Films have always been one of the ultimate forms of escapism – somewhere the incredible can happen and where we can get carried along with the characters on their journey to success or disaster.
Of course, there are many genres from rom coms to sci-fi but one scene that seems to crop up pretty often takes place in the casino. The reasons are obvious. It’s glamorous, the stakes are often high and a character’s fortune can change on the roll of a roulette wheel or the turn of a card.
The fact that films as different as Rain Man and Austin Powers or Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Run Lola Run feature gambling scenes underlines just what a well-used cinematic device it can be. But if we had to pick just four films featuring quintessential casino scenes it would be these.
So why not settle down in front of the TV to watch any, or all, of these movies and even give the casino floor a go using a trusted online casino such as 888casino for inspiration. Then it could be the perfect time to try your luck for yourself.
It doesn’t seem like it’s ten years since Daniel Craig first played James Bond but it was 2006 when he made his dramatic arrival as the arch spy who’s licensed to kill. In the film, that was rapturously received as a whole new era for Bond, he is pitted against the evil and mysterious villain, Le Chiffre and their conflict is acted out in a high stakes game of poker. Le Chiffre’s dirty tricks include poisoning Bond in the middle of the game but he fights off the heart attack that is meant to kill him and goes on to win the game with a straight flush.
The 2001 remake of the 1960 classic Oceans 11 looks back to the time of the Las Vegas Rat Pack and features a stellar cast led by George Clooney with Matt Damon, Julia Roberts, Andy Garcia and Brad Pitt.
In the film the gang plan to steal millions of dollars from some of the biggest casinos in Vegas including the Bellagio, the MGM Grand and The Mirage. It features a very complex plot full of double crossings, surprises and great performances and not only generated two sequels, it also made $450 million at the box office.
The 2008 film starring Kevin Spacey is, not surprisingly, all about blackjack. The plot is based on a true story in which a team of maths experts from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology develop a very sophisticated technique of card counting which is so successful that they manage to win millions of dollars from Las Vegas casinos. Like many casino movies, it’s also full of plot twists and characters deceiving each other- in one of the film’s most famous scenes Spacey’s character picks up a bag that he believes is full of high-value casino chips but which are actually chocolate coins.
In Martin Scorsese’s 1995 film he is in familiar territory as he tells the story of the dying days of mafia involvement in Las Vegas. The film stars Scorsese regular Robert De Niro with Joe Pesci and Sharon Stone and the plot, said to reflect real events, revolves around an FBI investigation into the shady dealings going on at a string of Vegas casinos. The film had a very good critical reception and won Sharon Stone an Oscar nomination for her role as Ginger McKenna.