Everyone will have their own favourite gambling movie – in fact, this is indeed a popular genre due to the excitement that is involved, and often, watching these movies can usually create an adrenaline rush for the viewer based on the suspense that is naturally associated.
These are fundamentally, what the best ones do and essentially, it comes from having a strong storyline that captures the audience’s attention from the beginning. As well, you would have to factor in the cast as, in any movie, this plays an important part also.
It is often the case that most movies about gambling often have a main plot to them and gambling is one particular element of a bigger storyline, though which nevertheless has an influence on the outcome.
While there are many different movies about gambling, which range in terms of their release date, some are still considerably more popular than others and this could be based on the aforementioned reasons.
What was found in a study by NewCasinoSites is that this was definitely the case, with this based on taking statistical data from two authoritative sources and calculating an overall percentage to find an impartial verdict of the top 21 gambling movies of all time.
The results of this study gleaned a number of intriguing talking points, though the underlining theme in the majority of cases, appeared to be based on the strength of the storyline and how suspenseful the movie was.
Coming top of the pile with an overall score of 87 percent was the 2006 remake of the James Bond classic, Casino Royale. Taking away from the fact that this featured popular actor Daniel Craig and the fact that it was part of a highly popular franchise, it nevertheless was attractive because of the plot; something which Bond movies is known for.
The movie is centred around a high stakes poker game, where the implications of Bond losing (to a mathematical genius), could result in the continued sponsorship of global terrorism. That was the hook, which no doubt left an element of suspense.
Also of note, is that the age of the movie did not seem to make a difference. Coming in second place, was the 1946 film Mr Lucky, about a casino cruise ship owner/conman played by icon Cary Grant, who sets out to fleece guests in the interests of charity but then ends up falling for an unsuspecting charity worker. Again, this is another example that strengthens the argument for having an original storyline.
To what extent do cast members play a part in these results?
It would have to be argued that the cast in the movies does have some influence on the popularity, though it certainly isn’t a major factor. This can be evidenced by the movie that, you could say aptly came in at 21st – ‘21’. Although this was based on a true story and even had Hollywood legend Kevin Spacey as the lead, it still finished with a score of (no, not 21 percent – that would be too ironic!), 51.50 percent.
You also have to factor in the budgets that each movie has in order to be able to attract ‘big names’ though this does not necessarily have an effect. It could be argued that Casino Royale was the transition movie that turned [Daniel] Craig into a global phenomenon that provided the launchpad for him to attract lead roles in big-budget movies thereafter.
So here a list of the top 21 Gambling movies, ranked:
21. Vegas Vacation (1997)
20. Lucky You (2007)
19. 21 (2008)
18. Let It Ride (1989)
17. Maverick (1994)
16. The Cooler (2003)
15. Ocean’s Eleven (2001)
14. Molly’s Game (2017)
13. Casino (1995)
12. The Hustler (1961)
11. Bugsy (1991)
10. Atlantic City (1980)
9. Eight Men Out (1988)
8. The Color of Money (1986)
7. The Sting (1973)
6. Owning Mahowny (2003)
5. Rounders (1998)
4. Mississippi Grind (2015)
3. Croupier (1998)
2. The Cincinnati Kid (1965)
1. Tricheurs (1984)
And here some bonuses:
GIPHY App Key not set. Please check settings
Back in the 60s, I saw this Kubrick film.
No disappointments. You will love it! Guaranteed!
Paul Newman, Jackie Gleason, and Piper Laurie in The Hustler was on my list too. Seen it about ten times. Played competitive nine-ball, bank pool, rotation, straight pool, and One-pocket for 40+ years. Grew up on a Brunswick 4 1/2″ by 9′. Even set up tables in MN for an outfit.
Color of Money was a clown show compared to The Hustler.