Gambling is a perennially popular pastime, and one which has maintained that status during into the digital era thanks to the development of online casinos and that central status in the popular imagination has frequently been reflected in cinema. To put it simply some of the greatest and most iconic sequences in movie history have been set in casinos, and these are some examples of this.
Whether you want to pick the remake directed by Steven Soderbergh and starring George Clooney or the Rat Pack original this has to rank as one of the most iconic examples of casino scenes in films. Indeed, in the case of Ocean’s Eleven practically the whole film takes place in a casino, but the actual heist scene would probably be the one that most people will remember.
Of course a great many James Bond films have featured casino sequences, but the one in the 2006 Daniel Craig hit is one of the most iconic because of the way it was used to establish the character’s recklessness and cool demeanour under pressure. Casino and gambling scenes can be a great way of indicating these kinds of character traits, and when you throw in Bond’s dismissive response to the ‘shaken or stirred’ question you have a scene that was key in the film’s agenda of making the character rougher and more dangerous again.
In a film almost entirely composed of iconic scenes it can be hard to pick just one, but the sequence with Humphrey Bogart’s Rick sitting drinking in his casino after he has been reunited with Ingrid Bergman is surely one of the single most famous (and parodied) scenes in cinema history. Full of classic dialogue, and featuring the famous ‘As Time Goes By’ theme, the scene would be a contender for the single most iconic scene in the history of cinema.
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