29 November 2018 521 Views

Movie Heroes that Gamble Sensibly: From James Bond to Danny Ocean via Ethan Hunt and Han Solo

by James Murphy

They Set the Ladies’ Hearts all a Flutter. Speaking of which? These guys love a..flutter! Let’s look at Cinema’s Coolest Gambling Men..

Gambling is like any hobby, not to say ‘habit’. Done in moderation, with style and class: it is cool, provided you win and /or know how to play the odds and when to quit. Hollywood teaches us that lesson, via the following heroes..

JAMES BOND: He gambles for fun, in all his iterations. Sometimes it enables him to defeat baddies (Casino Royale; Thunderball). Occasionally? It’s his introduction TO the story (GoldenEye) or a way into the villain’s operations (GoldFinger; Licence to Kill). Maybe it’s how he impresses the ladies (Octopussy, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service)? Perhaps most notably, it was the scene of 007’s coolest introduction of all (Dr No). Each Bond actor got a Casino scene: Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig. BOND 25 is probably due a gambling set-piece of some sort: perhaps adapting the card game from the MOONRAKER novel?

HAN SOLO: His famous ship, the Millennium Falcon was  won in a card game opposite friend and rival, Lando Calrissian. Han does not always win the games he plays and his poor tactics and strategy against gangster, Jabba the Hutt, almost cost him his life. But this space pilot for hire, Captain Solo, (Harrison Ford /Alden Ehrenreich) remains a shrewd rather than reckless gambler: and outmanoeuvres the Galactic Empire, frequently: ‘never tell me the odds!’.

ETHAN HUNT: EVERY Mission:Impossible is based on a gamble. NOC lists, nuclear launch codes, plutonium, viruses, the ‘rabbit’s foot’, the red box syndicate details..Tom Cruise’s  super-spy/secret agent signature character frequently uses the macguffin as a gambling chip in outwitting the baddies. He takes risks. But those always pay off and critically, he is both aware of and alert to all manner of consequence for himself and his beloved ‘IMF’ team.

DANNY OCEAN: This skilled thief (played by Frank Sinatra and then George Clooney) is adept at the highest stakes games. He and his elite team manage to take on an entire series of Casinos, stealing from the most powerful players and bosses in the business. Whilst they face competition, notably from the ‘Night Fox’; it is fair to say that this team are most astute at very kind of gamble, both literal and metaphorical.

BRETT MAVERICK: Mel Gibson brought this legendary chancer to life in movies, though the character had been something of a television treasure before (with James Garner and Roger Moore in the lead). The idea is Maverick does live his life as a con artist but without any malice. He tends to cheat his way in and out of games though seems to play an honest enough hand once at the gambling table itself. One therefore wants him to win and know when to quit and it seems that he does so, just about and on the very edge of getting it wrong.

Of course, we would not expect anyone to copy what they see onscreen! Nobody can or indeed should gamble quite like these characters. But, as a controlled and safe experience? With friends? Well, visiting a Casino is like a rite of passage and it makes sense to tick it off the bucket list for many. Just make sure you learn from the best! We found this resource on how to play casino games and think you will find it helpful for your time at any casino!


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