The Gambler Movie Review

The gambler is 1974 film directed by Karel Reisz. We can`t but mention that it has all rights to refer to Cult Casino Movies of the century. The director and screenwriters were not strictly detached to Fyodor Dostoyevsky`s short novel 'The Gambler', but loosely used it in the Gambler movie.


Reisz performes a loud realism to the film's settings in Las Vegas and on New York streets as well. At the same time as California Split directed by Robert Altman was released. It had an attempt to create visually the internal world of the gambler, who forced to bet. In The Gambler Reisz depicts a pure realism to the world of loan sharks, bookies & their violent enforcers. The director relies on the leading actor, to portray the intellectual that loves Mahler, and who is totally obsessed with dangers. Caan starts slowly, but he features the movie excellently. With the help of blond girlfriend Lauren Hutton who performed Billie, he gives a boost of concentrative atmosphere of the gambling world in this realistic, tense film.

'If all my bets were safe they just wouldn't have any juice'

This is a film about strong addiction. This movie is one overwhelming car wreck which you cannot turn away from. The leading actor, James Caan, in his turn did his best to perform the whole destruction, inner hesitations and struggle of his character. Moreover, James Caan participated in the filming when he was battling his own addiction to cocaine. For his performance he was nominated for a Golden Globe. It was the special unforgettable treat to see both actors, Sorvino and Cann, who appeared to make the best crime casino movies ever made (GoodFellas and The Godfather) starring together in one film.

The plot

Alex Freed is a teacher in New York who teaches to his students at City College. Simultaneously with a good work, nice family and beautiful girl we can oversee the other side of his life - he has a serious addiction to gambling. He makes bet after bet but loses in most cases. With each scene the damage gets worse and worse. As the result, he owes a lot of money. To cover his debt he extorts $44,000 from his mother and then has recourse to loving grandfather. However, his family and girlfriend get only discharge and disappointment of him. Thus, he decides to lure a student (a basketball star) to win a bet. In the end of the story, the main character realizes the consequences of his behavior and feels murderous pangs of conscience.

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