Roulette has a glamour that few casino games can match and this glamour and excitement has been replayed countless times in movies throughout the history of Hollywood. Here we take a look at the best roulette scenes in movies – let us know if we’ve missed any of your cinematic favorites.
An all-time great, this movie won three Oscars in 1944, including the big two of Best Picture and Best Director, with Humphrey Bogart being nominated for Best Actor. The timeless story is still a great watch today, with a fantastic blend of romance, drama and comedy that the famous roulette scene epitomizes.
Rick (played by Bogart), the owner of the nightclub and gambling den based in the city of the film’s title, fixes a game of roulette to enable a newlywed couple to win so they can afford an American visa without the wife having to sleep with the police captain. Captain Renault threatens to close Rick’s establishment, claiming he is “shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!” Unfortunately for him, just as he proclaims that, the croupier hands over some cash: “Your winnings, sir,” to which he replies with great timing, “Oh, thank you very much.”
This far-from-classic 1993 movie starring Demi Moore, Robert Redford and Woody Harrelson saw Redford’s billionaire character make the indecent proposal of the title – to sleep with Moore for $1m – after Moore and Harrelson’s characters had lost their life-savings backing red at roulette. Key moral: listen to Wesley Snipes in Passenger 57 – “Always bet on black!”
The Deer Hunter
The type of roulette Robert De Niro engages in in a Viet Cong prison isn’t one you’ll find in a Vegas casino, nor playing online, but the film’s Russian roulette scene is a great, if controversial, moment of Hollywood history. It’s such a good scene, and such an iconic film that it makes our top roulette movie moments despite there being no roulette wheel or ball, and certainly no casino!
Instead the tense moment involves De Niro, Christopher Walken and John Savage and some fierce, Oscar-winning acting. We won’t spoil the movie by saying any more…
Bet Your Life On It
You may not have heard of this one, but then it doesn’t exist… but it should! In 2004 a Brit named Ashley Revell walked into a Vegas casino, headed to the roulette table and bet everything he had on red. Red number seven came in (what does Wesley Snipes know?) and Revell won a cool $270,600 – not a bad trip to the casino!