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The Sting (1973 Best Picture Oscar Winner) Following the murder of a mutual friend, aspiring con man Johnny Hooker (Robert Redford) teams up with old pro Henry Gondorff (Paul Newman) to reap revenge on the ruthless crime boss responsible, Doyle Lonnegan (Robert Shaw). Together, Hooker and Gondorff hatch an elaborate high stakes gambling scheme, one so crafty that Lonnegan won’t even know he’s been taken. As their big con unfolds, however, things don’t go according to plan, requiring some last-minute improvisation by this doggedly determined duo.
Casino (1995) A complex tale of greed, deception, money, power and murder revolving around two lifelong friends. Mafia enforcer (Joe Pesci) and casino executive (Robert De Niro) compete against each other over a gambling empire, while also contending for the affections of a fast-living and fast-loving socialite (Sharon Stone).
Rounders (1998) A young, reformed gambler (Matt Damon) must return to playing big money poker to help an ex-con buddy (Edward Norton) pay off loan sharks. All the while he struggles to balance in the bargain a relationship with his girlfriend (Gretchen Mol) and his commitments to law school.
Eight Men Out (1988) A stunning dramatization of the Black Sox professional baseball scandal of 1919. The woefully underpaid Chicago White Sox took bribes to throw the 1919 World Series, and in so doing won a criminal gambling syndicate a veritable pitcher’s mound of money.
The Gambler (1974) Excerpt from my review:
James Caan is Axel Freed, a gambling addict hell-bent on self-destruction in the gritty 1974 crime drama “The Gambler”.
A college literature professor by day, Freed wages a vicious war with himself off campus during his off hours, shattering the limits of both underground and legit wagers. He knows full well that the odds against him are recklessly daunting. Dangerously so. Nevertheless, we come to learn that this is a deeply troubled soul, and a guy who has long since succumbed to a ceaseless struggle to quench an insatiable thirst for “the juice” which betting has insidiously inflicted.
The final image of “The Gambler” is a grotesquely grim one to be sure. Yet we get the unsettling feeling that Freed was never going to be genuinely “satisfied” until it got to this horrifically ugly point.
I invite you to enjoy all of my entertaining and eclectic film reviews as “The Quick Flick Critic”, continually updated at https://thequickflickcritic.blogspot.com/