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Roulette in Movies

There is no other game in the casino that lends itself to cinematic portrayal quite like the roulette wheel. The motion of the wheel, the sound of the silver ball clacking its way through the troughs, and the suspense inherent to the game make it an irresistible object of attraction. Though poker, blackjack, and every other form of gambling you can think of has been featured on the big screen, roulette's Hollywood highlights can stand up to any of them. 

Indecent Proposal - 1993 When this one hit screens, it created an instant sensation. Panned bycritics, the film found an audience with its central question: What would you be willing to do for amillion dollars? Woody Harrelson and Demi Moore play a young couple who bet their savings on a singlespin of the roulette wheel. When fortune goes the other way, they are susceptible to Robert Redford'sunthinkable offer. Roulette plays only a small role in the movie, but its part is an important one.

Croupier - 1999 Croupier features a young Clive Owen as a struggling writer paying the billswith a job in the titular profession. Presiding over the roulette wheel, Owen finds himself drawn intothe formidable politics of the casino world. The movie isn't centered on roulette specifically, but thegame is featured on screen for much of the film. Like the unpredictability of the wheel itself, the movie'splot is a whirlwind of twists and turns. Gamblers looking for a thrill away from the casino could doworse.

Run Lola Run - 1998 People flock to the casino for various reasons. Some like the sights andsounds, some pursue gambling as a profession, and some simply want to see what the fuss is about. Butfor those who view the casino as a place to fuel their thirst for adrenaline, Tom Tykwer's Run Lola Runmay be the perfect movie companion. The film's pace is roughly on par with a screaming bullet; if youlike a leisurely plot, this one isn't for you. The finale hinges on a spin of the roulette wheel, andLola has a novel strategy to tilt the odds in her favor. If you like non-stop suspense, you'll want tocheck it out.

Casablanca - 1942 Hailed by critics as one of the finest screenplays ever to come out of Hollywood,Casablanca earned its place among the all-time great motion pictures. Set against the backdrop of WorldWar II, the film features Humphrey Bogart as a cafe owner trying to forget about the lost love of hislife. When she walks into the café one evening, he is forced to make a heartbreaking sacrifice in thename of love.While the roulette scene is tangential to the film's main plot, it is a memorable one. Hopingto get enough money to secure safe passage to America, a newlywed couple puts their money on Bogart'swheel. Bogart, who knows that the wife has been offered the documents they need in exchange for sex,decides to rig the wheel in her favor. "Have you tried 22 tonight?" he asks the woman. She wins withtwo successive spins of the wheel, and Bogart tells her to take the money and run. In a movie filledwith unforgettable scenes, it is one of the standouts.