DVD Release DateThe Most Iconic Women in Gambling Movies

The Most Iconic Women in Gambling Movies

selective focus photography of poker chips
Photo by Keenan Constance

When people think about major characters that have appeared in gambling movies, many of them tend to think about Eddie Felson in The Hustler, Jim Bennett in The Gambler, or even Marlon Brando’s Sky Masterson in Guy and Dolls. Of course, James Bond is also known for his gambling prowess. However, we can’t forget about the many female characters that have played key roles in these flicks. Let’s take a look at three of the most iconic women in gambling movies.

Molly Bloom – Molly’s Game

Few people had heard of Molly Bloom before she became the subject of the 2017 film, Molly’s Game. Based on a true story, the film stars Jessica Chastain as Molly Bloom who once had Olympic aspirations before suffering a career-ending back injury.

While this tragic injury dashed her chances of achieving Olympic glory, it led her to a different type of notoriety. She would go on to find success running underground poker games in New York and Los Angeles for affluent players. Of course, any good film needs its share of drama, suspense, and conflict, and Molly’s Game serves up plenty of it.

In addition to being a captivating story, Molly’s Game does a great job of fleshing out Molly’s character. Not only is she sharp, fearless, and calculating, but she also oozes charisma which makes the viewer cheer for her even though she is flawed and operates outside of the law.

Annabelle Bransford – Maverick

Jodie Foster is better known for her dramatic chops than her comedic skills. However, her portrayal of Annabelle Bransford in the 1994 film Maverick is all the proof you need to confirm that the two-time Academy Award winner can easily handle less serious roles and play them convincingly.

Set in the American Old West, the film tells the first-person story of the wisecracking gambler Bret Maverick and his adventures on his way to a major five-card draw poker tournament. An interesting fact: such five-card draw poker games are still popular today, and some of them can be found in certain Canadian VIP casinos at https://bstcasinos.com/vip-casinos/.

Foster plays Annabelle Bransford who, on the surface, comes across as a well-bred straight shooter with a good dose of sex appeal. However, she is every bit the con artist that Mel Gibson’s Maverick is. She has no compunction about using and cleverly deceiving others while coming across as a prototypical damsel in distress.

Now, this movie was hardly an award-winning piece of art. Few comedies are. Still, it was an undisputed success and Foster deserves a lot of credit for that.

Ginger McKenna – Casino

Well, you probably knew that this iconic Sharon Stone character would make the list. After all, her portrayal of Ginger McKenna in the 1996 film Casino earned her a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Motion Picture. Based on real events, the movie primarily focuses on Robert DeNiro’s Ace Rothstein and Joe Pesci’s Nicky Santoro. However, Stone’s character ultimately plays a key role in both of her male counterparts’ downfalls.

When first introduced to Ginger, she comes across as a highly manipulative and money-hungry gold digger with loads of charisma, charm, and fiery wild side. This catches the eye of the powerful and wealthy Ace Rothstein who stops at nothing to win her over. While he does get the girl of his dreams, it ends up costing him dearly as she eventually spirals into addiction and becomes totally unhinged.

Not only does she almost drive Ace to ruin, but she also becomes a main factor in Nicky Santoro’s brutal demise. Getting involved with another mobster’s wife is a no-no in the mob life, but Ginger lures Nicky into her web and he willingly obliges. This, along with a few other missteps ultimately leads to one of the most violent deaths in movie history.

Eventually, Ginger escapes Ace’s grip with a nice chunk of his money. Sadly, she can’t escape the grip of drug addiction which would take her life toward the end of the epic three-hour Martin Scorsese film.

Other Major Female Characters in Gambling Films

We have covered the three most iconic females in gambling movies, but there are many others. For instance, Vesper Lynd in 2006’s Casino Royale, Natalie Belisario in The Cooler, and Ilsa Lund in the classic Casablanca are all interesting characters that helped make those movies as great as they are.