Gambling City is a movie made in Italy in 1975, by Sergio Martino. It is one of the Italian movies made at about that time in response to the success of American movies like The Sting, and incorporates all the standard conventional features. In Gambling City there is the handsome hero who practises confidence tricks, the hero’s forbidden love for a damsel in distress and a corrupt dandy is the villain.
Story of the Master Poker Player
Gambling City tells the story of a master poker player and card sharp called Luca Altieri. Altieri begins working for the underground and illegal gambling boss, called the President. He runs a scam at a high stakes poker table in the President’s casino, however, and begins a violent competition with the President’s hot tempered son and heir, Corrado, for the hand of Maria Luisa, who has been up till now Corrado’s girlfriend.
The movie opens with Altieri entering an illegal casino in Milan, and taking a set along several tuxedoed players at the high roller table, where a single chip is worth 10 000 lira. His adversaries are smartly dressed, but Altieri is dressed in a threadbare cardigan and trousers. One of the players asks Altieri if he is sure he can cover any debt, but Altieri replies “Win or bust”. Pretending to be a novice at poker, he fumbles and requests a re- deal, despite having four of a kind queens. Within minutes he has ripped off his fellow players of everything, and makes his exit. Unfortunately he reveals his scheme to a security guard, who tricks him into taking an elevator to the basement, where he meets the President, Corrado and Marie Luisa.
Different From the Usual Crime Story
According to the scriptwriter, the movie is about a criminal organization which has succession problems when the son shows he is not the same calibre as the father. Gambling City was shot in Rome and Milan, and although the story was not really original, there were differences from the ordinary crime film of the time.
Poker the King of Gambling Films
Poker is one of the games that appears in films often. It remains the most popular, most thrilling game that people always associate with gambling, in the case of Italy, the underground dens of the Mob. There are often huge prizes poker players can win. Everybody has played some form of poker, so everybody understands the tenseness and excitement of the hero while he is trying to win the game, or trying to hide his sharp tricks.
All forms of poker have the same rules, and all the cards have the same value. Most versions of poker can therefore be learnt quickly and easily. The differences come with the number of cards dealt, whether they are hidden or exposed, and the part the dealer plays in the game.
Gambling City did not receive much attention from Europe or America when it was first filmed, but in 2005 it was released in DVD form, and became moderately popular, due in part to the scenes in the casino of the poker games.