How are casinos portrayed in films throughout the eras?

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From the wild Westerns to Viva Las Vegas – the casino scene has been an iconic movie moment for over a century of cinema.

To celebrate this, Ladbrokes Casino have put together a quiz for you to find out which era you’d belong to! Would you be the Bootlegger trying to make a quick buck, or the Swinger doing anything for a good time?

To give you a better indication of these eras, here are some of the top films depicting three great casino periods…


The Cowboy, as seen in 5 Card Stud (1968)

This Henry Hathaway classic has all the ingredients of a great Western film – gun showdowns, bar brawls, ladies and of course, gambling. With Dean Martin in the lead role, the film is based around a man being caught cheating during a game of 5 card stud and his fellow competitors want him to face the consequences.

Despite Van Morgan’s best efforts the cheater is killed, yet one by one the lynch mob responsible for the hanging are murdered. 5 Card Stud depicts both ends of the gambling scale during the Cowboy era – how people would do anything to win and how cheaters where dealt with if they were caught.


The Bootlegger, as seen in Scarface (1932)

Based on Armitage Trail’s 1929 novel, the original Scarface loosely follows the rise and fall of the legendary mob boss Al Capone. The film is set during the height of the Prohibition era, where downtown Chicago was rife with corruption, illegal alcohol supplies and gambling dens.

Gangster Tony Camonte is not afraid to cheat his way to victory, either in a war against rival gangs or at a game of cards, he will do anything to ensure he wins. The bootleggers in the film thrive on the element of risk and danger that comes with their criminal activities and aren’t not afraid of foul play to make sure everything is smooth sailing. Camonte even disguises himself as a police officer, just so he can get the upper hand on his enemies.


The Swinger, as seen in Swingers (1996)

Renowned for being the home of the casino industry, Las Vegas is the setting for many great gambling scenes in modern day cinema. Swingers sees Mike and Trent (played by Jon Favreau and Vince Vaughn) take a trip to the Nevada desert, in an attempt to take Mike’s mind off breaking up with his girlfriend.

The men epitomise all the values of a true Swinger, playing for fun and taking the wins and losses as they come. After crashing at the table, Mike gets some encouragement from some female companions and, along with Vince, has a revival and their fortunes are back in. But in true Swinger style, the pair lose everything and are back at square on.