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Top-10 gambling movies

8 October 2007

Some great movies have been left off of this list. But hey, we could only list 10. If you strongly disagree with this list, drop us a note at If we get a enough (eloquent) reaction, we'll publish them in another column. (Note: All of these movies can be purchased at our Gambler's Movie Collection.)

10. Swingers
This movie, which struggled in theaters for some unknown reason, became a raging success on video. It's the signature movie for twenty-something life in the 90's and features an outstanding road trip to a Las Vegas casino. You buy this for your loved one and you'll be money!

9. Casablanca
Perhaps the greatest movie of all time. Humphrey Bogart plays Rick Blaine, an American running a bar/casino in Casablanca - a major exit port for Europeans fleeing the Nazis during World War II. Then former flame Ilsa Lund (Ingrid Bergman) arrives with husband in tow trying to get to the U.S. as fast as possible. Bogart is forced to face his old feelings for Ilsa and decide if he's going to help them escape.

8. The Color of Money
Martin Scorsese directs this follow-up to The Hustler. Newman reprises his role as "Fast Eddie" Felson and takes young player under his wing and tries to show him the ropes in competitive pool. Newman won an Oscar for his role in this movie.

7. The Cooler
William H. Macy plays Bernie Lootz, the unluckiest man in Las Vegas. In fact, he's so unlucky that a casino pays him to spread his bad luck across the gambling floor. But when he falls in love with a cocktail waitress (Maria Bello), everything changes.

6. Casino
You can't go wrong when you mix casinos, the mob and a stellar cast. Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci are mob-connected best friends in Las Vegas and Sharon Stone is the woman who is in the center of all the action. This intense movie is typical Scorsese and definitely worth adding to your collection.

5. Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels
Brilliant dialogue and acting mark this fun movie about working class Londoners who pool their money together for a high-stakes poker game that goes horribly wrong. They end up owing $500,000 pounds to some bad character, and decide to rob some drug dealers to get the cash. And that's where the real fun begins.

4. The Gambler
If you looked up the definition of problem gambler in a dictionary, you'd see a picture of James Caan playing Axel Freed. Freed just has to gamble. The movie follows Freed's addiction, including his interactions with mobsters. Caan earned a Golden Globe for his portrayal of Freed, and his performance alone makes this movie worth watching.

3. The Sting
One of the best "big con" movies of all time. Henry Gondoff (Paul Newman) and Johnny Hooker (Robert Redford) run a magnificent scam on Doyle Lonnegan (Robert Shaw) to avenge the death of a friend. This movie so much fun you'll want to watch it over and over and over again.

2. The Hustler
One of the greatest gambling movie of all time. Paul Newman plays "Fast Eddie" Felson wrecks his personal life as he tries to beat "Minnesota Fats" (Jackie Gleason) in a high-stakes pool match. The movie won two Oscars was nominated for seven others. A must see for any movie fan!

1. Rounders
Classic poker movie. Matt Damon plays a reformed gambler who puts his relationship with his girlfriend (Gretchen Mol) on the line when he starts playing high-stakes poker again to help his friend (Edward Norton) clear some debts. Features great quotes like: "Listen, here's the thing. If you can't spot the sucker in the first half hour at the table, then you ARE the sucker." A must have in any gambler's DVD collection.

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