Best films for a casino night

Posted on January 4th, 2012

If you’re about to head out for some casino action, or getting ready to play online with friends, what better way to get into the right headspace than with a casino-related film?
OK, OK, we admit it. It’s silly season. News is thin. We’re still deaf after watching the London New Year’s Eve fireworks bash on the Thames. WHAT? SORRY? DID YOU SEE THEM? YEAH! THEY WERE AMAZING! SPEAK UP PLEASE. The best bit being Big Ben spinning round on its access propelled by blue and red retro rockets.
OK, anyway. Back to the article. I got sidetracked…..where was I……movies….casinos…oh yes….
Hmm, first off you’ll need a film that’s about a casino, set in a casino, with characters who work in a casino. How about a film called…“A Day at The Zoo”.
No, try again.
“Casino”! Of course! The cautionary tale of gambling as the funding for organized crime…… Robert de Niro positively sparkles as a bloke who casually dispenses threats like they’re cough drops, as does Joe Pesci, who sounds like he could do with eating a few of them. Sharon Stone was nominated for a Best Actress Oscar for her performance, which basically entailed chain-smoking and flirting with mob types. She lost out to Susan Sarandon for Dead Man Walking that year, but did win a Golden Globe; small consolation for such a trying role. There’s also a fair bit of footage of people gambling, if that’s your thing.
Not Scorsese’s finest in our opinion and not as good as Goodfellas, but then Goodfellas isn’t about a casinos (although there is some poker in it), and that’s what this article is about. I actually preferred his next movie: Kundun. Nothing happens in it, but the cinematography is out of this world.
Not so much of that in our next picks, though: two different versions of the James Bond story Casino Royale. One of them was an overindulgent mess; the other starred Peter Sellers. The 1967 version of Ian Fleming’s first Bond novel was plagued by budget issues, production delays and the eventual walkout of the afore-mentioned Mr Sellers, apparently because of an ongoing feud with co-star Orson Welles.
The 2006 version, meanwhile, sparked new life into what had become a stale film franchise (no offence Mr Brosnan), as the reboot allowed Daniel Craig to show a more sensitive side of Bond that wouldn’t have had Connery fans choking on their popcorn in disgust.

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