5 Best Casino Films Ever – Interesting Facts and Trivia

Some casino-themed films make for unforgettable movies. The best movies evoke emotion and allow the viewer to empathize with the film’s characters. To that end, a number of casino films prove unforgettable and moving.

Occasionally, a memorable movie comes out featuring a theme related to casinos. These films have tremendous appeal to casino game players, who love the excitement, thrill, and adrenaline rush one receives when betting on cash games in an effort to win big jackpots. Here are the 5 Best Casino Films Ever.


Ocean’s 11 Casino Heist Film Makes Fifth Top Grossing Flick in 2011

In Ocean 11, the first of the trilogy, is a remake of the Rat Pack film sharing the identical film title first released in 1960. The film remake is a heist comedy released in 2001, and features A-list celebrities like George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Matt Damon, Brad Pitt, and Andy Garcia: With a line up like that it’s hard not to understand why Ocean Eleven is one of the top five casino films ever made.


The plot: George Clooney plays the role of Danny Ocean, an ex-con looking to pull off one of the most difficult heists imaginable. Bring together a team of eleven, the group attempts to pull off a huge heist at three of the leading casinos in Vegas: The MGM Grand, Mirage, and The Bellagio.

The plan: To get into all three casinos and walk away with a heist jackpot of $150 million, and the group only gets one chance to pull it off, so they’ll need all the luck they can get.

The movie was so popular it proved to be the fifth highest grossing movie the year of its release. Ocean’s 11 was produced on a budget of $85 million and raked in $450.7 million in the box office.

Compare those figures to the $5 million the original 1960 release of Ocean’s 11 made, featuring Hollywood stars like Frank Sinatra, Angie Dickinson, Joey Bishop, Sammy Davis, Jr., and Dean Martin, and the instant success of the 2001 release is easily seen.


Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas (1998)

The 1998 release of the film Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas directed by Terry Gilliam and starring Benicio del Toro and Johnny Depp was based on a small budget of $18.5 million, and made even less at the box office: $10.6 million. But since then it became a cult film, due to the whacky performances of its two stars.



In the film, when Raulo Duke, played by Johnny Depp, and Dr Gonzo, played by Benicio del Toro, head for the Bazooko Circus Casino, they experiment with a variety of drugs that make them hallucinate. Once in the circus, a big net separates the circus from the casino floor, which is chaotic with strange people, costumes, and vivid attractions.

An interesting bit of trivia related to the casino scene is that the Bazooko Circus Casino was modeled to look a lot like the Las Vegas Circus Circus Casino, which was a casino mentioned in the book the film is based on;  however, the real casino wanted nothing to do with the movie and disallowed the use of its name.


Casino (1995)

Martin Scorsese’s 1995 release of Casino featuring A-list stars like Joe Pesci, Sharon Stone, and Robert De Niro, was a Universal Pictures success and casino film favorite. The film had a $40 million budget and brought in $116.1 million at the box office.

Ace Rothstein (Robert De Niro), owns a casino in the movie and is trying to have a normal life with his money-hungry wife Ginger (Sharon Stone). The casino settings in the film were are recorded on the Las Vegas Strip at the Rivera Hotel and Casino in the Las Vegas Valley.

Nicky Santoro (Joe Pesci), a friend and mobster comes to town with his own agenda.


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Casino Royale (1967 & 2006)

Casino Royale 1967 and 2006 are two films based on the first James Bond novel by Ian Fleming. The 2006 movie featured Daniel Craig, Jeffrey Wright, Giancarlo Giannini, Mads Mikkelsen, and Eva Green.

With a starting budget of $150, the movie made $599 million at the box office and went on to receive a number of film awards, including five Saturn Awards nominations.


Casino Royale 1967

Casino Royale 2006

The Great Sinner (1949) 

The 1949 classic film The Great Sinner, featuring Melvyn Douglas, Ava Gardner, and Gregory Peck, was based on a Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s novel. The film had a budget of just over $2 million and made $2,041,000 at the box office, so it didn’t even really break even, but that didn’t stop the film from becoming a beloved classic among casino fans.

The plot consists of a traveling writer, a marriage to a casino manager, and the down side of betting on casino games.



The 5 Best Casino films ever vary in terms of story line and the box office revenue generated. It’s important to remember that the amount of money a movie brought in does not necessarily determine its success.

Other casino-themed films are impressive in terms of the revenue generated. Out of the top five casino films, casino fans are sure to find themes evoking the excitement and casino ambience they crave.


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