California Split

California Split California Split is a gambling movie released in 1974. It focuses on the harsh reality of gambling addictions highlighting how friendships are formed and then destroyed. Directed by Robert Altman and stars a pair of gamblers played by George Segal and Elliot Gould.

The Main Story

In California Split, a friendship develops between Bill Denny (George Segal) and Charlie Waters (Elliot Gould) and its due to their love of gambling. Charlie is the experienced gambler who is continuously looking for the next score, whereas Bill works at a magazine and is initially not as committed to gambling; however, that is all about to change.

The friendship develops when the 2 of them are playing a poker game at a casino, and a fellow poker player accuses them of cheating. The Poker player was angry as he felt the pair of them conspired with each other, and thus cheated. However, at this point, they were not even friends.

However, a friendship soon develops, and they start playing the tables at casinos together. During this time, Bill becomes more addicted to gambling and gets himself into debt with a bookie. He starts selling off his possessions to fund a gambling trip to Reno where the pair of them pool their bankroll to stake Bill in a poker game against the world champion Amarillo Slim. During the game, Bill wins $18000 and from there on out he is on a winning streak and wins more money on Blackjack, Craps and Roulette.

The Ending

California Splits ends when Charlie the free-spirited professional gambler tells Bill he is quitting after his winning streak in Reno. It’s somewhat ironic seeing as Bill a once casual gambler mirrored Charlie’s life, lost everything and eventually left to his own devices and an addiction he cannot curb.

Eight Men Out

Eight Men Out Eight Men Out is a 1988 American sports film based on the 1963 book written by Eliot Asinof’s called Eight Men Out: The Black Sox and the 1919 World Series. It was written and directed by John Sayles with the main actor being John Cusack. Most of the movie was filmed at the old Bush Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana.

The Main Story

Eight Men Out is a drama about the Black Sox Scandal of 1919 where eight players from the Chicago White Sox go on trial on conspiracy charges. The charges were for conspiring to lose the 1919 World Series intentionally.

The team is set to play the Cincinnati Reds in the World Series and are at odds with the team’s owner regarding their low earnings despite its popularity and reaching the World Series.

Next, a group of professional gamblers offers the team’s top eight players a fortune to throw the Series. The team accept the offer due to their terrible pay and harsh conditions. However, this resulted in them betraying their fans and the game, leaving a lasting impact on the professional sport.

The Ending

In the end, Cincinnati Reds wins the Series and an investigation begins into the Series’s possible fixing. In 1920, Cicotte and Jackson ( the two main team members ) admitted that a fix existed and all eight men stand trial. The team was eventually acquitted of any wrongdoing. However, the Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis bans the eight men for life. He felt that they had either intentionally lost the game or knew about the fix and didn’t report it to the team’s officials.

Eight Men Out is more than a gambling movie about baseball as it has a fascinating storyline highlighting a clash between big businesses interests, athletes and the media.

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is a cult classic movie directed by Terrance Gilliam and stars Johnny Depp and Benicio Del Toro. It was released in 1998.

It’s visually superb, and Depp and Del Toro give great performances in this gambling movie. It is a vicious drug-fuelled screed that details how the hippie ideal became corrupted by the Nixon era and how it influenced the American Dream.

The Main Story

A magazine has assigned Duke (Johnny Depp) to travel to Vegas and cover the Mint 400 cycle race. However, the duo has also decided to take advantage of the assignment and purchase a large variety of drugs, which sets them on a downward spiral. Chaos and mayhem reign supreme, their drug-induced states see them destroying hotel rooms and leaving casinos due to hallucinations.

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is a narrative of a reporter’s drug-induced delusions while on Las Vegas assignment. It’s supposed to be a journey with a journalistic purpose but turns into the exploration of Vegas and Casinos under the umbrella of illegal substances.

The movie did not get very good reviews as it was considered “strange” by movie critics, and the weird part is that there was no budget in place when filming began.

The Ending

The movie’s end shows Dr Gonzo ditching Duke in Vegas and leaving him with an outrageous bill for the hotel room. However, Duke tracks Gonzo down, and the duo land up attending the conference in a drug-induced state. They leave the conference early after spending most of the time discreetly snorting cocaine, while the guest speaker is ironically taking about marijuana addicts!

Duke drops Gonzo off at the airport and then returns to his hotel to finish his article before driving to Las Vegas.