the significance of roulette games in film history
At the Roulette Table with Famous Actors
The world of gambling and casinos has always been a favorite subject of many directors and screenwriters of films and TV series. Whether it’s the mysterious world of fancy casinos in famous places like Monte Carlo or bleak underground gambling halls in Chicago in the 1920s and 1930s – the film industry has been popular with us so that these Roulette Scenes are still engraved in the memory of all of us.
The Film Industry Loves Roulette
By far the most popular figure associated with this world is, of course, James Bond. Agent 007 is a welcome guest in many casinos of the world, where he is always dressed in a chic black suit with his glass of martini (shaken, not stirred) at a roulette table to be found. It’s thanks to Bond that many people who go to the casino still see it as a chic opportunity to think that this is where all the rich of the earth come together.
The other sides of the casino world are also beautifully portrayed in movies. The gambling city of Las Vegas with its glistening hotels and casinos is the location of many dozens of movies. Films that are purely about gambling, as well as thrillers, comedies, and crime films were shot in the city. One of the most famous films is, of course, Ocean’s Eleven, a crime film about theft of the money from the vault of the Bellagio, Mirage and MGM Grand. Paul Verhoeven has also contributed to the film Showgirls, which is a beautiful representation of the entertainment industry in Vegas. Many comedies focus on big gambling losses or wild bachelor parties in Vegas (like The Hangover), and Elvis even made a musical about the city.
Although most of the films come from America, there are also some masterpieces from Europe. The French film Bob le Flambeur from the 1950s is one of these classics about a casino robbery. The film has not only been very important in French film history but has also been the inspiration for many directors who came up with their own gambling films and/or Roulette Scenes.
Famous Roulette Film Scenes
The fact that casinos in general and roulette in particular, regularly play a role in books and films is not so strange. Anyone who has ever played roulette or any other game of chance in a casino knows that the excitement and this often luxurious ambience only reinforce each other. This feeling is always reflected in books and certainly in movies where all the luxury and splendor of the casinos come into their own. There are many films in which the characters visit a casino or in which the whole plot revolves around a certain casino or game of chance. Today we take a look at the most famous roulette scenes in the film.
Let’s start with a real classic, seen by some even as the best movie ever made: Casablanca. Although Casablanca is a black and white film from 1942, it hasn’t lost any of its strength or conviction. The love story starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman is still very popular. The roulette game plays an important role in the story.
In the film, Bogart plays the owner of the Café Americain, where strangely enough no American roulette table, but a European roulette table has been placed. The wheel ends surprisingly often at number 22 and in a crucial scene in the film, Bogart advises a player who seems unlucky enough to just bet on number 22. The man wins big and lives happily ever after. (It is and remains a Hollywood movie of course.)
The Bulgarian couple Annina and Jan Brandel end up in the casino at the roulette table hoping to earn enough money to buy visas to escape to America. Annina had already contacted Rick to ask if the dealer of these visas is reliable. She wins the gun factor with Rick, and when her husband Jan arrives at the roulette table not much later, he magically manages to win big.
After Rick walks into the casino floor, he bends over Jan’s shoulder and asks him if he has already tried 22 that night. Jan looks at him with suspicion, while Rick, in turn, gives the croupier a certain look, with which the croupier understands what he has to do. The croupier turns, lets the ball roll, shouts ‘les jeux sont faits’, and Jan quickly bets everything he has on 22. And yes, Jan takes the win!
They repeat this game again after Rick gives the command ‘leave it there’, and after the second win he tells him: ‘cash it out, and never come back’. With this, Rick not only refers to not returning to the casino but also to the escape to America. He says, grab your freedom, and don’t look back.
From a classic in the history of cinema, we now move on to a more obscure film: the German film Lola Rennt. Although this 1998 film is not very well known to the general public, it is certainly a film to look up and watch. The film is about Lola, whose friend owes him an underworld figure and Lola has 20 minutes to make sure that the criminal gets the 100,000 German Marks that her boyfriend owes him. What follows is a film with a lot of excitement, action, and different endings. Highly recommended!
After Lola has been running for an hour and a half, the film concludes with different finishes, in which roulette plays a decisive role in the end. (Attention! Spoiler Alert!) If you’re planning on watching the film and haven’t seen it yet, it might be a good idea to stop reading it now! In the last scene, she puts all her money on number 20 and wins the money she needs just in time. Again: watch this movie, you won’t be disappointed!
A film that we definitely want to play attention to is Croupier. Given the name of the film, you’ll probably expect a lot of footage from a casino, and you won’t be disappointed. Croupier tells the story of a croupier played by Clive Owen in a London casino. The man is at the same time writing a novel about his life as a croupier and finds a lot of material for his book at his table and in the things he experiences behind the scenes of the casino. This film is not very well known among the general public, but certainly worth watching. Especially for lovers of casinos in general and roulette in particular!
