Popular Casino Scenes in Film

Daniel Craig on a yacht in Venice during a bre...

Daniel Craig on a yacht in Venice during a break in filming Casino Royale. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Scenes in films which centre on casinos and gambling are often not particularly realistic about the experience itself, which is something which frequently makes them a source of irritation for casino fans – while movie lovers simply judge such scenes on whether they work as entertainment. They are often used to build a sense of tension, such as the one in the 2006 Bond movie Casino Royale, where huge sums of money – and the success of Bond’s mission are at stake at the poker table.

This is one casino movie scene which many experienced poker players have responded to with some derision, not least due to the unrealistically great hands that both Bond and Le Chiffre enjoy during the crucial sequence. However Bond is a fantasy and the scene does succeed as great escapist cinema, with Le Chiffre intending to use his winnings to support terrorism, which adds to the tension of the scene. Bond films have long used casino scenes, for the combination of opulence and excitement they provide, but this one successfully made these scenes effective rather than parodic once again. The popularity of James Bond probably has had a positive effect on casinos around the world overall – just have a look at the amount of Bond themed slots you will find at an online casino.

Cover of "Rain Man"

Cover of Rain Man

Another very popular casino movie scene is the one where Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman hit the blackjack tables in Rain Man. This serves the purpose of illuminating the autistic character played by Hoffman to the audience, as they see both his astonishing ability to count cards and the distress the lights and noise of the casino cause him. The fact that his brother, played by Cruise, is happy to put him in such circumstances in order to exploit this ability for financial gain also shows us his character’s selfishness at this stage of the movie. This is one casino movie scene which even blackjack fans generally enjoy, and which is absolutely crucial to the plot, although it has more to do with exploring character than creating tension and excitement.

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