Thursday, August 4, 2016

Thursday Movie Picks...Gambling Movies


I can't believe it's August already but still hot and sticky and icky.  This week, at Wandering Through The Shelves, the topic is Gambling. I thought of many movies from the famous Ocean's 11 the original and remake(along with the sequels) to horse racing etc... I wonder if one of my picks will be the popular movie for today. If you wish to read what other bloggers have chosen just head on over to Wandering and enjoy the picks. Here are my 3....

1 MR. LUCKY-1943


This was a film that my hubby and I caught on TV and found it very entertaining. It stars Cary Grant as a grifter who, along with his nasty partner, decide to fleece a rich lady and a socialite by running a gambling place on a ship claiming the profits will go towards buying a relief troop ship for the war effort. On top of this the main character( Grant) has taken over the name of his deceased friend since his friend was 4F meaning he can't fight in the war. Along the way, he falls for the young socialite who believes in what he is doing. It's not the typical Grant film since he is not Mr. Class from his later years and is not  a true and blue either. A hidden gem  that made money in its day but few have heard of now.

2. GUYS AND DOLLS-1955


Yup this is a musical which not only stars Frank Sinatra and Vivian Blaine (who originated her role on Broadway) but, believe it or not, also stars Marlon Brando and Jean Simmons! Marlon sings and he is thin and good looking. Frank and Marlon play con men who gamble all around town and even in the alley ways. They make a bet that Marlon can't woo the local Salvation Army gal who is trying to save  the bad side of town. Oh yes, he has to bring her to Cuba to win the bet. Frank Sinatra's character has been engaged for 14 years and may lose the bet and actually have to marry his fiancée. It is a lot of fun and one can just imagine the off screen male egos clashing. By the way Robert Alda (Alan Alda's dad) originated the role played by Marlon Brando

3. THE STING-1973


I can't let this film go by even though I believe it will be a popular choice this week. In fact, I almost went with Gilda but I talked about that film back in April. The Sting stars Paul Newman and Robert Redford as 2 con men trying to grift a notorious and dangerous  mob boss played by the great Robert Shaw. Redford's character, escapes with his life by the skin of his teeth, and meets Newman's character asking to bring the mob boss down. Newman is reluctant at first but they decide to work together to bring this baddie down. The acting is great, the music is great and I can't think of this film without the great Joplin music. If you haven't seen it, see it.

What films would you choose?

46 comments:

  1. I've seen two of them, but I have never seen Guys and Dolls. I know the music. Not sure why I never watched the movie. When I saw the word 'gambling' my first thought was Ocean's 11, but that is probably because it was mentioned in a TV show this week. The Sting would be my top pick. Loved it.

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    1. I thought most would not have seen Mr. lucky. I do like the songs from Guys and Dolls even though I have to sit dumbfounded at watching Brando in a musical. Ocean's 11 works for sure.

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  2. Hi, Birgit!

    The only one of these I have seen is The Sting. Cary Grant is one of my favorite actors and it was fun to see him earlier in his career as a "shady" character rather than a straight arrow. It seemed odd to hear young Marlon Brando singing in that clip from Guys and Dolls. To me he was more in character uttering the words, "I coulda' been a contender," or this famous exchange:

    Mildred: Hey Johnny, what are you rebelling against?
    Johnny: Whadda you got?

    I did not like The Sting nearly as much as the rest of the world. I don't like smug, dishonest people and the film had them on both sides of the scam.

    Playing the lottery is gambling and therefore I can recommend two movies dealing with that subject - It Could Happen To You (1994) starring Nick Cage and Bridget Fonda and Lucky Numbers (2000) starring John Travolta and Lisa Kudrow, based on the true story of an attempted lottery scam in my home media market - Central PA.

    Thanks, BB!

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    1. I know what you mean about Brando. Seeing him singing and wooing the lovely Jean Simmons just doesn't seem real to me. I don't know the 2 films you mentioned so I have them on my list

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  3. The Sting is a classic.
    Would any of the Ocean's movie qualify?

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    1. The Sting is great a dyes, Ocean's 11 and the sequels would fit for sure.

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  4. I haven't seen any of these, but I've at least heard of the last two so that's a plus. lol

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    1. Hahahaaaaa maybe one day you will have seen some movies I pick...well you did the one time:)

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  5. I loved Guys and Dolls, own a copy, and I also love the Sting. Every time I see it on TV I have forgotten parts of it so get a surprise. Don't know Mr. Lucky.

