Re: [Videolib] Poker playing in films

Ciara Healy (
Thu, 16 Feb 2006 16:00:15 -0500

One way to search for titles is via Las Vegas (ha,ha) in film as a way
to find gambling movies, though Vegas is broader than gambling -
prostitution, shows, urban blight, mafia. Vegas speaks more to the
student's desire to find films where "poker isn't central to the story"
but to the characters.

One film that jumps to mind is Flamingo Kid, where Matt Dillon
discovers the beach club poker game is rigged and its a big crisis. Of
course, that movie does not take place in Vegas...

Ciara Healy
Media Services Librarian

Bruce I. Howell Library
Wake Technical Community College
9101 Fayetteville Road
Raleigh, NC 27603

(919) 773-4724

>>> 2/16/2006 11:57 AM >>>
Here's a fun questions from one of my grad students, any suggestions?

> My research is examining images of poker players and poker playing
> in the U.S. from 1890 to today. The movies are just one portion of

> a much larger project, but a very important one. I wouldn't want
> to watch every movie that has poker playing in it, I'm more
> interested in movies where poker players or poker playing are a bit

> more central to the theme of the film. For instance, California
> Split, The Killing of a Chinese Bookie, The Lady Eve, Shade, A Big
> Hand for a Little Lady, and of course, Rounders, would all be very
> good selections. I am also interested in movies where poker isn't
> central to the story, but acts to create a certain image of a
> character. Like in some of the old Westerns the Hero will be a
> smooth poker player or the bad guy will be a cheat. Another
> example might be something like The Odd Couple where some of the
> local boys get together for their Wednesday night poker game. What

> I'm trying to do is get an idea of how the image of "gambler" is
> constructed in the U.S. and how that image has changed over time,
> and what that change, if there is one, means.

Erika Day Media Librarian
Robertson Media Center
University of Virginia
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