Casino based scenes and locations have been used throughout cinema for generations, in some cases they are purely incidental to the action while on other occasions they are integral to the plot. Poetic license gives writers the freedom to exaggerate their stories and making them larger than life.
As a viewer or consumer of such content, we are expected to suspend our sense of belief throughout the period of the story. Here we take a look at a number of top casino scenes throughout cinema history and judge just how authentic and accurate they are.
Perhaps one of the most popular casino based movies of all time, this 1995 feature reunited director Martin Scorsese with actor Robert De Niro for the eighth time in their respective careers. Also featuring Sharon Stone, Joe Pesci and Frank Vincent, the majority of the characters are based on real people, especially De Niro’s character of Sam ‘Ace’ Rothstein who is based on Frank ‘Lefty’ Rosenthal. With much of the film set in a casino, there are a number of iconic casino scenes to choose from, but the most memorable may well be when Rothstein has a cowboy kicked out of his establishment for having his feet up on the table. Casino etiquette is very strict, especially in Vegas, and you probably would get kicked out for having your feet on the table, making this scene appear very authentic.
The original, and arguably the best, when it comes to card counting movies. Directed by Barry Levinson, Rain Man focuses on estranged brothers Charlie (Tom Cruise) and Raymond, (Dustin Hoffman) an autistic savant with a photographic memory. Charlie utilises this and convinces Raymond to count cards at a Vegas casino so they can win big at blackjack. The pair are successful and win a large sum of money. There are a number of people who are very skilled at counting cards so the concept is entirely plausible. However, this film depicts the common Texas Hold’em that card counting is illegal in the United States, this is entirely false and therefore inaccurate, it is however, frowned upon.
For many people, Casino Royale is the best ever Bond movie, which is very big praise considering Sean Connery left behind big shoes to fill. Casino Royale reboots the series and shows us Bond’s first ever mission as the iconic 007. Much of the film revolves around a high stakes poker tournament, in which Bond must win to defeat Le Chiffre and prevent the funding of terrorism. Texas hold ‘em poker is more about psychology and strategy, anybody can win a game of poker, even have a diabolical hand, as long as they can believably bluff. Of course, because this is Hollywood, Bond wins the entire tournament, and he does it with all the style of a nut flush.