Ah, the pull of Las Vegas. Millions upon millions of people journey to Sin City every year – a reported 40 million people travelled to the casino oasis in the middle of the desert in 2017 – and a lot of it is due to how the place is depicted in the movies.
Las Vegas, and casinos in general, have been featured in film pretty much since Vegas was founded at the start of the 20th century. Their allure is constant, an now more than ever with the rise of online gaming industry with some of the best casino sites pulling in thousands of customers on their own around the world every day. In this article, we take a look at casinos in film and three of the best scenes located within them.
Who could forget the award-winning 1980s film Rain Man starring Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman (in an Oscar-winning turn). The film is essentially a road movie, but the destination is no other than Las Vegas and in particular Caesars Palace, one of the most famous casinos on the strip. The scene in question sees Hoffman’s Ray playing a game of Blackjack and doing really rather well at it. “Hit me, hit me, hit me,” Raymond says as he continues to score win after win.
The first 007 adventure to feature current 007 Daniel Craig features perhaps the greatest casino-set scene in the entire (and there have been a few). The scene sees James Bond (Craig) up against Mads Mikkelsen’s villainous Le Chiffre in a game of Texas Hold ‘Em. The pair are involved in a $10 million buy-in tournament at a top-notch casino in Montenegro and Bond is well up against it. He’s had his drink spiked by Le Chiffre’s girlfriend and has to dash to his parked Aston Martin to employ the use of a portable defibrillator to shock himself back to life. Not only does he manage to succeed, he also manages to return to the poker table and win the game.
There are many scenes set in a casino – again Caesars Palace – during the first ‘Hangover’ movie, but perhaps the best riffs off the scene seen at the end of Rain Man where Alan (Zach Galifianakis) has to win a ton of money in order to get their friend Doug back to his wedding on time. Some serious card counting is employed and Alan, along with his friends Phil (Bradley Cooper) and Stu (Ed Helms) manage to get the amount they need to pay off a rather annoyed gangster, Hilarity ensues when they discover that the gangster in question isn;t holding Doug hostage at all – he’s been trapped on the roof of Caesars Palace for the past 24 hours!