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Are These Some of the Best Casino Movies?

Casinos provide a rich backdrop to many films and TV shows throughout television history, with the neon lights of Vegas creating an attractive backdrop to all sorts of movie action, romance and comedy.

We run down some of the top films with casinos as a background.

Viva Las Vegas, 1964

Once upon a time Sinatra was the King of Vegas, but that all changed when Elvis hit the scene. With Elvis impersonator competitions and the ability to even get married by a man dressed as the film star and singer, the film that really placed Elvis on the Vegas throne was Viva Las Vegas. Teamed with Ann-Margret it is high camp adventure and a theme tune that will get stuck in your head for a week, it’s a romp that’s well worth seeing.

Casino, 1995

Every list of top casino films out there contains this film from incredible director Martin Scorsese. Filmed in the Riviera Hotel and starring Robert De Niro, Casino is the ultimate gangster-in-Las-Vegas film, centred around De Niro as he tries to run a mafia-affiliated casino. When the casino is a hit, an enforcer is sent to look after the security. The enforcer proves to be too much for de Niro to handle alongside the gambling empire. The film is beautiful, directed by Martin Scorsese, who fetishises the gaudy 1970’s Las Vegas aesthetic to great effect. The film is a must see, a brutal and powerful look at the mob connections to Las Vegas. Of course, you don’t have to head off to Las Vegas, you can play online casino games in the UK at places such as if you feel so inclined.

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, 1998

Based on the book of the dame name by Hunter S. Thompson with creepy scratchy illustrations by Ralph Steadman, this psychedelic film set against a backdrop of drugs and grotesquery with Johnny Depp as Thompson is a must see trip into the depravity that Vegas can be. The film is also one of Depp’s best portrayals.

Leaving Las Vegas, 1995

A Nicholas Cage film where he plays a down and out is always worth a watch. Set not in Vegas of the usual TV fame with its lights a d poker games, the films is set in the ghettos and suburbs of the city. Dealing with some pretty rough topics, it’s not usually these types of lists but it is a must see film if you are a Nick Cage fan.

Ocean’s 11, 2001

Steven Soderbergh’s remake of 1960 original sees George Clooney and co. plan heists on the Bellagio, the MGM Grand and The Mirage in Las Vegas. Danny Ocean is the leader of gang, putting together a team worthy of gaining revenge on his long standing enemy Terry Benedict and clearing out the vaults in three of the world’s biggest casinos. The film brings that cool, contemporary edge to gambling not seen in any of the other famed casino eras, with Ocean and sidekick Rusty Ryan being confident enough to take on such a huge risk, but smart enough to pull it off. We will have to see what Sandra Bullock gets up to in Ocean’s 8.

The Hangover, 2009

Taking n the notion of ‘what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas to its ultimate conclusion, this bachelor party gone wrong film is both cringe worthy and hilarious. Starring Bradley Cooper and Zack Galifianakis as the stags and Ken Jeong of Community fame as the baddie, its ridiculous moments, nod of the head to classic film Rainman and cameos will make you want to watch the second one. Don’t. It’s terrible.


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