Top Ten Gambling Movies of All Time

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Casino Royale Gambling Table

Hollywood has long had a fascination with movies about casinos, gambling and those where characters play bingo. There are almost endless examples of where gambling makes an appearance, but the ones below feature casino pastimes as being central to the plot and the action. If you haven’t seen some of these, be sure to check them out.

Casino Royale (2006) - Daniel Craig makes his debut as James Bond in this film which has been billed one of the top-grossing films in the series. In this scene, we see Agent 007 playing a hand of high stakes poker against Le Chiffre played by Mads Mikkelsen. The gambling scenes are well played and the tension coming off the big screen is downright palpable!

 

Color of Money (1986) - Paul Newman plays Fast Eddy Felson who takes cocky local pool shark, Vincent Lauria, as his protégé and teaches him to play for real money in this Martin Scorsese film. This talent-packed film has a great soundtrack of music from the era and shows pool hall and tournament action that’s even better.

 

House! (2000) - Linda works at the La Scala bingo hall in Wales. When the UK’s largest bingo hall opens nearby, everyone who works at La Scala is fearful of losing their job. Linda discovers that she is able to predict bingo numbers before they’re called. Linda decides to use her powers and play bingo and save La Scala and to buy out her great aunt’s share in her mother’s home. This film offers a glimpse into the bingo halls of Great Britain as well as serving up a lovely romance between Linda and coworker, Gavin, who is the star bingo caller at La Scala.

Oceans 11 ( 2001) - This film features George Clooney, Matt Damon, Andy Garcia, Brad Pitt and Julia Roberts in a modern remake of the classic 1960 film made by the Rat Pack. Clooney stars as Danny Ocean, who along with his 11 accomplices plans to rip off the Bellagio, the Mirage and the MGM casinos during a title boxing match. Their caper, if successful, will net them a cool $160,000,000.

 

The Sting (1973) - Paul Newman returns as a gambling man along with Robert Redford in the film that was bestowed the Academy Award for Best Picture in 1973. Set in Chicago in 1936 Johnny Hooker, played by Redford and aided by professional con-man Henry Gondorff, played by Newman set out to take advantage of crime boss Doyle Lonnegan, who is hiding from the FBI. The two men concoct a scheme so elaborate that even Lonnegan won't realize he’s been had. Best laid plans have to be discarded and they have to rely on a bit of clever improvisation instead.

 

Casino (1995) - Robert De Niro teams up with Joe Pesci, Sharon Stone, James Woods and director Martin Scorsese. De Niro plays Sam “Ace” Rothstein who, along with the Italian mob, is asked to observe the Tangiers Casino. Pesci plays Nicholas "Nicky" Santoro, the mob enforcer who is there to make sure that the right percentages are being skimmed at the Tangiers. This riveting, action-packed film is based on real events that happened from around 1970 to the 1980’s involving Frank Rosenthal when he was managing several casinos in Las Vegas for the mob known as the Chicago Outfit.

 

Rounders (1998) - Matt Damon plays Matt McDermott who is trying to help a friend played by Edward Norton pay off a large gambling debt to Russian mobster Teddy KGB played by John Malkovich by looking for high stakes cash games.

 

The Gambler (2014) - Mark Wahlberg plays Jim Bennett, a college professor with a real gambling problem. Bennett’s grandfather names him the sole heir of a fortune but his gambling addiction leads him to be $300K in debt to an underground gambling ring. He has just 7 days to pay off his debts or have to face the ultimate price.

 

Bugsy (1991) - Gangster Bugsy Siegel is played by Warren Beatty. Siegel, in love with the glamour of Hollywood, created the vision to create the city of Las Vegas in the middle of the Nevada Desert. In spite of naysayers on all sides, he was able to turn his vision into a reality.

 

Revolver (2005) - Guy Ritchie employs some of the most talented names in British cinema to tell the story of Jake Green, a card man who has just finished a 7 year sentence for a crime he didn’t commit. He comes up against crime boss, Dorothy Macha, played by Ray Liotta who controls all of the gambling that takes place in London. Gang warfare and one-upmanship are at the center of this movie about gambling finesse and payback.