Casino entertainments do have a certain mark which makes many filmmakers think about including some gambling scenes in their work. Such a luxurious atmosphere of gambling venues stuffed with tuxedoed men and dressed-to-kill women is definitely able to serve as a basis for many remarkable incidents. Gambling itself, as an activity which involves hope, risk, and tension, appear here as a kind of metaphor to accentuate certain other aspects of the story.
There aren’t so many movies out there depicting the intrinsic workings of casinos — the unbeatable classic here is obviously Martin Scorsese’s Casino — but many do include some breathtaking scenes shot in gambling facilities!
After more than 50 years of James Bond epics, there is certainly a deep-rooted stereotype about secret service agents who gamble. Once you hear “James Bond,” the casino scenes are probably the first things to come to mind. There are indeed many iconic moments of thrilling games with Bond at the table. Starting from the very first movie about this character — Dr. No (1962) — it is clear that the man has a risk-taking and seize-the-day type of lifestyle. Gambling, with martinis cocktails and gorgeous ladies nearby, are undoubtedly sine qua nons!
Dr. No actually opens with a casino scene — that’s how much risk is rooted in the psychology of the character! The agent plays chemin-de-fer (a type of baccarat), and that’s when he meets Sylvia, the first “Bond girl,” and introduces himself with the line that has soon become irritatingly popular: “Bond… James Bond.”
You hardly can find a movie from the series which doesn’t include a memorable casino scene. The agent has visited all the key gambling centers in the world: Las Vegas, Macau, and Monte Carlo, and also some other places too! Not every casino is real — some rooms were rebuilt in film studio locations. Here are some of the scenes that are sure to stick in the memory after you watch the movies:
The movie genre called noir is a peculiar combination of criminal and romantic stories. No wonder casinos occasionally appear in such pictures: their idea corresponds to the very concept and mood of noir!
Casablanca (1942) is the all-time classics of the genre with the most worshiped actors of that time (Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman) playing the leading roles. The casino scene is not much related to the main movie action, but it is a key point in the main character’s development. Rig helps the young man he meets in a casino, in a blink of an eye turning from an indifferent and cynical person to someone really rather warmhearted!.
It may seem that casino movie scenes always go in hand with crime, danger, and intrigues. However, many famous comedies have proven this impression wrong, as funny gambling moments do come into the picture after all!
Let’s see what classical examples we have here:
Using works in various ways has the potential to introduce a new level of tension, captivating viewers to the fullest. Or sometimes, it might actually do the opposite — lighten things up a little! Drama (check the award-winning Rain Man), romantic comedy (in Indecent Proposal, the craps game draws a parallel with a marriage), or thriller (a German film Run Lola Run features a short yet powerful scene about beating the odds at roulette) — practically any story can include a vibrant casino moment!
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