Online Gambling and Poker experience in film: "The Prowler", "Roadhouse", "Casino", etc.

Wayne Tedrow Jr. (Las Vegas, 6/14/68)
Wayne returned to Vegas. Pete B. moved to Vegas for a Carlos Marcello gig. It was January ‘64. Pete heard that Wendell Durfee had fled back to Vegas. He told Wayne. Wayne went after Wendell. Three colored dope fiends got in the way. Pete was hopped up on the Cuban exile cause. Vietnam was getting hot. Howard Hughes was nurturing crazy plans to buy up Las Vegas.


He’d rigged a lab in his hotel suite. Beakers, vats and Bunsen burners filled up wall shelves. A three-burner hot plate juked small-batch conversions. He hadn’t cooked dope since Saigon. He was a sergeant on Vegas PD. He was married. He had a chemistry degree. His father was a big Mormon fat cat. Wendell Durfee shivved a casino dealer. It didn’t matter. The Casino Operators’ Council wanted Wendell clipped. Vegas cops got those jobs. They were choice gigs with big bonus money. They were tests. -BLOOD’S A ROVER by James Ellroy

"Every time I hit Las Vegas take a good look at it just to make sure it's still there" -"The Prowler" (1951) directed by Joseph Losey

Officer Webb Garwood (Van Heflin) returns to Susan Gilvray's (Evelyn Keyes) residence initiating a romantic relationship game. With no prowler in sight, a looming Californian hacienda in front of him and a beautiful woman alone inside, Garwood decides to take on the titular role without even changing out of his uniform.

He and Susan reunite and Webb pledges both innocence and love. The couple gets married. Webb quits the police department and fulfills his dream: buying a truck stop motel next to a busy freeway in Las Vegas, Nevada! Garwood believes that his ship has finally come in. A closer view reveals that Webb's ambition isn't a gold bargain.

More than any other city, Las Vegas has long had the reputation of being the place to go for reinvention. From its humble land auction beginnings in 1905, people came to Las Vegas starting their lives over. Long before the gambling, neon and showgirls appeared, Las Vegas was a small town like thousands of others across the country. Slot and video poker machines provide the bulk of main revenues in Las Vegas, along with traditional casino games such as poker, blackjack, craps, baccarat, roulette, etc. It's a good advice to ask your dealer for help and strategies, and it's also polite to give your dealer a 'toke' (tip) particularly if you're winning, placing a chip on the layout (the area where you place your bet) for the dealer to collect if your bet at craps wins.

Slot-machine and video poker players earn comps by joining a casino player's club. Many casinos, armed with profitability studies developed by MBAs, were replacing their card tables with high limit slot machines and other traditional table games such as blackjack or poker.

Sharon Stone as Ginger McKenna in "Casino" (1995) directed by Martin Scorsese.

Based on the book by Larry Shandling and Nicholas Pileggi, "Casino" was directed by Martin Scorsese, starring Robert De Niro as Sam "Ace" Rothstein, a character based on Frank Rosenthal, who ran casinos in Las Vegas in the 70’s, most notably the Stardust casino (gambling, poker games, etc.)

“The town will never be the same. After the Tangiers, the big corporations took it all over. Today it looks like Disneyland. And while the kids play cardboard pirates, Mommy and Daddy drop the house payments and Junior’s college money on the poker slots. In the old days, dealers knew your name, what you drank, what you played." —Ace Rothstein (Rober De Niro in "Casino")


Jodie Foster plays in "Maverick" (1994) a scheming southern belle and a skillful poker player. Bret Maverick (Mel Gibson) is attempting to enter a five-card draw tournament to prove that he is the best poker player. He needs an additional $3,000 to participate in the $25,000 event. In the town of Crystal Rivers he meets two other poker players: Foster’s Annabelle and Angel, played by Alfred Molina.
The tournament hits a high point when it’s down to three players: Maverick, Angel and The Commodore: While the odds of Gibson’s Ace of Spades draw are low (52 cards in a deck) the Commodore has four of a kind (eights) and Angel has a low straight flush. In the third act, the poker fans will be delighted since the interactions are all secondary to the poker action, which is some of the best captured on film.

Paul Newman playing poker in "The Sting" (1973)

After Henry Gondorf (Paul Newman) and John Hooker (Robert Redford) spot Doyle Lonnegan (Robert Shaw), a high-stakes gambler during a poker game, they come up with a cunning method of manipulating him into placing sure bets on fixed horse races.

"The Sting" on Top 250 #99 in Imdb List won 7 Oscars in 1974 - Best Picture, Best Director: George Roy Hill, Best Writing, Story and Screenplay Based on Factual Material or Material Not Previously Published: David S. Ward, Best Film Editing: William Reynolds, Best Music, Scoring Original Song Score and/or Adaptation, Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Julia Phillips became the first female producer to win the Best Picture category.

The incorporation of gambling, casinos, poker and other games in movies goes all the way back to the 1930's with "Gambling Lady" starring Barbara Stanwyck.

Yvonne de Carlo and Dan Duryea playing the roulette in "River Lady" (1948) directed by George Sherman

Dan Duryea, the onetime advertising copywriter turned actor, became synonymous with a particularly decadent and insidious form of evil, Catch "Criss Cross" (1949) for a prototypical Duryea performance as Slim Dundee, a well-dressed gambler and syndicate boss who could teach Dennis Hopper a few tricks about sneering with nasty intent.

Duryea reserves his most chilling glares for Steve Thompson (Burt Lancaster), the viral, young buck one married to Dundee's wife, Anna (Yvonne De Carlo) Sultry Anna longs to burn again in Steve's arms, but how can she manage without the money from her sugar daddy Slim?

Ida Lupino as the wise-cracking dame Lily Stevens in "Road House" (1948) directed by Jean Negulesco: Ida Lupino plays a barroom singer who loves to play poker solitaires and who shows her sangfroid as she tries to flee from Jefty’s increasingly unhinged grasp. And there’s a remarkable sexual transference of power when Lily takes matters —and Jefty’s gun— into her own hands.
Jefty (Richard Widmark) says of Lily as he falls to the ground: "I told you she was different".

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