Croupier  Croupier is a 1998 dark British movie set in the sinister and shadowy 1970s. It was directed by Mike Hodges and starred Clive Owen.

Croupier focuses on a struggling writer employed at a Casino as a croupier and strategically placed between the pit bosses and the bettors. It’s the movie that launched Clive Owen’s career.

The Main Story

Jack (Clive Owens) depicts a man damaged by his gambling father, a drunk and a womanizer. His father gets him a job as a croupier at a London casino. Jack soon becomes a skilled card manipulator with complete indifference to the player’s losses and wins and it’s only for as long as their shifts last.

Owens depicts a cold, controlled man who doesn’t gamble; however, he does not gamble at casino games of chance, but he places high-risk bets in his personal life.

Jack writes a book about an unfeeling croupier who gets a kick out of watching gamblers lose at the tables. The book was, in essence, based on his own life.

Over the years he gets drawn into the seedy side of the casino world of cheating, drinking and sleeping around.

The Ending

By the end of the movie, he juggles relationships with three women whilst scheming to defraud the casino.

Towards the end of the movie, Jack finishes his book and gets it published anonymously. It becomes a bestseller, but he continues to work as a croupier and live in his basement flat. He didn’t even buy himself a new car.

Croupier is a gambling movie with a twist and viewers get more than they bargained for with its unexpected ending. The message people take away with them in Croupier is about individuals trying to control and anticipate the odds of their lives similar to gamblers who are always trying to beat the odds.

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.