The film Croupier (1998) lets us empathise with the leading actor Jack, who next to his slow career as a writer, comes to work in a casino in England. Most of his books are inspired by his job, but what I was very impressed with in this film is the skills of the character Jack.
A good croupier is fast with the chips and can count like no other, and that’s exactly what Jack is a star in. In the scene where he proves himself to the casino owner, he shows how fast he can sort the chips, count them, and then count the cards in Blackjack.
10 Casino Films where Gamblers and non-Gamblers are fond of
In Rounders, a 1998 film, a young Matt Damon plays. He plays the role of a law student, who loses all his money during an evening of poker. He decides never to play again, but in the end, things go wrong again. The student builds up debt with a powerful mafia boss and eventually has to get out of trouble. How? By breaking his promise again and going to the casino, of course!
Casino Royale is one of the most famous and popular James Bond movies. In this movie, James Bond has to eliminate a terrorist network. To do this, Bond has to defeat a dangerous man in poker. This happens at the Casino Royale. Not only is the poker game exciting: the whole movie is on the edge of your seat. Especially if you love James Bond and casinos, this movie is a must see.
Its All in The Name: Casino is a classic from 1995. The film features several well-known actors, including Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci. The film is about two men, Sam Rothstein, and Nicky Santoro. One is trying to build a serious life in Las Vegas, and the other is always in trouble. Eventually, these problems become so serious that the men have to intervene. As a real casino lover, you should definitely take a look at this classic.
Oceans 11 is one of the most famous and popular casino movies of all time. The film features many well-known actors, including George Clooney and Brad Pitt. The film is about a number of clever men who want to rob several big casinos in Las Vegas. Eventually, they manage to steal a large amount of money. There are also follow-up films made on Oceans 11, namely Oceans 12 and Oceans 13. These films are also highly recommended.
In the film 21, a group of smart mathematicians takes on the big casinos in Las Vegas. The whizzkids try to win blackjack by counting cards. The famous actor Kevin Spacey plays the teacher of clever mathematicians. What makes this film even more fun is the fact that several big casinos in Las Vegas come back in it. Think of the casino in the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Las Vegas.
The Cincinnati Kid
The Cincinnati Kid is set in the 30’s, in gambling city New Orleans. The film is about a poker player who travels through the area to play with many different poker games. At one of the games, he meets one of the biggest poker players in the world. He decides that he wants to play against him, with the aim of winning from his idol once. Will this work? You’ll find out when you watch The Cincinnati Kid!
Do you like old movies? Then you’re guaranteed to like The Gambler. This film dates back to 1974. Many people may think it’s old-fashioned, but for the real fans, The Gambler is definitely a must. The film is about an addicted gambler, who borrowed money from his girlfriend, his mother-in-law and more acquaintances to gamble. When he also borrows money from the mafia to gamble, criminals come after him. An exciting story, which is all the more fun because it originates from the year 1974.
This movie is about a gambling addicted bank director. As director of the bank, he has access to many millions of dollars. This is dangerous, especially if you are addicted to gambling! Nice fact: this film is based on a true story that took place many years ago in Toronto, Canada. A bank director stole no less than 10 million dollars from customers of the bank. He lost all this money in the casino.
Lock, Stock, and two Smoking Barrels
Four poker players decide to work together to make a big profit in the casino. They put 25,000 pounds together and play with this money in a high stakes poker game. What they don’t know, however, is that there is also a gang of cheaters participating in the game. After a night of poker, the four friends are £500,000 in the minus. They have to pay this money back, which gives them the excitement they need to sit on the edge of your seat.
As mentioned above in this article, Croupier is number ten here and certainly falls under the heading Last Best. This film dates from the year 1998 but is highly recommended. The theme of the film is an aspiring writer, whose work has never gotten off the ground. Because the writing is not yet successful, his father helps him to get a job in the casino where he becomes a dealer for the casino games blackjack and roulette. Once at work as a croupier, he is approached by a woman to rob the casino. The aspiring writer decides to write a book about this.
Are There any Other Casino/ Roulette Movies?
Have you seen all the films yet? And would you like to watch more casino films or films in which gambling or casino has a leading or supporting role? The following films are certainly worth a visit, but did not make it to the top 10:
Atlantic City (1980)
Lost in America (1985)
Rain Man (1988)
Bugsy Siegel (1991)
Indecent Proposal (1993)
Hard Eight (1996)
The Cooler (2003)
The Invention of Lying (2009)
44 Inch Chest (2009)
The Gambler (2014)
Gambling is a popular subject in the film industry. Gambling is something that is done a lot in our society. It is very intriguing and gives a lot of people a kick. For that reason, it is also attractive to include it in a film script. The other way around, there are many online slots based on films. Casino movies are ideal: you can experience the world without losing a penny! And an infinite number of them have been made.
If all these roulette scenes have made you want to play yourself, then we advise you to take a look at our Toplist were you can find the many Casinos that offer this. Take a seat at the Digital table and who knows which famous actor is play the same game with you.