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    1. I have a DVD of Guys and Dolls as well. I do need a copy of The Sting

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  6. Great choices even if I can't stand one of them. I mildly liked Mr. Lucky but it's a lesser Grant film. Not as bad as the godawful Once Upon a Time with its moronic plot about a dancing caterpillar but hardly one of his classic films. I think the fault lies in the script but it is interesting to see Cary play a slightly darker character than usual.

    The Sting just oozes style with a clever script and wonderful performances from the whole cast...and the music is perfect for the story. I didn't think it deserved to win Best Picture in its year but a really excellent film.

    I LOATH this version of Guys and Dolls so much! I can never even put my finger on why because I absolutely love the stage show. I adore Jean Simmons and like both Sinatra & Brando to varying degrees but I've never been able to endure this thing for more than 15 minutes. Ugh, but it does fit perfectly.

    I did a little title theme within the theme which caused me to put the first film I thought of as an extra because it didn't fit but I love the film so I had to include it.

    The Gambler (1974)-College professor Axel Freed (James Caan) seems to have a good life but is caught in the grip of a severe gambling addiction which threatens not only his job but all his relationships and perhaps his life when he gets in deep with loan sharks.

    The Lady Gambles (1949)-Joan Boothe (Barbara Stanwyck) accompanies his reporter husband Dave to Las Vegas when he goes there on a story. At loose ends and thinking she might find a story of her own she pokes around the hotel casino with a hidden camera. The owner at first thinks she’s a hustler but realizing she isn’t gives her a few chips to play. Thinking it’s a lark she takes them but finds she can’t stop once she’s begun.

    Gambling Lady (1934)-Lady Lee (Barbara Stanwyck) is determined to beat the gambling syndicate who drove her father to suicide at their own game while staying true to her dad’s insistence to always remain on the up and up. She’s extremely successful but complications arise when she becomes involved with the married Garry Madison (Joel McCrea) who could possibly be a murderer.

    Honorable Mention:

    The Cincinnati Kid (1965)-Professional poker player The Cincinnati Kid (Steve McQueen) is a young man moving from game to game in 30’s era New Orleans looking to establish himself as the best and torn between two beauties, the worldly Melba (Ann-Margret) and innocent Christian (Tuesday Weld). Ultimately he goes up against a legend of the sport, Lancey Howard (Edward G. Robinson) in a high-stakes poker game. Wonderfully atmospheric drama with a powerhouse cast most of whom have fantastic monikers: Lady Fingers (Joan Blondell), Shooter (Karl Malden), Slade (Rip Torn) and Yeller (Cab Calloway) among others and a strong lead performance from that King of Cool McQueen.

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    1. I think seeing Brando sing and try to dance may have made you feel queezy:) I like the film but I always snicker with Brando in the role. I enjoyed Mr. Lucky because Grant is not mr. Perfect in this film. I have seen The Gambler but so long ago I don't remember much. I have not seen the other but always love Stanwyck and the last film...I must see that one....added another to the list!

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  7. I liked The Sting. Can't believe how old it is though. Would Hardball with Keanu Reeves count as a gambling movie? Enjoyed that one, or at least enjoyed him in it.

    Betty

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    1. I have not heard of the film so I don't know but if there is a casino around I would say yes.

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  8. The Sting is a great one indeed. Ocean's is all that popped in with gambling. That and the show Las Vegas.

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    1. The Sting is great and Ocean's 11 and all the sequels fit the bill for me anyway.

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  9. I've never heard of Mr. Lucky and would like to see it. I love Cary Grant, and I think that's Irene Dunne next to him in the photo. I love her, too. I haven't seen The Sting in such a long time that I barely remember it. I love Guys and Dolls onstage and I have the cast recording from one of its reincarnations, but I do not like the movie. Marlon Brando and Frank Sinatra aren't right for it. Another gambling movie is The Color of Money. I can think of the plots of some others, but can't remember their titles to save my life. Thanks for the suggestions. I should watch The Sting again, and I'll look for Mr. Lucky.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Actually that is Larraine Day with Grant although Dunne was in more than one film with him. I liked this film and found it different from his unusual roles. I don't mind Guys and Dolls but I always snicker with Brando singing and I do want to just smack Sinatra.

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  10. The Sting is a good choice.

