Gambling Movies

Gambling Movies

As such a popular pastime, gambling has been the subject of many movies. Most of them are dramas that are set in a casino.

One of the oldest gambling movies is 1965’s The Cincinnati Kid. The movie stars Steve McQueen as Eric “The Kid” Stoner, a prodigy at Poker. One iconic scene from the film depicts the last hand of a Poker game. The movie is set in the 1930s and follows “The Kid” as he works his way through a series of important games to finally play against a legendary Poker champion.

Another older gambling movie is 1974’s The Gambler. The movie stars James Caan as an English professor that turns to gambling when he finds himself $44,000 in debt. His bookie is a psychopath who’s pressuring him to pay up. He’s also pressured to pay back money he borrowed from his mother. Throughout the movie Caan’s character makes some desperate attempts to right his wrongs and pay off his debts. James Caan later said that this was his favorite role because he was proud he could make people like such an unlikeable character.

1988’s Rain Man is perhaps one of the most well- loved movies that deal with the subject of gambling. Dustin Hoffman’s autistic character, Raymond, has an uncanny talent for counting cards. His brother Charlie takes advantage of this talent when he finds out that their late father left Raymond a $3 million inheritance, but Charlie wasn’t left with anything. Charlie’s solution to the problem is to kidnap Raymond and threaten him if he doesn’t give up the inheritance.

1996’s Hard Eight was a drama about Sydney, a professional gambler that teaches everything he knows to a man named John who lost all of his money. The two have a chance meeting outside of a diner in which Sydney buys John a cup of coffee. The two men then travel to Reno together and Sydney instructs John on the best way to get a room in a hotel casino for free. Thanks to the lessons he learns from Sydney, John goes on to find success as a professional gambler.

Croupier was a 1998 movie starring Clive Owen as a struggling writer named Jack who accepts a job working as a croupier in a casino. As a result he becomes involved in a murder and robbery when he meets a woman at the casino who talks him into participating in a heist.

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas was also a 1998 movie about gambling. The two main characters, Duke and Dr. Gonzo, travel to Vegas to follow the American Dream. Their journey is fueled by drugs and alcohol as they struggle to live the life everyone wants for themselves.

Also a 1998 movie, Rounders is about a man who quit gambling only to find himself back in the lifestyle in an attempt to help a friend who is being pursued by loan sharks. This is perhaps one of the darkest gambling movies to date.