Playing casino games is popular around the world and has found a whole new audience in modern times due to the rise of online casino platforms. One of the reasons for this is that casino gaming is a major part of popular culture, covered by several niches within the entertainment sector. While this can be seen in TV shows and video games, the way in which classic casino games have been included in some top movies over time has helped them remain well loved.
Roulette is a case in point and a popular choice for movie directors looking to use casino gaming’s glamorous image in their films. The game, in general, seems to lend itself well to the big screen, and this can certainly be seen in the iconic roulette wheel layout most audiences are already familiar with.
But which are four of the best movies to feature roulette wheels in them?
Released in 1942, during the golden age of Hollywood, Casablanca is one of the greatest movies of all time. Starring screen icons Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, it is set during WWII and is based around the help Bergman’s character receives from Bogart’s Rick Blaine when trying to escape the German occupation of Europe.
It is also a film that features a roulette wheel in one of its most famous scenes. In it, Rick Blaine enters the illicit gambling room that hosts a roulette wheel, at the back of the cafe he owns. As the owner, Bogart knows the wheel is fixed and can be controlled by the dealer. A player called Jan is trying to win enough money to flee to America via Lisbon but is not having much luck. In an act of kindness, Bogart’s character advises him to put his last chips on 22, safe in the knowledge that the croupier will ensure his number comes up.
Diamonds Are Forever
While TV shows like The Wheel of Time season 2 might have plenty to excite fans with, many films rely on the intense action of roulette to keep viewers interested. It is safe to say that the James Bond franchise is a major exponent of this and is famed for including casino gaming in many of its most iconic moments.
This is certainly true for roulette and the Sean Connery-helmed Diamonds Are Forever from 1971. One scene in this movie features Bond playing at a roulette table in a Las Vegas casino and trying his luck on the wheel. This sees him place a bet on 17 and winning big when it comes up!
Run Lola Run
Run Lola Run might not be the most well-known film ever to feature a roulette wheel but it is certainly one of the best. Starring Franka Potente, the plot involves central character Lola running all over town in a desperate bid to raise 100,000 Deutschmarks for her petty criminal boyfriend. If she cannot do it within a mere 20 minutes, he will be killed by his gangland boss!
In the final scenes of the film, Lola enters a casino in an attempt to win the money. This sees her head to the roulette wheel and place a 100-mark chip on the number 20. To her amazement, it comes up and pays out at 35:1. After celebrating wildly, she puts all her cash on 20 again and is even more delighted to see her number come up once more.
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
This outrageous comedy from 1988 sees both Michael Caine and Steve Martin in great form as conmen active on the French riviera. Although both their characters are initially working together, they soon become rivals in a bet that targets an apparently wealthy soap actress enjoying a sun-soaked vacation.
One of the most memorable scenes features a roulette wheel and sees Martin’s character meeting the target of their con for the first time. In a bid to win her sympathy and therefore also win the bet, he pretends to be a crippled war veteran who is down on his luck. The look on the face of Caine’s character as he clumsily arrives at the roulette table is priceless, as is the over-the-top way Martin’s character behaves to gain sympathy when playing the game.
Roulette is a game many top movies feature
The fact is that roulette wheels feature in many of the best movies ever made. This is certainly true when you consider the classic films discussed here that have included this casino game. Whether it is the sheer glamour of roulette that makes it such a great fit for the silver screen, or the drama it offers to watching film fans, there is no doubt that the roulette wheel has that certain magic we all love.