High-stakes action, iconic games, and the possibility of winning oodles of money are what casinos are all about. That intense atmosphere and Hollywood’s movie-making magic are a match made in heaven.
British spies, card-counting blackjack university blackjack teams, suicidal addicts, and mobsters are just some of the characters who have passed through casinos on the Silver Screen. Interesting characters also find their way into many of the casino games you can play at Mummys Gold.
It took us a few hours and vast amounts of popcorn, but we can now tell you all about Hollywood’s top five classic casino movies.
Casino Royale (2006)
Based on one of Ian Fleming’s James Bond novels, the 2006 release stars Daniel Craig, and centres on a Texas Hold’em poker game at the Casino Royale in Montenegro. Bond’s mission is to play against a French terrorism financier, in the hope of forcing him to assist the British government.
We have to admit that the casino isn’t exactly the main setting in the movie, although it is the scene of some pretty intense action that goes beyond playing cards.
Starring Jim Sturgess and Kevin Spacey, 21 is a heist drama inspired by the story of the real-life MIT Blackjack Team. Ben Campbell, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology math major, gets accepted into Harvard Medical School.
However, Campbell doesn’t have the money for the fees, and getting a scholarship may not be so easy. After MIT professor Micky Rosa challenges him to try solve the Monty Hall problem, which he does, Rosa invites Campbell to join the blackjack team, which uses card-counting techniques and other methods to win at Vegas casinos on weekends.
The Lady Gambles (1949)
The 1949 movie, the Lady Gambles, is a black-and-white film noir melodrama starring Barbary Stanwyck, Stephen McNally, and Robert Preston. It opens with reporter David Booth finding out that his wife Joan had been beaten up in an alleyway for using loaded dice.
The movie then continues as David’s reflection on how his wife ended up in such a tragic situation. The couple had travelled to Las Vegas, where Booth had been assigned to write a story.
The owner of the hotel and casino introduced Joan to gambling by giving her a few chips for free. Poor Joan managed to lose her husband’s camera and expense money, win the camera back, win thousands in a poker game, and lose their life savings.
David eventually finds his depressed and suicidal wife in a hospital, and realises that it is up to him to try and save her.
Based on the Frank Rosenthal story, the 1995 movie Casino features a star-studded cast, among which are the incomparable Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, and Sharon Stone. The movie is set in 1973, and follows the exploits of Sam Ace Rothstein, a sports handicapper and associate of the Chicago Outfit mafia.
The outfit sends Ace to manage the Tangiers Casino, which is secretly controlled by the outfit. Ace’s excellent work sees the casino’s profits double. However, before any income is reported to the revenue services, the outfit skims the profits.
That marks the beginning of a suspense-filled, action-packed rollercoaster ride for the various characters.
Hard Eight (1996)
The 1996 crime thriller Hard Eight stars Samuel L. Jackson, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Philip Baker Hall. An aging gambler named Sydney meets young John and teaches him to gamble so John can raise money to bury his mother.
The fast-paced film features unexpected twists, murder most foul, prostitutes holding clients to ransom, and a secret Sydney needs to keep hidden.
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