Looking At 7 Iconic Casino Movies Based on Real-Life
The casino and movie industry have been linked for years. Throughout history, there have been dozens of movies that have been released that are centered on poker, blackjack, and other card games. It is not exactly clear why, but people all around the world are interested in the life of professional poker and blackjack players. They love to learn about the intricacies of the games and what makes the players tick.
With all that said, not every movie centered around casinos are based on real life. Most of them are fictional and are not even realistic in how they portray the games being played. However, there have been a few movies released over the years that are based on real-life events. So, you can watch those movies if you want to get an idea of what life is like for professional poker and blackjack players, or if you just want to see some interesting stories from their lives. Here we will take a look at seven iconic casino movies based on real life.
1. The Sting (1973)
The Sting is a classic starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford, and it is inspired by cons perpetrated by two real-life brothers. The sting is the moment where a con has paid off, and the trickster gets away with a mark’s cash. Unfortunately for the victim, they only realize their money is gone once the cons are long gone.
In the film, the two main characters make the mistake of ripping off an underworld courier. With the courier dead and his boss on the warpath, the two brothers need to try to outwit a crime lord to survive. This film received seven Academy Award, including Best Picture and Best Actor.
2. Bugsy (1991)
This movie might not be directly based on casinos and gaming, but it is relevant to everyone who is interested in Las Vegas. It is more of a gangster movie than a casino movie, but it is based on the founding and evolution of Las Vegas. Las Vegas is, of course, the casino capital of the world, but it would be nothing if not for the events that are portrayed in this movie. In the film, you will see violent real-life events that took place as Las Vegas blossomed into the city that it is today.
3. Casino (1995)
If you want to start playing games at places like Playamo Casino and play in CAD, you might be interested in seeing some casino movies. One of the most iconic casino movies in history is Casino. Directed and produced by Martin Scorsese, Casino was released in 1995, and it is based on the lives of a casino boss (Frank Rosental) and a mobster (Anthony Spilotro). The film follows Rosental’s connections with the criminal underworld through his friend Spilotro.
In the 1970s, the two of them ran four illegal casinos and were involved in several other illicit activities. The film is also a tale of how the mob lost control of the profitable money ring they had nurtured.
4. High Roller: The Stu Ungar Story (2003)
If you are a fan of poker, you will recognize the name Stu Ungar. He holds the record for winning the World Series of Poker’s Main Event the most times at three. He is regarded as one most the most talented poker players of all time. As a result, it should be no surprise to hear that a movie was made about him. However, the film is made more interesting when you learn that is life was dominated by alcohol, drugs, and partying in addition to gambling. Unfortunately, he was never able to escape this part of his life, and he died at a young age. The film is a tale of how poker can lead you to unimaginable highs but also to devastating lows.
5. 21 (2008)
21 hit theaters in 2008 to mixed reviews. It is based on Ben Mazrich’s non-fictional book, Bringing Down the House: The Inside Story of Six MIT Students Who Took Vegas for Millions. As you would expect from the title, the film follows a group of MIT students who learn how to count cards from a professor. He then flies them down to Vegas, where they have a system to win astronomical amounts of money in blackjack. However, their success is short lived as the casino operators strike back in violent ways. The film has many twists and turns that keep the watcher interested, but the story has certainly been exaggerated.
6. Broke (2016)
Most casino movies are about the glamourous lifestyle that can come from success at poker or blackjack. If there are consequences, it usually comes in the form of physical violence. Not many movies look at issues like an addiction that can follow professional card players. Broke is about sports betting rather than card games, and it is based on the early 2000s match fixing scandals.
The film follows BK, a former rugby star that has fallen on hard times. He gets help from a former fan and works towards returning to his former glory. However, before he can reach the promise land, he needs to overcome challenges related to addiction.
7. Molly’s Game (2017)
Another great casino movie for you to check out is Molly’s Game. It is one of the most recent casino films to be released, and it follows the life of Molly Bloom, a former Olympic hopeful whose life has taken a downturn after a skiing injury. She starts organizing the largest underground poker games in Las Angeles. At first, everything is going well, and she is making a tremendous amount of money, but she eventually runs into trouble, and she is forced to move to New York. Jessica Chastain, Kevin Costner, and Idris Elba received critical praise for their performances in this film.