Motion pictures provide the ultimate escapism from what can often be the mundanity of day to day life. We laugh with them, we cry with them, but overall we are entertained by them. Of course, this means that many films exaggerate facts for entertainment purposes, and this can be essentially the case with how casinos are depicted in cinema. Movie based casinos often have higher stakes and it appears to be much easier to win, but that’s why we love them so much. Casinos and gambling based scenes have featured a lot over the history of cinema, he take a look at some of the most thrilling.
The 2006 reboot of the Bond franchise took us all the way back to 007’s first ever mission, following his promotion to Double-0 status and earning his license to kill. Most of the film takes place inside the titular Casino Royale in Monte Carlo and features around a high stakes poker game that gets ever tenser throughout much of the second act. There is even an assassination attempt, a staircase tussle and a fully clothed shower scene all slotted in between poker hands. As if that wasn’t bad enough, Bond is poisoned at the poker table and has to navigate his way out of the casino to get to his Aston Martin and inject himself with the necessary antidote. Edge of the seat stuff indeed.
In an unexpected hit, Rain Man helped Dustin Hoffman win both an Academy Award and a Golden Globe for best actor for his portrayal of autistic savant, Raymond. Tom Cruise plays his estranged brother Charlie to looks to take advantage Raymond’s superb recall to use the age old casino betting system of counting cards to win big money at blackjack. Rain Man showed off the delights of a Vegas casino in exquisite detail showing the audience just how overwhelming the experience may have been for somebody like Raymond, and of course you can’t help but be happy for him when he starts winning big, even if the character of Charlie is super slimy.
The eight collaboration between Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro is the 90’s flick Casino, based loosely on the life and times of Frank ‘Lefty’ Rosenthal, an associate of the Chicago mob. De Niro plays Ace Rothstein (based on Rosenthal) who is the front for the mob’s casino operations. Ace shows himself to be mean when necessary, and he shows it best when he has a bootless cowboy ejected from his casino, head first, simply because he rested his filthy socks atop a casino table. This movie also reunites De Niro and Scorsese with Joe Pesci, the three worked together on Goodfellas, and nobody’s amusing like a clown here either.MarkMeets Website