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Walking on the Edge. 5 of the most interesting films about gambling and casinos

We talk about the most outstanding films in which casinos and gambling played a key role.

Gambling is often the centerpiece of both outstanding literary works and screenplays for brilliant films.

From gambling addiction, mysticism and fortune, described in Pushkin’s The Queen of Spades, to banal crime in the Ocean’s Friends trilogy, gambling can be just a symbol and, at the same time, play a key role in the development of the plot.

In many cases, because of such works, people form a distorted view of the gambling industry.

But there are also many worthy examples in the world of cinema that tell about the hidden sides of casinos and gambling, as well as real stories about gambling that has changed the lives of many people who cannot see themselves without a sense of excitement and regularly read casino reviews.

The Gambler (1974)

A cult drama about gambling that tells the story of literature teacher Axel Fried, who is passionate about sports betting.

Drawing on a few ideas from Dostoyevsky’s novel The Gambler, Freed becomes literally obsessed with his desire to make money on the game, and soon loses a fortune.

Having collected the last money, the former teacher goes to Las Vegas, wanting to recoup, but there he will face even greater disappointments and blows of fate.

After a series of random events, Freed still returns his debt, but this adventure completely changes his life.

In 2014, a remake of the original film starring Mark Wahlberg was released.

Molly’s Game (2017)

A more contemporary drama based on the autobiography of businesswoman Molly Bloom, who was accused of organizing illegal poker tournaments with very high stakes.

Due to a serious injury, Bloom is forced to end her skiing career, after which she accidentally ends up working in an underground casino in Los Angeles.

Quickly mastering all the intricacies of the gambling business, the heroine quarrels with her management and soon opens her own casino.

The retribution for the entrepreneur’s rapid success is her conflicts with the mafia, physical violence and the seizure of all her assets. At the same time, Bloom does not reveal the names of his enemies and pleads guilty in court.

Lucky You (2007)

In this film, the story of love and difficulties in family relationships is revealed through, perhaps, the main gambling game – poker.

Talented player Hack Cheever wants to get into the prestigious poker tournament, but for this he needs to raise an unbearable sum.

Deciding to steal from his lover and mired in debt, Cheever still makes his way to the tournament, but ahead of him is a difficult game at the final table against his father.

The fate of strained family relationships is decided by the last hand, in which the protagonist makes an unexpected decision.

21 (2008)

Far from the most famous picture with Kevin Spacey in the title role, it tells about the attempt of several students and an MIT teacher to beat the casino.

Former gambler-turned-mathematics and probability professor Mickey Rosa is looking for smart students to help him beat the biggest casinos in Las Vegas again, hitting the blackjack table again and again.

At first, everything goes according to plan for the team, but soon serious scandals flare up between them, and the players substitute each other.

One of the key points in the plot is the casino observer, who has known the main character for a long time and is hunting for him.

The Cooler (2003)

In this film, the main character did not play against the casino, but for it.

“Cooler” is the designation for an unlucky person who works in a casino, and simply by his presence makes other players lose.

Having owed a large amount of money to one of the mafia clans that owns a casino in Las Vegas, “cooler” Bernie Lutz slowly begins to emerge from the role of a loser and tries to get out of the casino.

A crime drama with elements of a romantic film and comedy tells about the unknown side of the gambling business at the end of the 20th century.