    The Cincinnati Kid
    The Cooler

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    1. Love the Sting. Must see Cincinnati Kid and The Cooler is the popular choice for the day

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  11. I've only seen The Sting and that film is absolutely perfect! I haven't picked it because I already have weeks ago.

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    1. It is a perfect pick for today and kept it for this reason.

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  12. Mary likes the scene in Mr. Lucky where he's trying to learn to knit...

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  13. Great picks! Haven't seen Mr Lucky but its got Grant so I'm interested. I can't believe I didn't think of Guys and Dolls, one of my favourite musicals and The Sting, almost made it onto my list this week.

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    1. I like Mr. Lucky because Grant plays a different role. I like Guys and Dolls even though I find it humorous that Brando is singing and dancing. I had to include The Sting

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  14. The Sting was a really good movie!

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  15. BIRGIT ~
    The first one that leaped into my mind was, of course, 'THE STING'. An absolute classic!

    There are a lot of very good gambling movies but I'm drawing a bit of a blank right now.

    I want to put 'THE BLACK STALLION' on my list, even though it's about a race horse and not really about gambling per se. The same goes for a little-known movie called 'PHAR LAP'.

    And then there's the smart little kid in 'A LITTLE ROMANCE' who devises his own horse racing system, and that scene at the track where they gamble their money away. But again, that movie isn't principally about gambling.

    I'm thinking of lots of movies with gambling scenes, but not movies ABOUT gambling. ...Well, it's a vice anyway and it just shouldn't be done so... fuhgeddaboudit.

    ~ D-FensDogG
    'Loyal American Underground'

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    1. POSTSCRIPT:
      By the way, I also like 'GUYS & DOLLS'. I'm surprised how many people here are saying they dislike it.

      ~ D-FensDogG

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    2. POST-POSTSCRIPT:
      Hey, in a way, 'THE BIG SHORT' is a "gambling" movie. I just saw that for the first time recently and really loved it!

      ~ D-FensDogG

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    3. The Big Short would be a great pick as a gambling film. I am also surprised how many don't care for the musical. I like it but I do snicker a bit with Brando trying to sing...he's not bad. One can bet on horses and lose big! My dad bet on the horses in the 1930's in Toronto and lost all his money. He had to walk all the way home to Welland which is about an hour and half DRIVE! My dad never bet again. I almost picked Seabiscuit.

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  16. Love The Sting! Although my wife adores Cary Grant, I don't care for him very much. He always plats the same role--that of being Cary Grant.

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    1. I love Grant even though his roles may seem similar, I think he does a great job especially in his earlier roles. This film, he is the hero but his armour is tarnished for sure.

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  17. Shamefully, never seen any of these, even The Sting which came out when I was at school. Someone told me the end do I refused to go. I really should see it now.

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    1. Oh that's a bummer to hear about the ending of this classic but I would see this film. There is so much more than just the ending.

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  18. I'm not familiar with Mr. Lucky, but I LOVE Cary Grant. Class is exactly the word to describe him.

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    1. I also love Grant and he is one classy guy even though he was a complicated man off screen. He is excellent in this role.

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  19. I have not seen any of these- but they all sound good. I have heard of Guys and Dolls- but the others are new to me. Thanks for letting me know about some great movies. :)
    ~Jess

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    1. Glad you like my picks and I hope you see one...one day.

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  20. I have seen Mr. Lucky. Believe it or not, I haven't ever seen the other two. I liked Mr. Lucky, I think. It's been a while.

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    1. I am not surprised because you seem to know old movies and like them much more than the newer films.

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  21. I don't know what's weirder for me -- Marlon Brando singing in this movie or Clint Eastwood in Paint Your Wagon. I suppose it's because they played toughies. Yet, I love seeing Jimmy Cagney dance and sing.

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    1. It's true but Jimmy Cagney could dance and could sing in his own style and it was great. I have to say seeing Clint Eastwood in Paint Your Wagon with , I can believe it, Lee Marvin singing is just an LSd trip for me.

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    2. hahahaha. I wonder how many people had to watch the movie twice because the first time was just getting over the shock of those two guys singing. And, of course, for back then, the idea of gasp one woman having two husbands.

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  22. I haven't seen "Mr. Lucky", but love anything with Cary Grant in it. Good choices! I would add "A Big Hand for the Little Lady", a comedy starring Joanne Woodward. How old do the movies have to be? How about "Maverick" starring Mel Gibson and Jodie Foster?

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