- Check out these classic films with memorable gambling scenes
- No matter what your favourite genre, there’s an awesome casino movie for you
The casino is a dynamic choice of location for pivotal plot points in film.
Often, the characters have found themselves drawn to a land-based casino in a moment of desperation, leaving their luck in the hands of fate.
The next time you want to take a break from spinning slots or playing cards, pop on one of these iconic films and revel in these seismic scenes which have stood the test of time.
Rain Man (1988)
Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman star as brothers in the Academy Award-winning film Rain Man, which features a key moment at a Las Vegas casino.
The brothers, in matching suits, have found themselves in debt when Cruise’s character realises that his autistic brother (played by Hoffman) has the capacity to count cards after he insists ‘Hit me, hit me’ during a game of Blackjack.
He informs Cruise that there are lots of queens in the deck, and Cruise decides to double down, while slowly a crowd gathers around their table as the brothers win time and time again.
This scene is a classic not only because of the success of their gambling, but because of the brotherly bond forming between the two once-estranged characters.
If classics of the silver screen era are more your style, Casablanca is absolutely unmissable. Moving away from Las Vegas, the film takes us to the ancient city in Morocco. Rick (played by Humphrey Bogart) helps out a young Bulgarian couple who are desperate to flee to America.
Knowing the dealers of the casino, he finds the young Bulgarian man at the roulette table where he is despondently continuing to bet without success.
Bogart advises him to bet on the number 22, while sending a knowing look to the dealer, and the Bulgarian man follows his advice, resulting in a win.
Bogart advises him to bet on 22 again using his previous win and miraculously the ball falls into 22 again, ensuring the couple win the money they need to buy their visas to America.
Through the atmospheric, smoky lense of a Casablanca casino in the 40s, this scene also gives an insight into the virtue and kindness of Bogart’s hardened character.
Run Lola Run (1988)
A German sci-fi film with nonstop thrills, Run Lola Run is a film in which a woman (Franka Potente) is given 20 minutes to come up with 100,000 German marks in order to save her boyfriend’s life. The film shows three possible outcomes of her actions.
The casino scene takes place in the third part of the film, and like Casablanca revolves around the roulette table. Lola convinces the casino cashier to giver her a 100 mark coin, despite only having 99 marks, which she then bets on the number 20.
After winning the first bet, she puts all her chips back on the number 20, and as the wheel spins she begins to scream, shattering glasses throughout the casino. Miraculously, the ball again falls into the number 20 slot, giving her the exact cash that she needs.
As she cashes out, the entire casino’s staff and patrons stand watching her, shocked. The film is an exciting examination on the consequences of our actions.
There are so many more legendary casino-based films, such as the 1998 classic Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, the 1995 crime drama Casino directed by Martin Scorsese, the 1967 James Bond staple Casino Royale and the high-stakes antics of Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998).
These scenes can inspire you to try out a new game or can even give you a new lucky number to try out. What’s your favourite movie casino scene?
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