Mr Lucky (1943)
No current romantic comedy would have made this list. But in this film we have Cary Grant, who plays a shady gamer. He tries to deceive a war aid organization by pretending to be a dead criminal. And all after a change of heart after falling in love with a wealthy salon lioness. The film exudes 1940s Hollywood glamor in black and white. With its flickering black spots and cracking sound, this classic car presents the "bad boy becomes a good boy" theme elegantly and unobtrusively. So Nicholas Sparks: Unpack your notebook and make a few notes about a good romance! And imagine what the blood bank scene would have looked like if Hitchcock had directed it!
The Cooler (2003)
The character Bernie Loots, played by William H. Macy, embodies pure bad luck. Bernie is a professional failure and even found a way to market his creepy gift (to lose every bet). He pays off debts to the casino manager Shelly Kaplow (Alec Baldwin). He is a full-time “cooler” who is responsible for restoring the house edge by ending the “high rollers” lucky streak. And that by apparently transferring his bad luck to the other players. However, Bernie's fling with a waitress seems to weaken his talent and get him and his boss in big trouble. With a great performance and a guarantee of fun, the film shows topics such as the whims of fate, superstition and winning in gambling.
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998)
Before Johnny Depp impersonated a number of colorful crazy characters, he delivered an outstanding performance as Raoul Duke. He travels to Las Vegas together with a psychotic lawyer in search of the American dream. This film adaptation of the novel of the same name by Hunter S. Thompson follows the same psychedelic journey full of different drugs and alcohol. The duo misses the goal of the American dream and meets disaffected hitchhikers and gamblers. And of course the strange police officer in a surreal series full of experiences, while the effects of the intoxicating substances continue.
Owning Mahowny (2003)
Philip Seymour Hoffmann plays Dan Mahowny - a bank manager in Toronto who looks like a trustworthy expert in a gray suit, has invested in his career and cares about his frugality. But just a scratch on its surface reveals that this inconspicuous cautious man is actually stealing money from his customers' accounts to finance his gambling addiction. Hoffmann put on a brilliant performance and shows exactly what gambling actually means for the players - it's not about the thrill of winning or the dejection after losing. It's about the process of losing control.
Hard Eight (1996)
This neo-noir thriller is Paul Thomas Anderson's debut with an original history and irresistible characters. Philip Baker Hall plays a player after his heyday, who becomes an unusual father figure for a young child. Failed and in love with a waitress, he is just at checkout for the funeral of his mother. Even though all this does not fit on the scores of the other gambling films, "Hard Eight" places the focus on a human history and depth of different characters. A soft, and partly also lazy history. The film goes into the details of the game concepts and does not lose its focus on the mistakes, experiences and relationships of the characters.
Many gamer films focus on the story of the player. Croupier, on the other hand, is a rare gem and tells the story of the dealer and his superiors and customers. Clive Owen puts on a breathtaking performance as Jack Manfred - a struggling writer who, as a croupier, tells his own story in the third person. Detached and cold, Manfred is convinced of his ability to have his life under control, to tell it and to write it as a novel. He doesn't gamble in a casino. However, he risks a lot in his private life when he gets involved in a casino robbery and has three wives at the same time.
Okay, let's see what we have here - John Malkovich, who plays a crazy Russian gangster. This film explores the dark side of addiction in a casual way. Malkovich and Matt Damon both do an excellent job. Here it is shown that there is nothing glamorous about the comical fascination of danger and the short adrenaline rushes of gambling. The black humor in this neo-noir ensures that life does not appear meaningless and human nature does not appear flawed. So you can't get so philosophical while watching a gangster movie and munching on s, can you?
The Cincinnati Kid (1965)
It's been over 50 years since one of the most iconic gambling films premiered. The debate about the scene with the last hand still provokes vehement discussions between the players. Poker experts are more interested in how implausible and "ridiculous" it is to neglect poker in this way. Meanwhile, the film critics focus on the motive of growing up and the metaphorical meaning of experience and the youthful spirit. Regardless of whether you are more interested in the process of Stud Poker and discovering all its possibilities - or if you are just in the mood for a good old Hollwood classic. This film has to be on your list!
The Gambler (1974)
"The Gambler" offers a glimpse into an addict's head. And in a way like no other gambling film. With an ingenious performance, the film discovers the dark world of gambling addiction, from the nervous fear of losing - to the development of a need for deeper and darker obsessions. James Kaan embodies a sincere and authentic character the likes of which has never been seen in him - Axel Freed, a troubled college teacher who has a fascination for danger. And he not only invites her into his life, but is also constantly looking for her. Thus he continues on a path of debt and self-destruction: a sobering reminder of the dangerous nature of convulsive gambling.
A Scorese masterpiece based on a true story. And with the breathtaking performances of Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci and Sharon Stone, Casino is, without a doubt, one of the top classics of gambling films. And the film gives us the feeling that the curtain is being raised on certain scenes that we should look away from for our own safety. Robert De Niro plays a bookmaker who runs the Vegas casinos for his gang bosses. Meanwhile, Joe Pesci's character, Nicky Santoro, is a thief and a murderer. His ruthless violent behavior puts him in danger as the course progresses. With Scoreses dynamic editing, Casino stands out from the other gangster films. Casino offers a few unforgettable scenes in the history of cinema and brings gambling to a high level - behind the doors where the stakes are very, very high.