Gambling, Casinos and Movies make a deadly combination, period. The blitz, glamour and allure of the neon lights; spinning roulette wheels, shuffling of cards, rolling dice and the sweet sound of coins falling from the slot machines!
Freebies, free drinks, meals and of course the pretty girls is the perfect backdrop for any casino themed movie. Offering a bit of everything from the dark and moody, to the light, fluffy and humorous to the movie goer, you are waiting to get your hands on these nuggets.
My all time favourite is The Sting. It’s a treat to watch Robert Redford, Paul Newman and Robert Shaw play cat and mouse, to pull off the perfect con job. A casino owner who murders their friend is about to be the bait for these feisty acting legends.
There is no other movie that takes the title away from the master of artistry, Martin Scorsese. Giving us the 1995 master piece, the Casino takes a peek into the greed, deception and power and money. Powerful performances from Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, Sharon Stone and James Woods, it’s the all time favourite.
Moving away from all these dark movies, on a fun note, The Hangover and its sequel, takes the cake for things that’s totally bizarre, funny and frowned upon in a trip to Viva Las Vegas. Expect tigers, roofies and whole lot of baddies as they barge into the bachelor’s party that’s going downhill from the start.
Mixing up one night stands, booze and shotgun weddings is the working theme of any casino/ Vegas movie. Add a dash of adrenaline action to this cocktail, and you have the Ocean’s Eleven. George Clooney, Brad Pitt and the lovely Julia Roberts mastermind the casino heist with élan and walk away with applauses. The sequels certainly lose their touch but they made up for a fun movie.
Bugsy (1991) a gritting movie based on the real life of Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel and his famous Flamingo Hotel. Seeding the way for the mobsters to control the Casinos, it showed the dark underbelly of the Las Vegas and its mob connection.
Another movie that caught the attention is 21. The real life story of 6 MIT students, who fleeced the casino of millions by counting cards, is probably the best movie to tell you that greed never pays. Applying maths and smartness, to the unpredictable casino world and making it work at least for little while, is the USP of this movie.
A casino gambling list without mentioning the Bond movies is an incomplete one. Casino Royale, Diamonds Are Forever are just passing references, for all the bond movies.
While Blackjack rules the roost in most of the casino movies, Roulette is not far behind. The ever green classic, Casablanca (1942), Run Lola Run (1998), The Croupier (1998), The Deer Hunter (1978) had their share of scene time in these movies.
Well, it seems casino themed movies are not the hot topic right now. The only recent movie to get a mention is The Gambler, a remake of the Original of the same name, starring Mark Wahlberg.
That said, casino movies are going to be the all time favourite for the directors. It says a lot, considering the millions of ideas that are cropping up in their minds. Invariably every single movie has some sort of a situation where gambling on lives, money, people is involved. So cuddle up and enjoy the casino movies with a bag of popcorn!