14th Jul2017

A Few Little Known Facts about Gambling in Films

by James Smith

Credit: Universal Pictures

Movies set around casinos and gambling have mostly been a fair bet to success for the film industry. The drama and tension that naturally occurs within a gaming environment, and that can include the glitz and glamour of a big Las Vegas Casino, or the smoke filled back room, transfers over to the silver screen very well.

The opulent feel of the casino has always intrigued gamblers and spectators alike, and as soon as technology advanced far enough online casinos made their appearance. Now statistically more people user their mobile phone to play on their favourite  games on sites like Swanky Bingo online which provide that feeling of excitement and entertainment we all crave whenever and wherever we choose.

The history of gambling and casinos is a fascinating one, and so are the not so well known facts that surround some of our most favourite films set in and about casino life.

For instance did you know that Quentin Tarantino expressed great interest in directing Casino Royale the classic Bond film where Daniel Craig made his first appearance as 007? Tarantino actually claimed he was working behind the scenes with Ian Flemming’s family to make a completely different movie from  what we saw, with his film being set in the 50’s and filmed in black and white staring Pierce Brosnan. His first choice of female lead was Angelina Jolie who was not too keen on being simply ‘eye candy.’

Ocean’s 11 has some interesting little known facts too. With movie production costs being $85m and a box office take of $450m Ocean’s 11 was a remake of a movie that originally starred the Rat Pack of Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jnr etc. Not to be outdone the remake included a cast of greats too like George Clooney, Matt Damon, Julia Roberts, and Brad Pitt amongst other big names.

What is interesting though is that many of the main roles were originally offered to different actors. Geroge Clooney’s character was offered to Bruce Willis, and the role of Linus which was played by Matt Damon in the film was actually written for Mark Wahlberg. Even  more interesting was that Sandra Bullock is thought to be one of the stars in an all–female version of Ocean’s 11.

Maverick showcases what life was most probably like for a travelling card shark in the 19th century and starred Mel Gibson in the starring role, with James Garner, the original Maverick, as Gibson’s father.  Full of wit and humour, and cunning cheats, Gibson managed to show gambling in a positive light opposed to some seedy, back room gambling den dramatisation.  The mega bucks $25,000 buy in for the final tournament in the film would now be worth over $600,000 in modern times!  Well worth playing for.

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