Some of the greatest hits in the world of cinema feature gambling, be the 1978 classic, Grease or 1983’s Trading Places with Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd. However, these movies weren’t totally focused on gambling. While betting has been a significant subject in numerous TV shows and innumerable movies, the concept of an underdog breaking a Monte Carlo Bank is truly fascinating. Here’s a look at some of the best gambling movies and TV shows.
Win It All
A movie that follows the life of Eddie, a small-time gambling addict, Win It All scored 6.2 on the IMDB meter and 85% on the Rotten Tomatoes. With an outlining of spectacular performances by the entire cast of the movie, Win It All’s comedy and improvising when filming was greatly appreciated. It focuses on the desperate gambler in a financial hole, who needs to win just as much as will allow him to break even with the looming debts. A Netflix exclusive, this American movie was released in 2017 and directed by Joe Swanberg, co-written by Jake Johnson. Starring Keegan-Michael Key, Aislinn Derbez, and Joe Lo Truglio,
Infamous for gambling, glitz, and flashy light, the movie is about a man with bad luck, who despite all odds, finds love in a hopeless place. A captivating plot, this indie movie follows the improbable love story between a casino waitress Natalie and the cooler Bernie. The film’s cast and its performances are cited as the reason behind its success, wherein William H.Macy brings to life the protagonist Bernie Loots, with Maria Bello as the supporting actress Natalie and Alec Baldwin as Shelly, Bernie’s boss which won him an Oscar nomination as well. Macy and Bello are brilliant in the lead roles and bring a real sense of melancholy to a film genre that can be a bit too fatuous and a bit too slick.
The Oceans’ series of films have earned over $1416 billion since its first release in 2001 comes with Ocean’s Eleven a classic crime story in which the gang attempt to steal from 3 popular Vegas casinos. With a multiple A-list star cast and innumerable plot twists, this gambling movie tops the charts. A stylish heist featuring George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Brad Pitt, and Matt Damon, the movie reproduces the advanced technological realities of the 21st century and uses an actual casino as the target site. The director does a fine job of exploiting the Vegas backdrop, highlighting a land-based casino’s operations. It’d be interesting to see how directors/storytellers would approach such a movie in the present-day era of online casinos. You can go through these popular Canadian Casinos online sites at canadiancasinosonline.com to get an idea about what we’re referring to here.
From the genre of crime, drama, and mystery, comes Cracker, a TV show, with an IMDB rating of 8.4, starring Geraldine Somerville, Kieran O’Brien, and Robbie Coltrane. With 24 episodes, spanning 3 seasons the show focuses on Jimmy, an obnoxious and anti-social character, who’s a womanizer, alcoholic, and a gambling addict. He manages to amaze and repulse in equal measures. Like most British shows, Cracker didn’t have too many episodes but it made a real splash in its native country and also worldwide with Coltrane, in particular, earning rave reviews for his work in the show.
Big Deal is a light-hearted, classic British drama-comedy at its finest! It presents Robbie Box, a heavy gambler in a bleak and drab era. The cast in the series is usually set around local bookmakers, however, their friendship and camaraderie give way to some wonderfully comic scenes. A good storyline with a strong cast runs throughout the series, making it an underrated gem from the 80s’. Ray Brooks plays Robby who’s always in scrapes, either with his girlfriend, the local criminal underworld that’s connected to the back street poker wins or losses, or his long-suffering mother.
Rated 8.6 on IMDB and created by David Milch, Deadwood’s David’s second gambling TV show and possibly his greatest works. Having won a golden globe for best performance by an actor in a TV series by Ian McShane, the show’s set in the 1800s as a western crime saga with rough gambling inns of the mid-west in the background. The show’s brilliant writing and direction support Ian’s work in captivating the audience. And the series leads with a moral compass, raring to take the violence to a level of the Greek Tragedy or Shakespeare while maintaining reliability with superb dialogs, incredible art, and set direction as a flawless supporting cast.
Not a gambling movie in the traditional sense, you still can’t have a list like this and not mention Richard Pryor’s classic movie about a down on his luck guy who suddenly finds that he has been left a huge inheritance by a distant relative that he only gets to keep them if he can spend a million dollars in a very short time without giving any of it away. Pryor is one of the all-time great stands up comics and in terms of film, he is either best known for trying to steal the show from the Man of Steel in Superman III or appearing opposite his frequent acting partner and friend, the late and similarly, great Gene Wilder in movies like Stir Crazy and See No Evil, Hear No Evil. This is probably his best known and just plain best movie as a “solo” act (though he gets killer support from the likes of John Candy (another legend gone too soon) and Jerry Orbach) as it combines loads of big laughs with something a bit more thoughtful about how we relate to money. Betting on yourself to spend a million dollars is the sort of odds that most of us would kill for but as Brewster quickly learns, sudden wealth can be a double-edged sword.