Whether it’s delving into the glitz and glamour of Las Vegas or exploring underground pool clubs and poker rooms, the world of gambling has always proven to be a goldmine of cinematic intrigue for filmmakers and directors.
In fact, there are more films in this genre than you probably think, which is why we’re here to skim through the back catalogue to pull out three of the best gambling films ever to have hit the silver screen. Sit back, relax and see if you can pick up any tips for the next time you hit the tables…
Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998)
This is the film that shot British director Guy Ritchie to superstar director status back in 1998, and deservedly so. Set against the backdrop of London’s gangster scene, Lock Stockis packed full of unique characters and thrilling scenes, none more so than the series of backroom card games that the audience finds themselves sitting in on.
Through the eyes of young Eddy, we get a firsthand view of what it’s like to play through the intensity of high stakes poker, and it’s hard not to feel the buzz just watching it. But before you start challenging local gangsters to a high stakes card game or two, it’s probably a good idea to get some practice and play online casino games at sites like Mansion Casino so you can perfect your skills. If you’re only just getting into online gaming, then it’s also worth scouting around for the best welcome offers out there. Whatever you do, just don’t fall into the same trap as young Eddy!
The Color Of Money (1986)
Photo via The Color of Money on Facebook
Second on the list, we’ve got The Color of Money, the long-awaited sequel to Robert Rossen’s The Hustler, released 25 years ago, way back in 1961. Both films star Paul Newman as ‘Fast Eddie’ Felson, a gifted pool player who spent most of his former days hanging around pools halls in the hope of hustling a few dollars from the local patrons.
This time around in The Color of Money, Felson meets a young yet talented hustler named Vincent Lauria, played by Tom Cruise. The two soon set about trying to earn a decent living together on the pool circuit, with Felson staking Lauria’s bets. Fun fact: Newman’s performance was enough to secure him the Academy Award for Best Actor at the following year’s Oscars ceremony.
Photo via Casino (film) on Facebook
Last but certainly not least we’ve got Casino, Martin Scorsese’s epic casino movie starring Robert DeNiro and Joe Pesci. Set in Las Vegas in the late 1970s, DeNiro and Pesci team up to take over the management of the fictional Tangiers resort, giving viewers an insight into what was really happening behind the scenes in the golden age of Las Vegas casinos.
Perhaps even more intriguing is the fact that many of the film’s characters and storylines were closely based on real-life events. DeNiro’s character Sam Rothstein was based on infamous casino manager Frank Rosenthal, for instance, whereas Pesci’s Nicky Santoro is believed to be Chicago mobster Tony Spilotro. Watching the film, it’s hard to believe the lengths that these people went to in order to keep themselves at the top.