There have been so many iconic instances of casinos on film. It wasn’t until he sat down at a poker game in Monte Carlo for which the word ‘high stakes’ is something of an understatement, that Daniel Craig – in Casino Royale – laid to rest the cheesy, schlocky James Bonds of the nineties and ushered in the era of taut, gripping action. Who can forget the cold, appraising stare of supercriminal Le Chiffre, as he met his new nemesis face-to-face? It was a look not unlike that given to Las Vegas casino owner Sam ‘Aces’ Rothstein, by a local Nevada politician in one of the film’s best scenes, where he explains to him exactly how the good ol’ boys liked to conduct their affairs out West. That film boasts an embarrassment of memorable scenes – from the spine-chilling ‘head in a vice’ interrogation of potential rival, to the desert dust from the car of Rothstein’s psychotic compatriot Nicky Santoro reflected in his aviators as he watches him draw near.
There Are Many Memorable Casino Movie Scenes
It didn’t all happen in Vegas though, before the dawn of the online casino – for fans of poker, Rounders is probably the best example of it on film, and every player who’s ever dreamt of going toe-to-toe with the master knows the scene where Matt Damon finds himself seated across the felt from poker legend Johnny Chan, playing himself, at a casino in Atlantic City, and decides to not just play with him, but bluff him all the way.
From 21, to Swingers, Croupier, and of course, Scorcese’s Casino, there are countless memorable movies with scenes that feature epic gambling. You couldn’t mention the best casino films in film without mentioning Ocean’s Eleven – somehow it manages to capture the pace and hubbub of the casino atmosphere, with its slickly edited montages, none better then when Danny Ocean runs through exactly how they’re going to pull the job off – basically: with speed, glamour, and a lot of smooth off-the-cuff banter directed at anyone in earshot.