Las Vegas is one of the more inspirational locations on Earth. It’s a place where everything seems more dangerous and more fun, a playground where people can buy pretty much everything with money. The movies that are usually set in Las Vegas usually offer a backstage view of how the city lives, or at least how people imagine it. That is why every Las Vegas movie feels fascinating no matter how bad the movie is. Luckily, most of them are pretty good ones.
Casino, by Martin Scorsese
One of Scorsese’s award-winning blockbusters featuring Robert De Niro, Sharon Stone, Joe Pesci and James Woods among the others, shot mainly at the louche Riviera Hotel. This is the only Top 250 IMDB movie in this list.
Casino is a story about a hooker, a mobster and a gambler succeeding in the gangster’s paradise. Filming in Las Vegas is one of Scorsese’s fetishes, and this fetish is all about the decadent 1970s Vegas. A time when the old casinos were being replaced with Disney-style castles, a time when classic Vegas collided with the 1970s and came to be one of the more beautiful, nauseating, sparkling and livid cities.
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, by Terry Gilliam
This is Terry Gilliam’s rendition of Hunter S. Thompson’s portrait of Vegas. It’s a savagely toxic movie of one man’s psychedelic experience in Vegas played by the brilliant Johnny Depp, a perfect combination of the Gilliam’s mad approach in directing, Steadman’s explosive illustrations and Depp’s full-tilt impersonation. A picture about a city filled with middle-American thrill-seekers, mindless gamblers, and bogey figures. A movie that will make you either hate or love Vegas. One of the locations for the shooting was the Stardust Casino at the Riviera Hotel.
The Hangover, by Todd Phillips
One of the funniest comedies of latest set in Vegas. A picture of how gigantic the city is in terms of gambling, booze, narcotics, hookers, zillion hotels and gigantic scenery. A perfect example of the “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” saying presented through the fun holiday of four bachelors that have the time of their lives and manage to lose the groom. This movie is the blueprint of the popular view how a Vegas weekend must look like, although exaggerated. Shooting happened in the Bellagio Hotel and Casino.
Rain Man, by Barry Levinson
The Rain Man movie is not a standard one where Las Vegas is the focus of attention, although the action is set there. A movie about a selfish yuppie “taking advantage” of his autistic brother that can count cards. Throughout the movie the two brothers stay in luxury penthouses, wear sharp suites, meet hookers and get banned from Vegas for counting cards. There are very emotional scenes throughout the movie, for example, the moment when Raymond, the autistic brother, experiences his first kiss. All in all, a much recommended movie for Vegas lovers.
Ocean’s 11, by Lewis Milestone
Many people don’t know that Ocean’s Eleven (starring George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts etc.) is actually a movie based on a 1960 movie of the same name only with the number “11” in the title. This one features Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davies Jr. and Dean Martin and is a perfect time capsule of how Vegas looked like before the 1970s. The plot is the same, Danny Ocean gathers a team to perform the ultimate Vegas heist.
There is no doubt that even for a moment while watching these movies you have imagined how it would be to play blackjack, poker, slots, roulette or other exciting casino games in Las Vegas. To feel the excitement, all the flashing lights on the streets, and to visit a magic show at some of the legendary hotels. But, since not all of us are able to go to Vegas and have some fun, we tend to satisfy our thirst for gaming with the next best thing, the online ‘Las Vegas’ universe filled with thrilling and flashy casino games.
The up-side of playing online is that you can read reviews about which casinos are the best, if there are games available from big-time casino software companies such as NetEnt and read other players’ opinions about them (click here for more details at purenetent.com). Nevertheless, don’t ever give up on your hopes to someday visit the magical city in the deserts of Nevada.