Of the numerous gambling games to feature in movies over the years, roulette is the most popular. The pastime has appeared in all genres of movies, from action-packed thrillers to dramas and comedies. Here are just some of the best movies of all time where roulette has a key role to play.
Diamonds Are Forever
Iconic super-spy James Bond is often seeing carousing in casinos in the legendary movie series. Perhaps the most famous of all that heavily featured casino playing, however, is 1971’s Diamonds are Forever. 007 (Sean Connery) is seen here playing numerous casino games, with roulette, of course, being among them. The best roulette scene occurs just before the film’s famous craps scene and helps to establish the atmosphere for one of the more exciting Bond films in the series.
While you can get a rush playing roulette, it can land you in trouble if you’re not careful. This proves to be very much the case in the 1993 classic Indecent Proposal. A newlywed couple (Demi Moore and Woody Harrelson) foolishly gamble their life savings on one game of roulette. A billionaire (Robert Redford) offers the couple $1 million if he can sleep with the man’s wife. The couple agrees, leading to their relationship being tested to the limit.
The 1942 film is widely regarded as being among the greatest-ever movies. One of its most remembered scenes features a game of roulette that takes place in the cafe owned by the film’s main character, Rick (Humphrey Bogart). A woman gambles everything on a single game of roulette in order to help her and her husband escape from a corrupt investigator and make their way to America. Rick ensures that the game goes in their favor, and the couple leaves with the winnings, off to a better life Stateside.
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
The Michael Caine and Steve Martin movie from 1988 is one of the great comedy partnerships of the era. The two actors play con men who come together to win tens of thousands of dollars from casinos in France. In one of the movie’s more memorable scenes, the duo plays roulette against each other, as well as others. France is an appropriate setting for a movie featuring roulette, seeing as the game is believed to have been invented there in the 17th century, per Mr Green. The word itself even means “small wheel” in French. Although it’s unlikely the two men had that in mind when they were plotting how to win their fortune.
Starring George Segal and Elliott Gould, this 1974 movie focuses completely on gambling. So it’s of no surprise that roulette appears on multiple occasions throughout the film. The two main characters in the movie form a bond after being accused of collusion in a poker game. They win more and more together by playing poker, craps, and roulette. Segal’s character eventually tires of the lifestyle, however, and returns to his old way of living, proving that winning isn’t everything.
There are plenty of other casino movies to choose from, such as 21 (2008) and The Gambler (1980), but the above list is definitely the best focusing on the casino’s most popular game.