Top-Five Classic Casino Movies
Setting a movie in a classic casino environment has proved to be very successful throughout the years. Below we list some of our own favorite flicks.
You've probably already seen some of these movies, but if you haven't you should know that they are all must-sees for any true casino lover. You will also find a clip of our favorite scene from every movie. Enjoy!
5. CASINO ROYALE
(Daniel Craig, John Cleese, Judi Dench, Mads Mikkelsen, 2006)
Le Chiffre (Mikkelsen), a bank man with terrorist connections and also an excellent poker player, is trying to win a high-stakes poker tournament to pay back money he owes to terrorists. But at the table, a certain Mr. Bond (Craig) is doing everything in his power to stop this from happening.
Bond learns the hard lesson not to trust anyone, especially at the poker table. This movie is Mr. Bond's first mission as a 00 agent, and he has not yet earned his license to kill in the service of Her Majesty the Queen.
This is certainly not the best Bond movie, but with some great action scenes both inside and outside of the casinos, it makes it to number five on our list.
Best bit: Bond get's poisoned during a poker game
(Clive Owen, 1998)
This is an unusual portrait of the casino world - at least the part we are used to seeing on the big screens. Director Mike Hodge has created a story told from the dealer's perspective. In contrast to many other casino movies, this story takes place in London, far away from the flashy Las Vegas neon strip. A cold and rough gambling world is presented to the audience, and the luxurious world of a high roller casino seems far, far away.
Best bit: Jack Manfred (Owen) shows off his skills when applying for the croupier job.
3. THE COOLER
(William H. Macy, Maria Bello, Alec Baldwin, 2003)
Bernie (Macy) is what seems to be a bona fide loser. He works for the casino manager (Baldwin) who takes advantage of Bernie's ability to change the luck for hot-streak gamblers at the casino. When Bernie meets the waitress Natalie (Bello) his life changes for the better.
Baldwin's character is willing to go a long way to keep Bernie and his special skills at the casino.
Best bit: Bernie finds out the real reason why he and Natalie met in the first place.
2. OCEAN'S 11
(George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, Andy Garcia, 2001)
This remake of the classic Rat Pack comedy from the 1960s is as much an action movie as a comedy. Eleven professional criminals are put together for a heist against a bank with $150 million in the vault - all of it from three major Las Vegas casinos (Bellagio, Mirage and MGM Grand.) These casinos are owned by Terry Benedict (Garcia) who's dating Tess (Roberts), the Ocean 11 leader Dan's (Clooney) old girlfriend. This makes the whole operation even more personal.
Ocean's 11 is an action-packed movie, and just as in the original, it contains some great acting performances from the Hollywood elite of its time.
Best bit: The planning and execution of the heist
(Robert DeNiro, Joe Pesci, Sharon Stone, 1995)
This brutal gangster story takes place in Las Vegas. Martin Scorsese's movie is based on true events around a Las Vegas Strip hotel. This is the story about how the mafia built the city and what happens when they start losing control of it.
Sam "Ace" Rothstein (DeNiro) and Nicky Santaro (Pesci) make it to Vegas in order to turn around the business at the Tangiers Casino. Ace's wife, Ginger (Stone), turns to Nicky when she finds herself dissatisfied with the marriage to Ace. The eternal triangle situation is getting out of hand, and at the same time the mafia is losing control over Las Vegas.
Tangiers Casino never existed, but the story revolves around the history of the Stardust Casino. However, many of the scenes where shot at Riviera Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.
Best bit: Sam and Nick meet up in the middle of the dessert. 21 f-words in a less then three minute period.
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