Lost in America

Lost in America Intro

Lost in America was released in March 1985 and it’s classed as a satirical road comedy film directed by Albert Brooks who also plays the lead, David Howard. Lost in America starts Brooks alongside Julie Hagerty as his wife. It’s about a couple who both decide to quit their jobs and travel across America.

The Main Story

Howard is snubbed at his advertising job in Los Angeles and convinces his wife Linda to quit hers as well and join him on a cross country road trip. They liquidate their assets and leave in a Winnebago on a journey in the hope of finding themselves and discovering America.

All does not go as planned; they stop in Vegas where they lose their life savings at a Roulette table and sees David trying his best to convince the casino manager to return their money as a publicity stunt.

They have nowhere to go and finally arrive in Arizona where David unsuccessfully applies for a pharmacy delivery job. He eventually has no choice but to go to employment agencies where he is reminded that he was fired from his high paying job in advertising; hence cannot be picky and choosy when it comes to jobs. He reluctantly accepts a position as a crossing guard at a local school where he gets taunted daily. Linda finds a job as an assistant manager at a fast-food takeout joint, working under a person half her age.

The Ending

The film highlights the beginning and end of a dream and how gambling led them to living in a trailer park almost broke and working dead-end jobs. They finally decide to go back to their old lifestyle where David is rehired at his old Ad Company with a pay cut but better dental care.

Lucky You

Lucky You Intro

Lucky You is an American drama shot on location in Vegas in 2007. It stars Drew Barrymore as Billie Offer, Eric Banner, Huck Cheever, a talented Poker player and Robert Duvall as LC Cheever. Lucky You was inspired by George Stevens 1970 film The Only Game in Town.

The Main Story

Huck Cheever is a talented Vegas Poker player who needs $10000 to secure a seat in the World Series of Poker Main Event. He is also continuously haunted by his relationship with his estranged father a two-time WOSP Champion.

After a winning night at the Bellagio Hotel Poker room, Huck goes to a party where he meets Billie (Drew Barrymore) and is warned by her older sister to stay away from Chuck. A Loan Shark offers to sponsor Chuck in the Poker Tournaments which Chuck refuses in the hope of getting a loan from a friend sadly that too is not successful. Instead, he steals from Billie to play in a “super satellite” game to secure his main event position. As events unfold, LC appears and beats Huck in a simple guts game costing him all his stake money for the World Series and in debt to a ruthless loan shark.

Huck eventually finds the money to enter the World Series where he and his father both advance to the final table of nine. There is a showdown between the two where Huck deliberately folds a winning hand taking third place with LC taking second place losing the title to Jackson Keyes. The latter won his entry in an online satellite similar to Chris Moneybookers in 2003.

The Ending

After the tournament LC challenges his son Huck to a one on one rematch playing only for pennies and dimes. The father and sons relationship is restored in the final scene as is Hucks relationship with Billie.

The Gambler

The Gambler The gambler is a 1974 American drama about a literature professor who portrays an upstanding citizen’s image caught in the clutches of a severe gambling addiction which threatens to destroy his life. His high rolling bets land him in trouble and pits him against his worst enemies.

It is directed by Karel Weiz and is written by James Toback. The film stars James Caan, Paul Sorvino and Lauren Hutton.

The Main Story

Axel Freed ( James Caan ) is an English Professor at Harvard University who has a gambling addiction that spirals out of control.

He continues to gamble until finally, he has loan sharks knocking down his door for debts he cannot pay. He is out of options and borrows $44,000 from his mother. However, he doesn’t use it to pay the loan sharks, but instead goes to Vegas and gambles it all on basketball bets.

In desperation, he lures one of his students a star college basketball player to shave points off his next game. The student agrees to the scheme as Axel offered him a large sum of money. The game goes according to plan and Axel wins enough money to pay the loan sharks.

The Ending

In the end, Axel admits that he could have placed bets on sure winners, but that would have been no fun. He liked the dangerous side of gambling and even did reckless things like not paying a prostitute for her services to get the pimp to come after him. This gave him an adrenaline rush.

The Gambler is the story of a gambling addict’s impasse. It leaves viewers with valuable lessons and many thought-provoking reflections as it highlights the destructive nature of not knowing when to quit.

There was a remake of The Gambler in 2014 which starred Mark Wahlberg.