Considering the drama and risk & reward involved in the conventional card game blackjack, it has often been used as a central theme in many Hollywood films. In others, the game has been used for developing the film’s characters and their relationship with the plot. Although poker is given more TV time today, blackjack features an attractive combination of chance and skill that appeals greatly to filmmaking specifically.
Hollywood has had a long-term fascination with casino gambling, and blackjack in specific. These games have appeared in many firms starring the likes of William H Macy, Tom Cruise and other well-known actors. Considering the fact that a lot of blackjack is played at online casinos today, especially the live blackjack version (for instance, you can experience live blackjack at Mansion Casino), it is yet to be seen how these new age gambling mediums will find their place in the modern-day film world. Regardless, let’s take you through the top 3 blackjack-based movies that you should definitely watch.
21 is a relatively new age Hollywood film based on the true story of a blackjack card counting team from MIT that took a lot of casinos for a ride. Kevin Spacey plays the lead role of the professor who heads this team. He has enlisted some of the most talented MIT students, and forms a team which fleeces the casinos of millions of dollars.
Ben Campbell is one of the students drafted into this team, who reluctantly joins it on the condition that he’d be allowed to leave once he has made enough for his medical school, but gets bitten by the card counting bug and is eventually caught. Thereafter, he must find a way to recover all the lost money, to not end up disappointing his mother.
License to Kill (1989)
No such list would be complete if it didn’t include a James Bond film. ‘License to Kill’ is from the Timothy Dalton era of the British spy. There is a scene in the film wherein James Bond takes part in a high-stakes blackjack game, followed by a major action sequence. You can find some or the other gambling activity in all the James Bond films and the casino action shown is often so realistic that it would make you want you to just go online and get some of your own!
The Last Casino (2004)
Another popular film based on the exploits of the famous blackjack team from MIT, the Last Casino is also inspired by the same true story that resulted in the success of 21. An MIT professor recruits 3 very intelligent students and trains them in card counting. The team has to battle several conflicts which threatens them with a complete ban from gambling. Although this Canadian film didn’t get the kind of popularity enjoyed by 21, it still gives a fair insight into how card counting became pretty mainstream in the casino world. Gamblers who were involved in it made fortunes for themselves, before casinos caught up with the popular cheating method.