Top 5 Gambling Films of All Time!

Movie directors have had a longstanding fascination with gambling particularly the renowned big hitters of the twentieth century. Although the industry has brought us numerous films on the topic with some obviously better than others, the standouts are few and pretty unanimous. Here are the top 5 movies scripted around a gambling theme. 

1. Rounders (1998)

For all poker players or anybody who has ever gambled a nickel in their lifetime, this has got to be an undisputable favorite movie. The poker themed movie brings out one of the best character portrayals ever seen on television. The cast, which includes Ed Norton, John Tuturro, John Malkovich and Martin Landeau played a defining role in transforming the modest movie into a gripping and immensely enjoyable one. Even so, Matt Damon’s lead role as reformed underground poker player who just can’t give up his addiction, might be one of the most ludicrously engaging scripts ever filmed.

2. The Cincinnati Kid (1965)

This star-laden piece became a huge box-office hit even after suffering serious production difficulties prior to and amid shooting. It also stands out as an age-less poker movie that set the template for countless other imitations. The movie features Steve McQueen playing the title character as a legend wannabe who challenges “The Man” (Edward G. Robinson) in an ultimate showdown. The classic task is complicated with distractions in the form of women (Ann-Margaret and Tuesday Weld), best friend (Karl Malden) and businessman (Rip Torn) who altogether factor in the 332 billion to 1 odds of the final hand.

3. The Hustler (1961)

Pool is not as immediately associated to gambling as poker but still remains one of the world’s favorite odds game and features in one of the best gambling-based movies of all time “The Hustler”. The film features Paul Newman challenging the legendary Minnesota Fats to win $10,000 but gets humiliated and later inspired for another go by a local alcoholic (Piper Laurie). This forms the basis of an inspirational gambling piece which also portrays the true battle of wills in sportsmanship.

4. The Sting (1973)

Another bona fide classic starring Paul Newman, The Sting, brings out a tense and absorbing performance that can be watched over and over without losing the thrill. Newman and Robert Redford partake in every sort of con known to man before finally pulling off the biggest con on a mob boss who had killed a mutual friend. The movie, which is based on poker and horse racing themes, not only won Best Picture that year but went on to pick seven Academy Awards.

5. The Gambler (1974)

Adopted loosely from the short novel “The Gambler”, the film remains an underseen classic that deserves a remaking. The movie has been getting much reappraisal of late owing to the great performances put up by James Caan, Lauren Hutton and Paul Sorvino in the original set. Caan played as an admired English teacher with a gambling addiction which gets the best of him and his perfect life. He manages to get financial relief to pay up his debts but he foolishly takes another gamble only to fail miserably. The story unfolds into an intense and taut drama, arguably the best of its nature.

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