Movies open the viewers up to worlds that they never knew existed. They provide drama, laughs, edge-of-the-seat entertainment and more. So it is little surprise that the popularity and thrill of casinos have been captured on the big screen an umpteen number of times. From as early as Casablanca to the James Bond movie Casino Royale, these movies have wowed audiences over the decades.
They might have even added to the popularity of casinos, including online ones. Online gaming is increasingly played with a number of casino games to choose from. There are slots, roulettes and blackjack to be played of course. But there are also specialised games, like the Virgin Games’ creation Lucky Lady charm, among many others.
Why Casino Movies are Popular
- The Glamour
Arguably, one of the biggest draws of casino movies is the glamour. From men in their tuxedos to the ladies in their gowns, against the backdrop of grand casinos creates a visual allure. They would not have quite the same effect if the player were on their mobile phones lounging around at home. So we see a sharply dressed group of players in the star-studded Ocean’s Eleven or James Bond in Casino Royale. They create a brief escapist world for the viewers.
- The Excitement
But even a beautiful casino movie can fall flat if it lacks excitement. Luckily, the thrill is really served up on a platter in such an environment. Big bets, big wins and big losses add to the excitement of a casino movie. There is often a build-up of tension and the drama at the times when these bets are placed. And they keep the viewers hooked with edge of the seat entertainment.
- Fast-paced action
With great direction and fast-paced stories, there is a further thrill to casino movies. Slick dialogues and clever characters add to the sense of speed in these films. Interestingly, casino movies are almost never just about gaming. There is always something else going on in the background. They mingle and mix with the world of crime, adding to the drama and fast pace.
Best casino movie scenes
- The Hangover
Who says you cannot make a comedy in a casino? The 2009 laugh riot ‘The Hangover’ is a perfect example of one such movie. Based on a boy’s trip gone wrong, the movie is full of memorable scenes that offer the viewers much entertainment. We see casino scenes where the group tries to make fast money to buy their friend back from the mob. Viewers are also shown a book called ‘Guide to Blackjack’, carried by one of the characters. Typical of games of chance, there is also a scene showing a character winning a game he has never played before.
- Casino Royale
A James Bond film is always a visual delight. So we cannot expect anything less when it is set in a casino. High stakes and sombre drama build up the environment of the movie. We see James Bond playing Texas Hold’em against the antagonist. The amount of a whopping £115 million at stake is unforgettable too!
The high stakes add to the tension, where the world’s favourite spy character is first shown making big losses. At the same time, Le Chiffre, his opponent gets a big win. But of course, Bond always prevails and this movie is no exception. Eventually, he gets the big win, satisfying the
- Ocean’s Eleven
For casino lovers, this is a not to miss. The 1999 movie features some of Las Vegas’s best-known casinos like the MGM Grand, The Mirage and The Bellagio. The real plot of the movie involves the team of eleven, from where the movie gets its title, trying to steal from the casino. So besides exciting casino scenes, there is also the strategic theft going on in the background. Vaults loaded with cash are attempted a break in into by the characters, played by the who’s who of Hollywood actors. Actors like George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Matt Damon add to the film’s glamour and thrill.
As far as movie-making teams go, director Martin Scorsese and actor Robert De Niro are unforgettable. They have done many movies together, and the 1995 movie Casino is one of them. As the name suggests, it is set in a Casino, where crime mixes with high-stakes gaming. There is a particularly memorable scene in the film where a customer puts his feet on the table. Things do not go well from there for him!
Ever in vogue
With online gaming making casinos even more popular, it is quite likely that we will continue to see casinos in movies. They stand out for the glamour, excitement and escapism they offer. And can continue to entertain audiences for a long time to come!