, you will die. I’m looking at you Le Chiffre. But that’s what made Casino Royale so intense and makes scenes like that one with the genre, so fun to watch.
We probably missed a ton, but again, sound off below on moments you liked regarding casino scenes! We encourage it!