How Poker Has Been Depicted in Film and Television
Gambling has been one of the primary sources of fun since the dawn of humankind.
People always wanted to know who was the most skilled among them and learn about it before the others did. If guesses were right, the feeling of pride followed. The status within the group improved.
Sooner or later, someone got the idea not only pride should be the reward for making the correct predictions, so men would bet their food, weapons, and other belongings in God-knows-what type of ancient games.
Fast forward a couple of centuries, and millions of people are doing the same thing on their computers, on websites like Vulkan Vegas. The methods have changed, but the story hasn’t.
Gambling is and has been a part of our culture forever, which is why it’s been present in so many popular movies to this day. It managed to keep its status as an arena that gives a fighting chance to both greedy and classy, to those who gamble for the right reasons and those who do it for the wrong ones.
Below are some of the movies that have documented some iconic gambling scenes and cemented them into the immortal timeline of cinematography.
James Bond: Casino Royale (2006)
A film that does not need much introduction and has undoubtedly done a lot for the global gambling scene – is the James Bond franchise – 007.
Casino Royal, as one of the individual parts, includes a handful of scenes that take place in one of the most elite casinos in Montenegro, where there is a battle going on for information related to the plans of an international criminal organization.
The action takes place at the Poker table, and James Bond is playing for stakes much bigger than money. He is going all in on finding the people who pose a threat to his country and the rest of the world.
Considering that Casino Royale was Daniel Craig’s debut role as a famous agent, the producers had to present him to the audience as someone who is trained to use violence when necessary, but at the same time capable of being classy, sophisticated, and intelligent.
We can agree that there was no better way to do this than to make him skilled in a game that requires all the above qualities – Poker. In this way, a great move was made to justify Daniel’s casting, but also to present Poker as the highly demanding game that it is.
Ocean’s Eleven (2001)
A franchise that cannot compete with James Bond’s in terms of global popularity, but has done a lot to bring the casino theme closer to the audience and through an archetypal heroic narrative has shown that doing the right thing sometimes comes with plenty of risks.
Danny Ocean, the main protagonist portrayed by George Clooney, and his crew of highly skilled individuals are looking for a way out of their financial and legal issues, but their options are limited due to their criminal past. The only “job” available is robbing a casino held by a very dangerous and calculated gangster known for not forgiving those who wronged him.
On top of that, love gets involved, and you get all the elements of a perfect drama, just like in the literary classics – casino, money, and burning passion.
The entire film is a fantastic presentation of various life situations that can happen in the atmosphere of a casino, accompanied by great acting performances by Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Andy Garica, Julia Roberts, and many others.
Finally, no list of casino movies would be complete without this all-time classic that introduced some of the most realistic aspects of the Las Vegas lifestyle.
Directed by the legendary Martin Scorsese and stacked with plenty of famous actors like Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, and Sharon Stone, Casino offers a unique perspective into the world of gambling.
Its cultural influence was way broader than just cinematography. The music got featured everywhere, the costumes designed by Rita Ryack were praised for bringing back the style of the 70s and 80s, and even the gambling legal provisions at the time were impacted, as a result of the public opinion based on this movie.
Overall, Casino left a mark in the 90s that would not be erased even to this day and earned its spot among the movies that everyone considering themselves to be a gambling fan must see.
We mostly concentrated on those movies which are considered classics. Here are a few more must-watch films that are loved by gamblers all around the world:
- The Color of Money (1986)
- Croupier (1998)
- The Gambler (1974)
- Eight Men Out (1988)
- California Split (1974)
If you seek to watch something about adventures, old-school gamblings, fun and want to learn what can addiction do to people – you will enjoy all of them!