There are a ton of movies about Las Vegas, or that are set in the city. There are a few about Atlantic City, Macau and even Monte Carlo. There are many about poker, but are there any about blackjack? Now, think hard before you answer. I’m not talking about movies where the game is featured, like in Rain man or a James Bond sequel, where it’s fitted into the story of the movie. I’m asking if you can think of movies that revolve around the game, much like Rounders revolves around poker?
Even though blackjack is likely the most popular casino game worldwide, that doesn’t seem to be enough for filmmakers to incorporate it as a driving element in their stories. Maybe with the rise of online casinos, younger generations will think of a way to make it more cinematic.
Today, you can play blackjack and other popular table games as well as thousands of slots on your phone from anywhere, at any time. All you have to do is find the best online casino that digital gambling has to offer, sign up and play. With perks such as free spins, bonus rounds, and loyalty programs, you’re bound to play more than a few hands for free. Each casino bonus will be available to you once you register.
But onto what’s on offer in the land of cinema as far as blackjack goes.
Bet you didn’t know this one. Well, here’s another thing that’ll surprise you, this movie starring Bette Midler and Rip Torn was directed by Don Siegel. That’s right, THE Don Siegel, the guy that made movies like Dirty Harry, Charley Varrick, and Invasion of the Body Snatchers!
The story centres on a couple that follows a blackjack dealer, one they can’t lose against due to a winning jinx placed upon the husband. Jinxed! was released in 1982 and it is a cult classic and probably the most entertaining blackjack movie ever made.
Now, this is probably the first movie you thought about when you read the title. It was released in 2008 and it’s inspired by the notorious MIT blackjack team that took millions from casinos.
The movie tells the tale of the ambitious professor, played by the now-shamed Kevin Spacey, who trains a group of his brightest pupils on how to count cards and sets them loose on Vegas.
The Last Casino
If you knew of the previous listing, then you’ll probably be surprised to know that there is another movie based on the same story that came out 4 years prior.
This is, in fact, a Canadian TV movie, one that was directed by cinematographer Pierre Gill, a man who stood behind the camera to such movies as Starbuck, Upside Down, and Polytechnique. This film served as his directorial debut.
The Hot Shoe
Since we kind of ran out of feature films after just a few, we turn to the documentary side of things and list this 2004 film that deals and reveals the history of card counting.
It too features interviews with members of the MIT Blackjack team, as well as casino employees, authors and it offers a unique BTS look on how casinos monitor and try to spot those that partake in the practice.