Casinos have long been a popular setting for filmmakers. They can add some extra tension to scenes, with the risks involved in the high-stakes games on offer. James Bond pictures make use of this element perfectly, with the slick MI6 spy often seen taking on antagonists at the tables.
Casinos presented in cinema are usually highly glamourized and are not always an accurate depiction of what gambling houses are like in the real world. In addition, sometimes unrealistic things happen to make the scenes more engaging.
What are Some of the Most Famous Movies to Have Depicted Casinos?
The list of casino-based films is endless, with the likes of Martin Scorsese’s Casino, Martin Campbell’s Casino Royale, Steven Soderbergh’s Ocean’s Eleven and Todd Phillips’ The Hangover being some of the most famous offerings from the last 30 years. Each of these pictures provides a slightly different take on the traditional gambling house.
The Hangover shows casinos that many people can relate to, with the accessible floors of Las Vegas hotspots populated by a wide array of diverse demographics. Casino Royale is perhaps the one that viewers would find hardest to imagine in real life, as the opulent casinos depicted in the film were highly exclusive.
There have also been famous casino scenes within movies that had a wider focus. For example, Barry Levinson’s Rain Man is remembered for the famous blackjack scene in Vegas, but most of the movie is centred on a road trip and the relationship between two estranged brothers played by Mission Impossible star Tom Cruise and Academy Award winner Dustin Hoffman.
What are the Biggest Misconceptions in These Films?
One of the biggest misconceptions, when casinos have been represented on the big screen, is that they are all grand, exclusive locations designed only to accommodate the incredibly wealthy. Of course, Bond movies have been particularly guilty of spreading this misconception. Whenever 007 enters a casino, it’s typically populated by affluent people attired in luxurious garments. These settings paint a picture of exclusivity and make most viewers feel as if they wouldn’t be welcome in such an environment.
These portrayals of casinos are damaging because they couldn’t be further from the truth nowadays. Especially in the digital era. In the modern age, casinos are welcoming to all types of players, regardless of their social status. Not only this but plenty of newer demographics have been introduced to casinos and made to feel welcome due to the increased accessibility, especially with casinos now being widely available online.
Another common occurrence in gambling scenes is when unrealistic things happen. For example, in the final poker hand of Casino Royale, nearly every player at the table was holding a monster hand. Each player, in turn, revealed their hand and beat the person to their right. The probability of this happening in real life would be infinitesimal, and yet novices, based on what they’ve seen, will likely set unrealistic expectations for when they play the game themselves.
Modern Day Casinos are a Far Cry From the way They are Depicted on Screen
One massive thing that movies have failed to convey is the fact that most people play casinos online nowadays. Still, these sites hardly ever feature in pictures. In Canada, there are millions of online casino players, and this is highlighted by the sheer number of online casinos marketing themselves to people here. Indeed, players use comparison sites to find the best safe online casinos in Canada, where the pages are listed based on their reliability, payment methods, game variants, and ratings. The need to do this shows just how many options there are for players.
The people who play at these sites may feel that the casino scenes they see in movies are unrealistic. Slots are the most popular games online, but these are hardly ever shown on the silver screen. Players nowadays can dress in all types of attire, but this isn’t reflected in cinema either. There are also new variants of classics like blackjack, but filmmakers still choose to stick to the original format.
It could be time for filmmakers to rethink the way they depict casinos on the big screen. Most people play casinos online now, so there should be more representation of these players in cinema.