The action on the average casino floor is exciting enough to keep customers coming back for more, and there’s always tons of excitement and tension generated by games of chance wherever they’re found.
As you’d expect, this is also a setting that’s ripe for use in the movies, where screenwriters are always trying to cook up intriguing and engaging scenarios for their characters to inhabit.
To prove this point further, here are a few iconic scenes that have graced the silver screen and made use of the thrills and spills of casino games to leave audiences on the edge of their seats.
James Bond vs. Le Chiffre – Casino Royale
It’s easy to forget that when Daniel Craig was first announced to take the role of British super-spy James Bond, there was a lot of skepticism in the media. His performance in Casino Royale dispelled any doubt about the direction that this long running franchise was taking, and the scenes in which he faces off against the undeniably evil Le Chiffre in a poker tournament in Montenegro are arguably more electrifying than the film’s many action set pieces.
Bond has a lot to lose, and is on the back foot throughout, frittering away his government’s money in pursuit of his goal. He even survives a poisoning, and only returns to the game thanks to the backing of the CIA.
Today, perhaps Bond would’ve been better off gambling online, given the wealth of great services out there. Fans of the film can compare expert online casino reviews and enjoy cutting edge experiences from the comfort and safety of their own homes, with no nefarious villains to worry about.
Alan vs. The House – The Hangover
From the sublime to the ridiculous, The Hangover is not so much a casino movie as it is a film that focuses on the escapades of a group of bachelor party attendees who let Las Vegas get the better of them.
That said, there are quite a few scenes that take place on the gaming floor, and the most impactful of the bunch involves Zach Galifianakis’ loveable buffoon Alan playing blackjack in a satirical call back to vintage drama flick Rain Man.
The scene kicked off a huge meme around Alan’s attempts to count cards, and it’s this image that’s sure to endure long after the film itself is forgotten.
Sam ‘Ace’ Rothstein vs. an Unruly Customers – Casino
There’s so much to love about Casino, the 1995 mobster movie masterpiece that once again proved director Martin Scorsese to be the king of his craft.
While the overarching plot may be steeped in drama and tragedy, there are also plenty of lighter moments as well, one of which involves casino manager Sam ‘Ace’ Rothstein, played by Robert De Niro in his pomp, having to kick out a customer from the casino after he doesn’t play by the rules.
Even the fact that the lout is friends with another gangster, portrayed terrifyingly well by Joe Pesci, isn’t enough to prevent Ace having him forcefully ejected from the premises, head-first!
Eddie vs. Hatchet Harry – Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels
From the bright lights of Vegas to the backrooms of London, in Guy Ritchie’s low budget gangster hit of the late 90s we get to see what happens when an illegal card game doesn’t go the way of our plucky protagonist, Eddie.
He makes a big mistake going up against the imposing Hatchet Harry, especially since Harry is both running the game and also using underhanded tactics to cheat his way to victory.
Ritchie’s over-the-top directorial style really emphasizes the intense emotional rollercoaster that Eddie goes through as he loses big, and it’s a great cautionary tale for all gamblers to take onboard.