Where superheroes kick ass, where a couple of con men get unwittingly duped, where Lola “runs”, where Canto Bight is a thing, where Clark Griswold picks a number between 1 and 10, and where Robert Redford makes his “indecent proposal”.
Consider this the alternative guide to movie trips to the casino. We’re not talking about Martin Scorsese’s eponymously titled film. Nor are we going to consider Ocean and his team’s Las Vegas heist. And forget James Bond’s many attempts to use blackjack as some kind of aphrodisiac. Nope, this is a collection of memorable casino trips in film that you probably completely forgot.
We begin in Vegas. That’s a bit predictable, I hear you cry. But wait. We’re talking about Demian Lichtenstein’s underappreciated crime-drama 3000 Miles To Graceland here. It’s not often you see a bunch of Elvis impersonators (including an against-type Kevin Costner) partaking in a casino-floor gun battle that, for a few glorious seconds, recalls the mega shootout of Heat.
Speaking of great action scenes in movies, there’s a brilliant sequence in Black Panther that takes place in a South Korean casino. But did you know this is where Stan Lee’s cameo appears? Sticking with fantasy – of a darker kind – there’s the entertaining Leprechaun 3 in which its protagonist uses a lucky coin to win at the roulette table. And let’s not forget the George A. Romero-inspired zombie apocalypse flick, Remains, with its unsettling location inside an abandoned Reno casino.
Now let’s move onto something completely different. And completely inappropriate. Do you remember when Demi Moore was Hollywood’s hottest actress? Robert Redford certainly does. To settle her money troubles back in 1993 he offered one million dollars to spend a night with her after meeting in a Vegas casino. And you thought poker was unpredictable. Here’s another five you might have forgotten.
Run Lola Run
Lola (Franka Potente) has little time for a jaunt to the local casino. She’s even told she’s not dressed for the occasion. Had she taken advantage of some no deposit free spins on offer on some of today’s dedicated sites, like NetEnt casino, she wouldn’t have had to spend any of her own cash and could have stayed in her pyjamas. But the fun of Run Lola Run is watching our exasperated but wily heroine bet it all on black number 20 as the clock on her boyfriend’s life ticks down.
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
When con victim becomes con artist. Janet Colgate (Glenne Headly) turns the tables on Michael Caine and Steve Martin’s Lawrence Jamieson and Freddy Benson when they try to pull a fast one to steal her money. The casino offers a subtle backdrop throughout Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, but it’s at the roulette table when Freddy muscles his way into her life by pretending to be psychosomatically paralyzed that stands out. That’s mainly because of Jamieson’s reaction; a tinge of surprise at just how sadistically low his competitor is willing to go to get the money.
The third sequel in the Griswold family franchise is easily forgotten given how terrible the movie is. But it features a memorable sequence when Clark (Chevy Chase) goes to an “alternative casino” featuring games like “pick a number between 1 and 10”, Rock Paper Scissors, Guess Which Hand, and Coin Toss.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
BB-8 joins Finn and Rose on a trip to Canto Bight, Cantonica’s attractive destination for rich gamblers from a galaxy far, far away. Here is a place to mingle, drink a Maldovean Burtalle, and discuss if Han Solo’s claim to have done the “Kessel Run in 12 parsecs” is one giant fib. Who doesn’t laugh when the lovable BB-8 gets mistaken for a slot machine?
Bad Times At The El Royale
Dakota Johnson’s Emily Summerspring is front and centre in this crackerjack roulette-inspired scene. Does she pick red or black? It’s a matter of life and death. Chris Hemsworth’s cult leader Billy Lee is holding the gun (and all the “cards”) in a scene of sweaty-palmed tension.
So what have we learned? Sometimes, just sometimes, instead of being a place of poker faces and the intermittent clatter of coins dropping from the fruit machine, the casino can be a place where the bet is on your life. Or it can be a place where superheroes kick ass, where a couple of con men get unwittingly duped, where Lola “runs”, where Canto Bight is a thing, where Clark Griswold picks a number between 1 and 10, and where Robert Redford makes his “indecent proposal”.