As each year passes, the world of poker continues to grow in popularity and more individuals are taking part in playing the game themselves.
Today, it seems as though poker is making its way into every aspect of entertainment and recreation, including films. In fact, many films have been created that are centred around the world of poker and casinos, such as Rounders, The Cooler, Croupier, California Split and Casino.
Rounders, widely considered to be the best poker film in the last twenty years, was released in 1998. The film starred Matt Damon and Edward Norton as the protagonists and John Malkovich as the antagonist. Throughout the film, Matt Damon plays the part of a former rounder who is given the ultimatum of choosing between his girlfriend and his best-friend. When it comes to selecting a film that features a significant amount of poker action, Rounders is a highly recommended film to watch. In fact, many of those who have seen the film will often agree that Rounders has contributed to the overall popularity of poker.
The Cooler is another poker film that is considered to be quite unique. The film is about a story of a typical man, though not a gambler, that brings bad luck to other gamblers. Las Vegas ultimately hires this man for the sole purpose of minimising the winnings of the other gamblers in the casinos. It stars William H. Macy and Maria Bello. When Macy’s character falls in love with Bello’s character, his bad luck turns around and begins giving other gamblers good luck.
Croupier is another poker film that is definitely worth seeing. Jack Manfred stars in this film as a writer. Manfred’s character works as a croupier in a casino and his life inspires him to write. As Manfred’s character continues to write his novel, he begins to realize that he is becoming the hero of his own fictitious novel by giving in to the temptations of the gambling world.
California Split was directed by Robert Altman and released in 1974. The film focuses primarily on the growing friendship between the characters of George Segal and Elliott Gould, both men who enjoy gambling very much. Throughout the film, the two go on a trip to Reno where games such as poker, Blackjack and Craps are given attention.
From the novel by Larry Shandling, Casino is also one of the top five poker films that poker fans must watch at least once. The film stars Robert De Niro and his character, Sam “Ace” Rothstein, is based on Frank Rosenthal, the manager of the Stardust Casino for the Mafia during the 1970’s. During the film, Rothstein secretly runs the casino while the Mafia backs him up. In order to avoid his gambling charges, Rothstein must run the casino exactly how the Mafia wants it to be run. Sharon Stone, James Woods and Joe Pesci also star in this popular poker film.