Casinos> Gambling in Movies
Gambling In Movies
In television, and movies all plots revolve around six basic
ideas, but in gambling movies they revolve around only two. Gambling movies
generally revolve around poker games, where the protagonist, or good guy
losses. This is the case for most of the main films, of all times. The good guy
has two decisions how to deal with this dilemma, which leads us to the two
types of plots seen for gambling movies.
The first plot is the more reasonable one, by not taking the
loss lightly. In these cases this means that most likely it will mean trouble.
Many loose, and don’t have the collateral to pay their bookies, or the hand
winner at the poker table. So the stress begins as the movie begins. The movies
with this plot generally revolve around how the good guy will win in the end.
Sometimes the good guy plays more games, even when they are under, to win back
that and then some. Other occasions, they opt to take a different route to pay
off their debts, some through criminal means. i.e. stealing money. Yet, for
some reason, there will be one Zen moment in the film, where they try to
rationalize what just happened, and what they can do about it. These films
strongly represent those points.
The Gambler- 1974- Axel Freed (James
Caan) a literature professor looses all his money, and has none to live, but
can’t stop gambling. He borrows money from his girlfriend, and then mother to
support his habit.
Calming Zen Quote:
"…for ten thousand they brake your arms, for twenty your
legs, for fifty you get a whole new face. If I win these three, I might just
get back to level!” Axel Freed owed $44,000.
1998-Law student Mike Mc Dermott (Matt Damon) looses his tuition money in a
game, and reforms himself afterwards. This is good until his buddy; a good
player in his own right (Edward Norton) owes money to pay loan sharks off. They
need to play in order get that money back.
Calming Zen Quote:
Mike Mc Dermott (Matt Damon)
“In ‘Confessions of a
Winning Poker Player,’ Jack King said, ‘Few players recall big pots they have
won, strange as it seems, but every player can remember with remarkable
accuracy the outstanding tough beats of his career.’ It seems true to me, cause
walking in here, I can hardly remember how I built my bankroll, but I can't stop
thinking about the way I lost it.”
Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels- 1998-
Four London working class guys put their best player forward at a poker game.
What he doesn’t know is his high stakes game is against someone not to be
messed with. He looses half a million Pounds to this guy. He doesn’t have the
money to back it up, and if by the end of the week he can’t get it he will
loose a finger. So the guys plan to rob their drug dealing neighbors with two
Calming Zen Quote:
EDDY (Nick Moran)
“I knew he was
bluffing, but somehow the worst card player round the table had fucked me like
a frozen virgin with a pair of sevens. A series of blows to my head with a
baseball bat would have been greeted with a grin compared to this. Ten minutes
earlier, I was two hundred thousand pounds richer; now I owed half a million.”
Rational thinking of
the situation during, or right after seemed to help these poker players in
these gambling movie plot instances, but the other way to deal with poker loss,
and debt for others seemed simpler. The get out of jail free card for these
guys may be more emotional, but money free, give up their girlfriends, fiancés,
or wives. This could be a day, date, or sex. They don’t see this as
prostitution, but end up being jealous or sorry they didn’t play another round,
involve a friend, or steal like the guys above. Instead they give their ladies
up to rich older men with lots of money. These men say they will make the good
guys debt free if their young gorgeous women accompany them, or sleep with
them. Later they wish they were beaten up instead. They don’t really have a Zen
moment, but a fight with someone on how they did it or how they could have done
such as thing. These movies illustrate that point well.
Honeymoon in Vegas - 1992. Jack Singer (Nicholas
Cage) takes his girlfriend to Las
Vegas to elope. The night before he goes to play poker
in one of the casinos, and loses $65K over a many rounds, with interest. The
rich older man winner, Tommy Korman (James Caan) decides Singer will be debt
free, if he allows his fiancé Betsy (Sarah Jessica Parker) to accompany Korman
for the weekend.
Calming Zen Quote:
(Singer tells his girlfriend how he lost the bet.)
Jack Singer: (Cage) “Do you know what a straight flush is?
It's like... unbeatable.”
Betsy (Parker): “‘Like
unbeatable’ is not unbeatable.”
Jack Singer: “Hey, I
know that now, okay!”
Indecent Proposal- 1993-Young couple
looses everything, so they go to Vegas for a last chance to get rich
quick. David Murphy (Woody Harrelson)
enters the casinos, and loses at their tables, when rich John Gage (Robert
Redford) enters into the picture. Gage proposes a solution to the Murphy’s
financial troubles, let him have one night with his wife Diana Murphy (Demi
Moore), and he will give the couple one million dollars.
Calming Zen Quote
Jeremy (Oliver Platt) David’s Lawyer
“HOW have one night with him. COULD YOU NEGOTIATE WITHOUT ME? Never
negotiate without your lawyer. Never. For a woman like Diana I could have gotten
you at least two million. Obviously... you don't want to get screwed, and
It seems whether funny, or serious, people can’t help but be
entertained by flicks surrounding gambling or casinos. These may be extreme
cases, in any of these movies, as no one would react as calmly as the
characters have. Like most American type films, where happy endings are
prevalent, even the good guy in the worst of circumstances prevails. In the
mean time, the viewers escape from a real reality, by watching the actions,
through the screen of these poor good guy gamblers.