Films are an influential element in shaping the world view of gambling; they have proved to fill the audience with excitement, adventure, risk and the much-anticipated involvement of the mafia. Las Vegas is a gold mine for such activities, and it is the place where Hollywood found its unending supply for gambling stories. Gambling movies prove to be a powerful movie package which is liked by all kind of audiences. Here are some movies which portrayed gambling as the centrepiece of the story
Martin Scorsese’s masterpiece, Casino was produced in 1995, starring Robert De Niro, Sharron Stone and Joe Pesci in lead roles. The movie made us$ 116 million worldwide and is regarded as one of the greatest films of all time. The story was adapted from Nicholas Pileggi’s book ‘Casino: Love and Honour in Las Vegas’. The film is set in 1973 where ‘Sam’ played by Robert De Niro is sent to Las Vegas from Chicago to look after a Casino. The story takes us on the journey of Sam fighting troubles in the casino and his personal life, the friendships made and the enemies he eliminates.
Croupier was directed by Mike Hodges and released in 1998 starring Clive Owen as Jack Manfred. The story is set in Las Vegas where Jack has taken up the job of a croupier in a casino where he gets sucked in the life of cheating, betting, women and frauds which takes a massive toll on his personal life. Until the end, he finally writes a book and publishes it anonymously, which becomes a huge success. He doesn’t make any change in his lifestyle and keeps on working as a croupier in the casino.
Inspired by a set of real events and based on Ben Mezrich’s book ‘Bringing Down the House’, 21 is the story of a blackjack team which graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The movie stars Kevin Spacey, Jim Sturgess and a group of other actors who form the blackjack team. Ben Campbell played by Jim Sturgess is accepted at the Howard Medical School but is unable to afford the extravagant tuition fee. He faces aggressive competition for a scholarship and is approached by a professor named Micky Rosa played by Kevin Spacey. Ben, using his knowledge of probability, shines as a blackjack player when the unit is sent to Las Vegas. The life of grandeur and richness starts to change Ben and he parts with his team.
Rounders directed by John Dahl is set in New York around the game of poker. The film portrays ‘Mike’ played by Matt Damon who is a dextrous poker player, still in law school. Mike loses all his money in a game and promises to focus on his studies. Things change when his old friend ‘Worm’, played by Edward Norton, is released from prison, and Mike makes a comeback to the world of poker. As the movie progresses, their lives get even more complicated with the involvement of KGB agents and considerable debts to settle.