Films have always been a powerful medium that can influence and shape the perception of societies. From storytelling to entertainment, movies have significantly impacted cultural movements and their potential consequences.
The relationship between the film and gambling industries has always gone hand in hand. The world of gambling is often portrayed through glamorous casinos and high-stakes poker. These visuals of the gambling world draw the viewers’ attention and attract them to casinos. This article will explore how past and present files affect audiences’ perceptions of gambling cultures and lifestyles. Without further ado, let us examine its impact on our life.
History of Casino Films
One of the first-ever films that portrayed gambling came in the early 20th century. The Cheat (1915) was a silent film featuring Fannie Ward, showcasing the casino movie genre. The film was based on a play and made enormous success which resulted in sequels of gambling-themed films.
- In 1928, ‘Lights of New York’ was released, and it became the first movie with only dialogue. Following that, ‘Broadway Bill’ (1934) and ‘Winner Take All’ (1932) were other gambling-themed movies that made their mark in history.
- In the 1940s, there was a massive drop in movies, including the popularity of casino movies due to World War II. The casino genre was reignited in the 1950s, which saw ‘The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial’ (1955), ‘Pal Joey’ (1957), and ‘The Man with the Golden Arm‘ (1955).
- As time passed, the gambling culture became more popular in the 1960s and 1970s. These movies include ‘Oceans 11’ (1960), ‘Casino’ (1995), and ‘Sting’ (1973), which have become iconic films that are rewatched even today.
- As we move on to the 21st century, movies like ’21’ (2008), ‘Molly’s Game’ (2017), and ‘The Hangover’ (2009) made their resurgence that depicted the gambling genre in different ways.
Gambling references in movies shifted from glamorous to darker tones to show different gambling perspectives. It offers a different side to the lifestyle of gamblers and casinos; read on to know more.
Why Do Gamblers Like Casino Movies?
Movies about gambling have continuously captivated audiences, but what makes it so interesting? Gamblers are attracted to such movies because of the thrill of taking risks. As humans, it is our nature to take on risks, and watching people take on these challenges is exciting.
The suspense and thrill make it enjoyable, which is highly entertaining. These movies can also function as a medium to escape from reality to a world of action and more intriguing stories than their own. Even the characters of these films are showing people with skills and talents that enable them to beat the house. Most of these movies end with the protagonist winning a large sum of money which is satisfying to watch.
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The Two Approaches to Gambling in Movies
With so many movies available today, there are different approaches in the casino genre films. These two approaches influence people’s perception of casinos and gambling culture by providing further insights into the gambling world.
The Glamorous Side
Everyone wants to be filthy rich, and the luxurious and glamorous lifestyle depicted in movies creates a sense of desire and hope in people all around. Many films portray the life of beautiful people who are high rollers and showcase a lifestyle of living on the edge, Like Oceans 11. Such portrayals attract people and romanticize their views of gambling, motivating them to pursue it.
The Dark Side
While the above approach focuses on the exciting life of gambling, the dark side is quite different. In these movies, you will often see narratives focusing on cautionary tales highlighting the dangers of uncontrolled gambling. Movies like “Leaving Las Vegas” and “The Gambler” show how unrestrained gambling can have terrible consequences that negatively impact their lives.
How Casino Movies Influence People’s Perceptions of Gambling
The way people think about gambling culture is mainly because of movies. These movies are often showcased as charismatic, sophisticated, skilled, and living a luxurious lifestyle. The casino film genre has shaped how people view gambling culture, and it’s hard to quantify its influence.
- Perception of Skill and Chance Based. It shows people that games like Poker and Blackjack are skill-based, and you can increase your chances of winning with the right strategy. In contrast, chance-based games like roulette and slot machines reduce your chances of winning. People directly believe in the fact that skill-based games outweigh chance based.
- Makes Casino Popular. When people desire the glamorous lifestyle of gamblers in movies, it encourages them to visit casinos. And when it comes to casinos, the Las Vegas Strip is on everyone’s mind. Casinos like MGM Grand, Mirage, Bellagio, The Venetian Resort, etc., are just iconic casinos shown in movies.
- Normalization of Taking Risks. People who do not understand the odds and how gambling games work risk much more than those who understand it. The misinterpretation of taking risks can lead to people making uninformed decisions and taking on unnecessary risks.
- Always Coming Out on Top. Movies tend to portray gambling, always winning big even after betting huge amounts of money. It can give the impression that consistently wagering despite the odds will always get you on top. Remember, there is no assurance of you winning big, no matter how big of money you bet.
- Learn About Casino Games. Many casino films like The Godfather and The Gambler focus on details about different casino games. People can learn about some of the games shown in movies, making them more confident before gambling. You learn to place bets, hand signals, win cards, and more.
In conclusion, the film industry has played a big role in shaping people’s vision of gambling. Promoting diverse perspectives about casinos and gambling cultures makes it possible to educate people about the consequences and foster a more informed approach to casinos in society.