Top 7 Movie Scenes Filmed in Real Casinos

Published on: September 28, 2022, 03:00 am.

Last update: September 28, 2022, 02:21.

The vast majority of casino movie scenes that you assume were shot in real casinos were actually sets on sound stages. This is because never disturbing guests is usually a higher priority for casino owners than advertising in a movie that may or may not work well.

Robert DeNiro Netflix
Robert DeNiro starred in the 1995 Martin Scorsese classic, Casino. So did the Riviera in Las Vegas, where most of the movie was filmed and the real guests were filmed with gambling in the background. (Image: netflix.com)

We welcome the casinos that bet. From the defunct Desert Inn and Riviera, to the still-powerful Bellagio, Circus Circus, and Fremont, thank you for making the following (lucky) seven great casino scenes possible by making exceptions to this rule.

7. “A winner every time”
Movie: Diamonds are forever
Year: 1971

Casino: Circus Circus

Circus The circus provided a backdrop full of intrigue and action — including an elephant pulling the slot! – Sean Connery’s sixth and final turn as superspy James Bond.

While the movie isn’t great, this scene—where the CIA organizes a water balloon race to allow Jill St. John to win a bear full of smuggled diamonds – it’s a virtual time machine back to childhood for anyone who spent at least one. day from the mid 60s or 70s.

6. “Always Double Down on Blackjack”
Movie: Swingers
Year: 1996

Casino: Fremont

Trent (Vince Vaughan) convinces his friend Mike (Jon Favreau) that a trip to “Vegas, baby!” is the only possible cure for his recently broken heart. This scene, shot at Fremont’s blackjack table, epitomizes the pair’s dysfunctional relationship. Mike, an inexperienced player, unwisely follows Trent’s persistent advice to “always double on 11.” Of course, they shouldn’t, which is why strangers at blackjack tables around the world still break the ice by repeating this quote.

5. “The Fountain Scene”
Movie: Ocean’s 11
Year: 2001
Casino: Bellagio

This surprisingly good remake of a 1960 Rat Pack casino heist film had unrestricted access to the film inside the Bellagio. (Producer Jerry Weintraub was close friends with then-casino owner Kirk Kerkorian.) But his most iconic scene was set on the public sidewalk outside.

Near the end of the film, the thieves (except for the restrained George Clooney) gather to watch the fountain show set to Claude Debussy’s “Clare de Lune.” Then, one by one, led by Brad Pitt, they go their separate ways.

4. “The Blackjack Scene”
Movie: The rain man
Year: 1988

Casino: Caesars Palace

Tom Cruise (playing a money-obsessed narcissist) discovers that the brother he never knew he had (Dustin Hoffman) is an autistic scientist with a uniquely lucrative talent. Struggling to pay off $80,000 in unexpected debt, Cruise escorts Hoffman to where card counting can pay off big. Their visit to the casino at Caesars Palace—which begins with an epic escalator entrance—puts an end to their financial woes.

3. “The Blackjack Scene”
Movie: Hangover
Year: 2009

Casino: Caesars Palace

This is a wonderfully hysterical tribute The rain man the scene mentioned above. It starts with a ride on the same escalator, with Zach Galifianakis dressed just like Hoffman. And, after a similar montage of card counting and eye-to-the-sky suspicion, it ends with Galifianakis paying off the same $80,000 windfall.

2. “Audacious Advertising Scheme”
Movie: Lost in America
Year: 1985

Casino: Desert Inn

In this hysterical scene, Albert Brooks’ usually defeated main character desperately tries to convince Gary Marshall’s casino manager to give him and his wife his money back. This is after she blows most of their roulette eggs at the Desert Inn. Brooks’ pitch includes a pitch for a TV campaign promoting the casino’s atypical new goodwill. (“The Desert Inn has heart!” he sings. “The Desert Inn has heart!”)

1. “The Blackjack Scene”
Movie: Casino
Year: 1995
Casino: Riviera

Joe Pesci (playing a fictionalized version of vicious Vegas mob boss Anthony “Tony the Ant” Spilotro) physically and verbally abuses a series of blackjack dealers who won’t deal him the cards he wants. (The one shown above is played by real-life blackjack dealer Nick Mazzola, the same man who dealt blackjack to Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise in The rain man!) Almost all Casino was filmed by director Martin Scorsese on the Riviera. The casino floor, penthouse, restaurants, kitchen, ballroom and exhibition hall are all prominent, preserving this relic for the ages.

And real Riviera guests were filmed gambling at the tables in the background. Scorsese instructed them not to be silent during filming because he wanted the noise they made to contribute to the authenticity of the film.

Did we miss your favorite casino movie scene shot in a real casino? Tell us in the comments below!

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